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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 11:50 GMT
Crystal joins baseball's Yankees
Billy Crystal
The Yankees praised Crystal's "undying love" for the team
Actor and baseball fanatic Billy Crystal is to mark turning 60 by playing for the New York Yankees.

The comic performer will wear number 60 for the exhibition match against Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, the day before his birthday.

He has had to sign a one-day contract to play with the team, which has had to be specially approved by the head of the sport's governing body, Bud Selig.

"I've been waiting 50 years for this call," Crystal said in a statement.

'Rewarding him'

"I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of the Yankees and commissioner Selig. I know this'll be tougher than the Broadway Softball League, but I'm looking forward to helping the younger players - which by the way, is all of them."

Crystal, who captained his high school baseball team, is one of the Yankees' best-known fans.

He has also directed and produced 61*, a movie about the successful Yankees side of 1961.

Yankees manager Joe Giradi said he had not decided where to play Crystal.

"Billy Crystal has done a lot for this organisation," he said.

"He's always been a big part of it. This is our way of rewarding him, saying thanks for everything you've done."



SEE ALSO
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Big deal keeps A-Rod at Yankees
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Yankees name Girardi as manager
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