Andy Pettitte, the former New York Yankee who gave Roger Clemens the cold shoulder in court, will warm up in Weatherproof’s fall advertising campaign.
The pitching veteran showed his signature intensity at a downtown photo shoot, with baseball mitt in hand and in his pinstripe uniform with a 32 Degrees vest by Weatherproof. Print ads and billboards featuring the southpaw will break in the next few months, and the World Series champion will greet shoppers at Macy’s Herald Square flagship on Oct. 6. But the campaign doesn’t necessarily make him a style aficionado. Asked if he was interested in fashion, Pettitte said, “Not extremely. I’m kind of simple. Coming from Texas, I’m not too, too much of a fashion guy. You know, I’m more of a flannel shirt, jacket guy in the winter…sweatshirts..”
The 39-year-old can usually be found wearing Lucky, Wrangler or Ariat jeans when down on his ranch riding his horses Elvis and Rolex. “I didn’t name them. Those were their names when I bought them so I didn’t change them,” he said with a laugh.
Weatherproof is truly part of the scenery at Yankee Stadium, having sponsored the tarp that is used to protect the playing field for the past three years. The company sought out Pettitte as the face of its fall ads because of his integrity, according to chief executive officer Freddie Stollmack.
That explanation led to more questions, since Pettitte admitted to doping while recovering from an elbow injury in 2002. Stollmack explained, “He realized he made a mistake. His elbow was hurt and he wanted to play. He came out and said he was sorry.”
Last year Pettitte’s sworn statement that Clemens, his mentor, admitted using human growth hormone was a critical factor in a federal grand jury’s decision to indict Clemens on charges he lied to Congress. And in doing so, their friendship was severed. As for whether they will speak again, Pettitte said, “Oh man, I have no idea. I mean, I hope so. Maybe one day. I have no idea.”
He was less forthcoming about whether Clemens should face another trial. “Really, for me, that is something really and truthfully that I can’t talk about,” he said.
Asked if he wished he had done anything differently in his career, Pettitte said, “No, no, I worked as hard as I possibly could. I have no regrets.”
He keeps up with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and “Jorgie” Posada, whom he’s known since they were 18 or 19 coming up together in the minor leagues, via text messages. “I want to say I tried to be tight with everybody on the team. With the other guys, I tried to stay around, be a good, good teammate. I tried to let guys know that I cared about them and that I was pulling for them,” he said.
But he hasn’t been so tuned into their games this season. “I really haven’t. I try to pick up games here and there. My kids try to keep me up-to-date because they have instant stuff that comes to their phones if someone hits a home run or something like that. I’ve been so busy, which is kind of amazing to say because I really don’t know what I’ve been busy with. I’m just constantly doing something.”
Having been out of Major League Baseball for nearly a year, he is now weighing his next move, perhaps working with children, and has started making the rounds speaking publicly, “sharing my faith and all that.” Texas is the state the retired player now calls home, but he still has a house in New York’s Westchester County. “It is definitely nice to get back here. There something obviously special about this place,” he said.
Wherever he is, family time seems to be a priority for Pettitte and his wife, Laura, who he met in high school. The couple recently took their four children on what he described as “a dream vacation” in Wyoming. “We were riding horses morning and afternoon. We had a little log cabin and no air conditioning, didn’t have any locks on the doors, didn’t have a TV. The kids literally wanted to protest the whole trip — and when we got there, we didn’t want to leave.”
Making up for lost time with his wife and children was a major incentive to step away from the most-watched pitcher’s mound in the Bronx. Pettitte now offers advice about throwing strikes to his children. “They ask for it so I try to give my opinion but it’s tough. Everybody wants to know what the key is to being a successful pitcher. It’s tough trying to figure out what kids are doing wrong. Heck, it’s hard at the major league level whenever you start to struggle trying to figure out what you’re doing in terms of mechanics and stuff like that. People think it’s easy — it’s not easy, that’s for sure.”
Stollmack, meanwhile, had a far different memory of Yankee Stadium. “After seeing my first game with my father when I was eight, I was standing outside Yankee Stadium in 1946 waiting for Yogi Berra. I walked up to him and asked him for an autograph. He had injured his hands, so they were all bandaged. Yogi responded, ‘Watch the goddamn hands, kid,’” Stollmack said. “That’s when I became a New York Giants fan.”