Why I Love The New York Yankees


On paper I shouldn’t be a Yankee fan: too big a payroll, too consistent winner, I live in Toronto. But, when I was growing up in the 1980s the Yankees stunk. They had Donny Baseball and Righetti but other than those small bright lights, the glory days appeared far behind them. As distant a memory as the last time Phil Rizzouto made sense. As long gone as one of the Babe's homeruns. As stale as a 1970's issued Reggie Jackson candy bar. I started reading about their history, the greats like the Babe and Gehrig and DiMaggio, Mickey, Maris and on and on. I fell in love with the history. In 1993, when I took the pilgrimage to Yankee Stadium, well, I was hooked. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced, there are no words...it was magic.

Then Joe Torre came along to lead us and he quietly and gracefully gave the Yankees a today, and a future. Everyone else hates us again and we have renewed pride. Yankee pride runs deep, but so does the hate we inspire in others. How else can you explain the chant "Yankees Suck!" rising from a Fenway Park crowd in Boston when they are playing say, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees are halfway across the country playing another team? Sad, no? You never hear a Yankee Stadium crowd chant "Red Sox suck"...think on that for a while.

We now have a new group of heroes to cheer for, names some kid will read about in twenty years with awe. The Prince among men who would "give up his body for the play" that is Derek Jeter, a softy with a temper called Paul O'Neill, a sensitive outfielder/guitar player named Bernie Williams, the man that coined the phrase "grind it" the catcher, Jorge Posada, a man named Godzilla, a fallen hero who got a second chance called Jason and the amazing mythical man who could stop anything in his path, a man named only Mo.

This year the Yankees have struggled. The Boss spent a boat load of money on big name pitchers -- most of whom have either gotten hurt or failed even when healthy. Which gets me to why I really love the Yankees. Because when the Yankees do pull it together, often times it’s the lesser known players who are the heroes. Guys most baseball fans have never heard of hit game winning home runs. Pitchers scraped from the ruins of other teams look like Cy Young.

Hate the Yankees, go ahead. But even on the Yankees, the little guys make a big difference. I can't wait to see what the Robinson Cano's and Aaron Small's are going to do in pinstripes this post season. I get chills just thinking about it. And the ghosts will be there with them. Just like our Captain, Mr. Jeter says, "the ghosts always show up eventually".

Go Yankees.


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