Friday, September 20, 2013


I didn’t know what winning was really like until I came to New York City. I had seen teams win before, teams I cheered for, even the Yankees. But only on television. Far away from New York. Far away from any Major League sports.

But seeing your team win on television and being in New York when the Yankees win? It is difficult to explain the chasm between those two experiences. You may as well be in another galaxy.

As a boy, I celebrated wildly when the Yankees won. I jumped up and down, hollering, and tore around the house. I ran into the street and grabbed my buddy next door and we celebrated in the street. An empty street. Two seven year olds in a backwater fishing village in Newfoundland. Population, not even 600 people.

It was great, don’t get me wrong. We were seven. We were on top of the world because the team we liked, a million miles away, just won the World Series. Everyone else was nice enough to humor us. But I didn’t know what winning was really like.

As I grew older, I rose and fell with other teams, other games. I enjoyed cheering on teams through the playoffs from far away. Hockey, football, basketball, what have you. The 80’s were tough on our boys, but I enjoyed watching them anyway. I thought I was connected to them. I could not have known how far off I was.

In the early nineties, I arrived in New York City. I went to my very first live MLB game in Yankee Stadium. Life altering. I had been studying pictures of this Mecca all of my life. Now I could hardly believe I was there. I had to see all of it. Touch all of it.

To this day, I still do a lap around the outside of a ballpark, and then another inside it. Just to remember the reverence of that first game. My first MLB game. At 24 years old.

That would have been enough. I was already walking on clouds. Oh, but the Yankees were about to reward me for my lifetime of fandom. They were about to show me how good things can really get.

This next part I don’t really need to get into here. What the Yankees did in the nineties, I mean. If you are reading this article, then you already know. Just imagine you are a lifelong fan, new to the Big Apple, already delirious with happiness just to stand outside the Stadium.

New York City with the Yankees in the playoffs? Unbelievably exciting. Baseball rules the heart of New York. Every television blares the game. Every bar is packed. Thousands upon thousands of people jammed in the streets of your neighborhood. Yankee hats everywhere, pinstripes galore.

It’s Mardi Gras combined with New Year’s Eve and Independence Day. It is the party to end all parties. It sweeps up everyone. People who don’t even follow baseball are right there with you. Everyone is ecstatic. Strangers embrace fiercely with every hit. They console each other with every runner stranded.

And when the Yankees win? Joyous pandemonium. Spontaneous dancing and singing. Throngs upon throngs of people pouring into every public space, flooding every street, to celebrate together. Fireworks. Beers poured over heads. Cheering. Screaming. Whooping and hollering. Everywhere you look, people screaming in ecstasy. Joy. Bliss. Pride. Community.

The only thing I had to compare this to? Two seven year olds jumping up and down in an empty dirt road. Chasms apart. Worlds away. Separate periods of history.

I didn’t know what winning was really like until I came to New York City. I am addicted to it now. I could never leave my Yankees, in their Home of Champions, New York.

 Come what may, Yankees, I thank you.

Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
My Blog: ChadRants

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