Why I love the Yankees

April 4, 2010

- See all 20 of my articles

Living With Balls.  John agreed to write this article for publication on The Soap Boxers and I wrote an opposing article – Why I Hate the Yankees on Living With Balls.

In an ever-changing world, the Yankees are the one constant in my life.  While my other teams (Jets and Knicks) continue to disappoint on an annual basis, the Yankees are always there to pick me up around October and remind me why I watch sports in the first place. 

With an endless stream of money and an ownership dedicated to winning, the Yankees will always be in the mix for a World Series title.  Sure the Yankees have had some heartbreaking losses and disappointing seasons in my lifetime (not too many though) but for the most part, the Yankees will make things exciting for the city of New York.

Now let’s get one thing clear: I am NOT a frontrunner (as evidenced by the other two teams I root for).  I was born into Yankees royalty.  My father grew up in an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, only a few minutes from Ebbets Field— but he was raised a Yankees fan because his father, idolized fellow Italian-American and Yankees icon Joe DiMaggio.

My father has seen every major Yankees game in the last 50 years, both good and bad: from Mickey Mantle’s Triple-Crown season in 1956, to Bill Mazerozki’s series-winning home run over the Yanks in the 1960 series, to Reggie Jackson’s three homers in the 1977 Fall Classic, all the way to last year’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies.  He’s witnessed the Yankees go from a dynasty in the 50’s, to a laughing stock in the 60’s. He cheered the back-to-back titles in the 70’s and suffered through the embarrassment of the 1980’s. Things then came full circle for him as he saw the Yankees become a dynasty once again in the 90’s.

So it only made sense that he would raise his two sons to be Yankees fans as well. I was a Yankees fan before I even knew what baseball was.  My father taught me everything I know about baseball and everything I know about the Yankees.  He introduced me to the game I love but never forced it upon me.  Some of my fondest boyhood memories are having a catch with my father in the park or going to Yankee Stadium with him to see Don Mattingly play first base.

Now I’m all grown up and out of the house but I’ll always pick up the phone and call my Dad after a big Yankees win.  I still make it a point to go home and watch almost every big playoff game with him.  We watched together when Jim Leyritz hit a three-run homer off Mark Wohlers in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series, catapulting the Yankees to an upset win over the Braves.  We watched the nerve-wracking game 7 of the 2003 ALCS together, when Aaron Boone finally delivered a walk-off home run to give the Yankees the pennant. We even watched together when the Yankees choked away a 3-0 lead over the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS.  Win or lose, a Yankees playoff game just isn’t the same if I’m not watching it with my father.

The Yankees have helped my father and I bond throughout the years.  If there’s one subject we can always take about, it’s the Yankees.  My father recently suffered a heart-attack, but thankfully he is doing well now.  His health problems have only made me appreciate these moments more. 

I am not a father yet but I will be getting married in the coming months.  I hope to have a son one day and that three generations of Yankees fans will be able to walk into the new Yankee Stadium and witness great moments together.

Having the Yankees win every year is certainly enjoyable from a fan’s perspective. But to me, the Yankees mean a whole lot more.

Living with Balls is your place for testosterone-induced humor.  A humor blog for men, Living with Balls takes a lighter view of life from a man’s perspective.  John S., the founder and editor, can be contacted at johns@livingwithballs.com.  Follow LWB on twitter as well.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan @ 40Tech
    Apr 04, 2010 @ 13:46:17

    Although I definitely am not a Yankees fan, I can relate to what you’re saying. May dad and I still talk Phillies during many of our phone calls, and the tapestry of my childhood is stitched with many Phillies’ games I was fortunate enough to attend, from the bad (many losing seasons in my 20s and 30s), to the good (many playoff and WS games in the 70s, 1980, 1993, and 2008 and 2009) and the ugly (the “Black Friday” playoff game in ’77, infamous in Philadelphia).

    Baseball is the soundtrack of summer for me, with ballgames on the background almost every evening and Sunday afternoon. It has been tough, though, adjusting to not hearing Harry Kalas’ soothing voice since his passing last year, as he was heard in my parent’s home and my home for just under 40 years (for someone of my age, that means I’ve listened to him about 40% of the days of my life).

    Baseball, like no other sport, really weaves through our lives over the years.
    .-= Evan @ 40Tech´s last blog ..Find Software Alternatives with AlternativeTo =-.


  2. Living with Balls
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 10:46:01

    Harry Kalas wasn’t certainly one of the best. I enjoyed listening to him, even though I’m not a Phillies fan. Thanks for the comment on my blog!
    .-= Living with Balls´s last blog ..Love or Hate the Yankees? =-.


  3. kosmo
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 13:14:32

    Although I don’t share your love of the Yankees, obviously, I liked the article.

    I’m actually the odd duck in my family. I’m the youngest of 8 kids – and the only one interested in sports. Top to bottom, every one of my in-laws is a bigger sports fan than the sibling (aside from the in-laws who are not sports fans, either).

    Luckily, the nieces and nephews contain an allotment of sports fans.

    Speaking of announcers, I love listening to Vin Scully – even thought I hate the Dodgers. I’m sometimes listen to the LA feed of a Rockies / Dodgers game just to hear him.


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