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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

THINKING ABOUT THE BEST RIVALRY IN BASEBALL

Every year, I look forward to seeing the Boys square off against our biggest rival the Boston Red Sox... no matter what! I think many can agree, we circle all the dates on the schedule when we face them. For me, living an hour outside of Boston, and running into a plethora of Red Sox faithful on a daily basis feeds my passion as a Yankee fan. They rib me, I rib them back. It's what fans do. We get geared up for the two teams to go head to head. But, what is it that makes this rivalry so significant exactly?


Look, I know many of you are savvy baseball fans. You know the history. You know what sparked it with the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees by then Red Sox owner Harry Fareze. The Yankees and Red Sox rivalry is baseball magnified times 1,000. Why? Because it doesn't matter where we are in the standings, you are going to get great baseball when the play each other.  The players play on pure adrenaline and really take in the chance of being a part of THE biggest rivalry in sports altogether! They look forward to it and so do we.
You get memories out of a regular season series between the two teams. No question. We still talk about the Bucky Dent home run back in 1978. They still talk about being down 3 games and coming back to beat us in The House that Ruth built to punch their ticket to the World Series back in 2004.


We bring up Pedro Martinez being left in there late in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2003. We both talk about who actually started the fight between Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek. But we won't debate that here. My point is, both sides carry everlasting memories when we meet.  I know the old school Yankee fans look back when The Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio beat out Ted Williams for AL MVP in 1941 for instance.

The list goes on and on. I'm too young to remember the first Boston Massacre, but I surely witnessed the second one. Both sides have heroes emerge from games of this storied rivalry.  For example, we have Aaron Boone and they have Curt Schilling. Players have worn both uniforms like Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Johnny Damon, Ramiro Mendoza, and even John Flaherty

It's a spectacle that takes it's own course and gets the undivided attention of all fans all over. It doesn't stop there.  We've seen the off-season as a battleground for both franchises. Remember when we signed Jose Contreras?  It was then we became known as the "Evil Empire".  The Yankees did it to the Red Sox again in February of 2004 when we swooped in and nabbed Alex Rodriguez, and setting the stage to an already heated battle stemming from the 2003 playoffs previous.

(In Photo: Gary Sheffield)
It trickles to the fans getting involved. Chris Chambliss getting a dart thrown at him by a fan in a game at Fenway, do you remember that?  How about Gary Sheffield getting his cap almost knocked off by a fan while fielding a ball in rightfield at Fenway? That also resulted in a push and shove between a player and a fan. The altercations between Lou Pinella and Carlton Fisk and Graig Nettles and Bill Lee. All of them happened.
It's clear that there is no rivalry like that of New York and Boston. It's about two teams that have met over 2,000 times in their existence, with many meetings in the post-season. It's about 2 fan bases that live and breath their teams loyalty 24/7. It's the tale of two Northeastern cities within 300 miles from each other and which city reigns supreme. It's about which owners display the desire to win at all costs. You don't get this much excitement from two other teams that pretty much put the world to a halt to witness what unsung hero will come out and make an impact and add to the history of this ongoing saga. It will always be about who is better between us and them. When it comes to the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, you know there will be memories and moments we carry for the rest of our lives, and share with our grandchildren.

That my friends makes it the greatest rivalry in sports... there ain't nothing better... Go Yanks!




-- Rudy Laurens, BYB Writer
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