Tuesday, December 4, 2012


“If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere,” coined famous crooner Frank Sinatra, in the notoriously popular New York City anthem New York, New York.  So, why do ball players choose to leave New York once they make it to the big time?  I mean, Russell Martin, really?  Pittsburgh?  Is that where you really want to end your career?  One of the fans who reads Bleeding Yankee Blue religiously said to me in a tweet this week , “It’s all about the money”, when I moaned the blues over Russell’s decision to trade in pinstripes for black and yellow.  This got me thinking:  Why would anyone want to ever leave the ivy leagues to head to a community college?  What I mean is, why transfer from Harvard to CUNY?  And with that in mind, what makes the Yankees the Ivy League of Baseball Teams?

According to Sports Illustrated Tom Verducci’s “Top 10 Teams of All Time”, five of the ten teams mentioned are the Yankees.  Specifically, the Yankee teams of 1927, 1939, 1998, 1961, and 1932 are all listed with the ’27, ’39, and ’98 taking up the first three spots.  And even with the high end baseball analysis of University of Florida sports historian Richard Crepeau’s pick of the “Big Red Machine’ teams of the 1970s as the best there ever were, ESPN reporter Chris Berman  “likes the 1961 Yankees of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.”

(In Photo: Roger Maris, left, Mickey Mantle)
And what’s not to like with a record of 109-53 and the pitching staff allowing only the second-fewest runs that year, right?

But there is more than just wins that make the Yankees an Ivy League team.  It’s the tradition, it’s the professionalism, it’s the classiness, and it’s the feeling you get when you step into the ballpark not just for the first time but every time.

The team is just classy- classic uniforms that don’t change with fashion or the wind; neatness and formality in dress and in ceremonial events; and amazing graduation rates- the Yankees have more hall of famers than any other team, EVER!  Cooperstown is full of our finest players not to mention that we have our own Monument Park dedicated to our beloved boys of summer.
 (In Photo: Lou Gehrig)
It’s just like an ivy-league school, we have amazing alumni- in Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig (who by the way went to Columbia), DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Jackson- just to name a few!

Even when we lose, we are classy.  USA Today stated in its article published just after the close of our 2012 season(HERE), “The Yankees were classy in defeat in their somber clubhouse.”  Alex Rodriguez said in the same article that, “in the last four years, we won more games than any team in the American League and went to the ALCS three times and won one world championship.”  I know that’s really not enough for us fans, but you have to admit, that is an ivy-league kind of track record.

So, again, I ask you, why would you want to leave New York after you have made it here, and elect to go somewhere else?  We are the ivy-league of baseball and that’s never going to change.  Our legacy will continue to amaze the world, even if the world gets jealous and picks on us every so often.  We can take it- we are the Yankees!

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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