Leading off for the Yankees … Billy Crystal

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, left, poses with actor and comedian Billy Crystal after Crystal signed with the Yankees for a workout and one game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at spring training baseball at Legends Field in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, Kathy Willens, The Associated Press

AP

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, left, poses with actor and comedian Billy Crystal after Crystal signed with the Yankees for a workout and one game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at spring training baseball at Legends Field in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, Kathy Willens, The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. – No joke: Billy Crystal is leading off for the New York Yankees.

The comedian was put in the top spot for Thursday’s exhibition game, listed as the designated hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wearing No. 60, Crystal got his chance a day before his 60th birthday. A lifelong Yankees fan, the righty was set to face Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm.

Derek Jeter followed Crystal in the lineup, with Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano among the other regulars also playing.

Johnny Damon was scheduled to take over the DH job from Crystal later in the game. Damon was in the spirit, saying it was fine that he sat at the start in place of Crystal.

“He’s been around longer,” Damon said. “He’s got credibility.”