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Thursday, April 5, 2012

WHAT YANKEE BASEBALL MEANS TO ME

I have always been a Yankee fan. Most of us have been. There are some that came out of the woodwork around 1996 and stayed with us and I get that, everyone wants to latch onto a winner. But I’m a die-hard and I’m proud of it. No, I don’t go to may games any more, but on that rare occasion that I can bring the kids, we go. They do more eating than watching, but it’s about family at that point. I’m just happy to be there, eating ice cream after ice cream with my kids, but the point is, it’s Yankee Stadium, the greatest place on earth.

Look, I lived through some pretty good teams and pretty bad players. My Yankees were always my Yankees no matter what, but some of the players we collected over the years were just downright not good, others I loved, but through it all and even to this day, if I’m ever on Ebay or at a card show and I see a lot of Yankee cards for sale, I buy the lot. It doesn’t matter that there are a dozen of Bobby Meacham or Eric Plunk or how about Frank Tanana or Spike Owen. I love my New York Yankees and believe me, there’s always a story behind a name.

I was once at a game with my buddy and we had just finished talking about how we never caught a foul ball. I quickly ran off to the bathroom. When I came back he was holding a foul ball off the bat of Mike Gallego. I bought him a beer... What else do you do for a guy who has that kind of luck?

How about when I was a kid, I reached over the wall during batting practice to give Gary Ward his baseball card to sign. He just came over from the Texas Rangers. I remember Ward took the card, signed it and he never even smiled. It didn't matter, for the time frame Ward was with the Yankees, I rooted for him like he was Mickey Mantle. Kids do that when it comes to athletes, it doesn't matter who they are, if an athlete does something like that, they're Gods to all of us. Ward signing that card was just a moment, but for me, him signing my card felt like a lifetime... “A Yankee is taking the time to sign my baseball card? WOW!” Here it is, I still have it, and guess what, I always will because it’s a great memory:

I remember banging the pan of Freddy Sez, sometimes we’d even see him on the subway after the game and do it, God rest his soul. Or what about the game I was on television when I was lucky enough to buy 2 nice seats from my pal’s dad at the last minute. I still have that on VHS somewhere. I taped it just in case, and guess what, I was pathetic enough to come home and look for myself… and I found me. That’s right, I was part of baseball history and it was documented!

I even cherish the Yankee game that never happened for me, on September 11, 2001. After that tragedy, I realized that I needed to not go to the game after that, I needed to hold onto that ticket forever.

I could go on and on and you know what? I will again, but for now, I’m gearing up. My New York Yankees start up officially tomorrow. One of the greatest days in baseball. Derek Jeter will no doubt lead the charge even though we play the Rays in Tampa Bay... it doesn’t matter. Opening Day is when baseball counts again. We’ve been patient and we’ve seen some good spring ball so far, but now… now it counts and the numbers get tallied, the wins will pile up and hopefully more records will be broken. There is no doubt though, I like what I see from my team this season. It’s about to get really exciting.

Baseball’s here Ladies and Gentlemen…. How sweet it is!

By the way, look for our very special Opening Day post tomorrow morning on BYB early! And be sure to share it with everyone who loves the Yankees. It's some special to get you pumped created exclusively by Bleeding Yankee Blue...why? Because we love our readers, that's why.

By the way, check out Bronx Goblin for more great stuff HERE.

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