After the opening festivities and Roll Call, we got to baseball. I'm the type that likes to get into the details of the game, like batting stances, pitch selection, the position of players in the field. I've noticed that for the casual fan this can get annoying sometimes. Not so when you're sitting next to a baseball genius like Jeana Bellezza. We got to talking about pitching arm angles and noticing how a slight drop was producing base hits and home runs. Then when Brett Gardner came to bat and his entrance music was blaring over the speakers, I said something about how it reflected the fact that he grew up in the South. "Holly Hill, South Carolina". You can't make this stuff up. I imagine that Jeana's house has a war room filled with player profiles pinned to the walls, but I digress. We endured the lack of Yankees hitting and the Robinson Cano home runs, though we did enjoy the serenading of Nelson Cruz toward the end of the game.
We got the families involved in the day too. Jeana brought her mom Linda and I brought my wife Heather. It was Heather's first time at a BYB gathering, and having her meet the gang was extra special for me. Linda is a great lady who is always ready to share her thoughts and has decades of experience watching the Yankees. Erica Morales, another baseball genius, along with her husband Richie joined us later for dinner. It's hard to put into words what it was like sharing war stories, talking baseball, talking fantasy baseball, talking more baseball, and just sharing life.
It was the kind of day you hope to recall years later in a moment of nostalgia, of time spent with family and close friends that you admire and care about. Here at BYB, we talk a lot about family. Whether it's about coaching our kids' Little League, or supporting those in need, we believe in family and the values that go along with that. It impressed me how much it was true in our little group of writers. A bunch of great people, who I met through a common love of baseball and Yankees. I know this wasn't one of my typical pieces. And it wouldn't be an Ike piece without some stats, so here goes. The temperature almost reached 90 degrees, and the humidity reached close to 80%. It was a hot, humid day and it was brutal to be outside. The Yankees didn't even win. But it was a great day to be at the ballpark. I was there with friends.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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