MLB

Yankees' prospect denies rumor he inquired about unretiring Mickey Mantle's number

FILE: Former New York Yankees' Mickey Mantle and Minnesota Twins' Harmon Killebrew laugh during the Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball All-Star game in Pittsburgh.

FILE: Former New York Yankees' Mickey Mantle and Minnesota Twins' Harmon Killebrew laugh during the Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball All-Star game in Pittsburgh.  (Reuters)

A top New York Yankee prospect on Wednesday was forced to deny rumors that he inquired if the team would ever “unretire” No. 7.

Rumors that a player requested No. 7 on other baseball teams would likely go unnoticed. But not in the Bronx. The mere thought of a player requesting No. 7-- Mickey Mantle's number--would be as offensive as a player inquiring about No. 3 or No. 5.

NJ.com reported that the rumors started to swirl after longtime Yankee commentator Suzyn Waldman retold the story during a radio interview.

“Did you hear the Clint story? Clint Frazier actually asked the Yankees if they ever un-retire numbers,” Waldman said on WFAN. “He wanted No. 7.”

Frazier, 22, was traded to the Yankees last year from Cleveland. he batted .273 in spring training and is set to play for the Yankees' Triple-A team.

“Are you kidding me?” Joe Benigno, the host, said. “Did he even know who Mickey Mantle was?”

“I didn’t ask him,” Waldman said. “Somebody told me that and I went, ‘Oh really?”

Brian Cashman, the Yankees general manager, told ESPN that he checked with the clubhouse manager and other personnel and the rumor was "totally untrue."

Frazier tweeted out that Waldman apologized for repeating the rumor.

Mantle died in 1995 at the age of 63. The three-time MVP played in 2,401 games and hit a total 536 home runs, one measured at 565 feet from home plate. As The New York Times put it in his obituary: “He commanded the biggest stage in sports as the center fielder for the most successful team in baseball.”