Saturday, July 4, 2015
RED, WHITE & OLD SCHOOL YANKEE BLUE
Despite the grey forecast for Independence Day, I am feeling a bit nostalgic. Maybe it's because when I think about July 4th and baseball, I think of Dave Righetti's no-hit game, which I listened to on the radio with my Dad at a picnic with long extension chords to a small AM Radio placed under a tent in the backyard.
Or maybe it's because this whole Alex Rodriguez baseball thing is just getting to me and I need to remember why baseball is at the heart of being American. It's our sport, and despite criticism about the game's length or umpires' calls or inflated salaries, it's still our game and it has meaning for all of us, especially Yankee fans.
Earlier this week, a colleague was sharing with a group of us at the lunch table that if you are in New York, you have to root for the Yankees. I, of course, said, "That's why I like you so much, Michele." In any case, how could you root for any team but the Yankees? I thank God everyday that I was born in New York City and my dad gave me two great Christmas presents as an infant: a NY Giants football and Yankee cap. So, it was easy for me to find my way to the Yankees, but for others, they took a different journey toward the eventual love, or tolerance for the Yankees.
I speak to fans all of the time about their allegiance to the Yankees. Most are die hard fans who can't imagine rooting for any other team. Some come from Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, Los Angeles and yes, even Long Island. I am always most impressed with those folks who didn't get sucked into the Flushing team. Even those who are not really sports fans, like my colleague Chris, prefer the Yankees over any other team. And he lives in Brooklyn.
There is a nostalgia surrounding the Yankees that cannot be duplicated. And fans like Zack Hample, the keeper of A-Rod's 3,000th hit, who carried on about his claim of having 8000 caught balls, doesn't really get it. Yes, he will hand over the ball to A-Rod, but with so much cajoling it just makes me sick. That's that kind of stuff that tarnishes the old school baseball we like to play here in New York.
Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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