Thursday, November 26, 2015


It’s that time of the year again! The Holiday Season is upon us.  Time to get together with friends and family, and celebrate the good things in life.  Baseball is still a long way off, so let’s take a breather as I bring you my “Holiday Special”.

Now, in order for this to work I need you to stroll down Memory Lane with me.  Imagine sitting in front of your television sets as little kids, getting ready to watch one of those old Rankin & Bass Claymation shows…”A Year without a Santa Claus”, “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”, The Little Drummer Boy”…that sort of thing.  Now, go even further.  As you read this post imagine that all those mentioned are Claymation versions of themselves…here we go.

Our story opens outside the O’Hara Home on a late autumn morning.  It’s Thanksgiving Day!  People are walking the streets with smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts.  We enter the home to find the whole family gathered around the kitchen.  Drinks in hand as everyone helps with the holiday cooking and baking.  It’s sort of business as usual for this New York, Irish Catholic family…only this is no ordinary Thanksgiving.  No sir, this year the O’Hara’s are welcoming two New York Yankees to the table!  Mark Teixeira and Greg Bird are only minutes away! Everyone is beyond excited…except the one O’Hara brother who is a member of the Red Sox Nation.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is wrapping up on NBC and Santa has made his way down to Herald Square.  Suddenly there is a knock on the door.  Mike O’Hara opens the door to welcome the two visiting Bronx Bombers.  Greg Bird instantly shakes hands with everyone in the house and presents Mike’s Mom with a delicious looking, homemade Blueberry pie.  What a great kid. 

You can tell he was raised the right way.  Tex then makes his entrance…he was looking for parking.  Mark walks in carrying two large coolers and explains that he brought sugar free alternatives to eat at the Thanksgiving meal.  Mike’s Dad takes the coolers to the kitchen and welcomes the sugar-free slugger in.  There is an awkward moment as Tex is greeting everyone.  For what seems like a very long pause Tex and Mike just look at one another.  The two guys then shake hands and smile.  O’Hara tells the target of some scathing posts that he is sorry and is very happy to see him.  Tex, being the good guy he is, smiles and says, “No worries.  Thanks for having me, Mike.”

The meal gets going in a hurry.  Appetizers, salads and then the Turkey are laid out on the festively decorated table.  Everyone is making small talk.  Bird even tells a few jokes to get the room laughing.  This guy does it all.  He’s funny, polite and helpful.  Tex talks Mike’s kid brother’s ear off about how he was just planning to make a few healthy juices for Thanksgiving and that he really doesn’t get out much.  Hey, the guy isn’t Conan O’Brien, but he tries.  You gotta respect that.

Soon the time comes to carve the turkey.  It was decided weeks ago that Mark Teixeira would do the honors. Mark had a heck of a season and deserves the job. The Yankee first baseman made it look easy…much like digging out a wide throw by Chase Headley.  As Tex begins serving up slices of turkey the whole family applauds.  Tex smiles and said, “Wow, I bet that almost never happens in this house when I’m at the plate.”  Everyone laughs…except the Red Sox fan who boos and jabs, “Save it for Foul Territory.”

The meal is wonderful and O’Hara’s and Yankees alike feel that this is the best Thanksgiving ever, certainly one they’ll all never soon forget.  Mrs. O’Hara lets both Big Leaguers know that no matter what they are always welcome for the holidays.

The whole family toast their new friends and we slowly fade out…

That’s what the Holiday Season is about.  It’s a time to remember the good times and celebrate with those close to us.  It’s a time to let the bad stuff go and look to the future.  So Happy Holidays from the O’Hara Family to you and yours.

Oh, incidentally, during dessert Tex strained a few rib cage muscles passing the cheesecake from my Brother in Law to my Sister.  It looks like he’ll be out anywhere from 3 weeks to 7 months…sorry.

** Rankin & Bass should really look into making this story a yearly Holiday Special.  For now…Tell ‘em boys! Happy Holidays! **


--Mike O'Hara Senior "Features" Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21

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