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Monday, May 29, 2017

Baseball Fan Again


Baseball Fan Again


I am a fair-weather baseball fan.  I admit it.  When it comes to football, I watch every game, crummy team or Super Bowl contender, I watch my favorite team.  Basketball I only watch during playoffs, and then only if it is the Knicks.  Yes, I am THAT fan.

I didn’t used to be THAT fan, especially when it came to baseball. 

I root for the Yankees.  I have always rooted for the Yankees.  Growing up in the fifties and sixties there was only fair weather for Yankee fans.  We were always in the pennant race and generally in the World Series. 

I knew all the Yankee players, all their numbers, all their lifetime stats and what shaving cream they used.  The late sixties and the seventies, were the doldrums for the Yankees, but I still knew all the players and held out hope every year for the return of the dynasty.  The great one, Mickey Mantle, was ending his greatness, but he still held my attention.  There were others to hope for the same greatness, Bobby Murcer almost fit the bill, but he did not quite have the power or speed.  He had the personality, and was a terrific announcer before his sad passing from cancer, but not the same charisma.  Kevin Mass got me excited, but he fizzled out when opposing pitchers found his weak spot.

Then the Boss bought the team.  Not Springsteen, Steinbrenner.  George Steinbrenner bought talent, demanded excellence, and in the late 70’s the Yankees were winners again.  In most of the 80’s and early 90’s the buying of talent did not work so well.  Then the Yankees developed much of their own talent.  Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Pasada, Robbie Cano, and of course Derek Jeter.

To these great players they added Alex Rodrigues, Teixeira and others.  They were fun to watch and fun to root for…and they won!

Recently, Rivera, Teixeira, Pasada and Jeter retired.  Rodrigues lost his luster from the steroid controversy and the final straw, they let Cano go.  Add to that, my Yankee fan partner son, was whisked off to the land without an “R”, the home of the hated Red Sox and the weather turned stormy.

I have not watched the Yankees for the last year or two.  This year I saw in the sports page that the Yankees were again contenders.  They have a lot of young exciting talent.  The clouds are lifting and the fair-weather fan is back.  I am just starting to learn the players.  They have a pitcher from Japan who looks pretty good, they have a closer who is lights out.  Their shortstop can field and hit and they have a second baseman with power.  In right field is a huge person who hits huge home runs, and their catcher could be an all-star for many years to come. 

The Yankees are winning and they are fun to watch again. 

My biggest issue so far is learning the player’s names.  I used to think it was cool that the Yankees never put the player’s names on their jerseys.  Now not so much.  When you don’t yet know who is who, they all look the same and I don’t know the numbers yet.

I am learning, and I am watching.  I can hear all you diehard fans booing.  You suffered forever with your Cubs, or your Phillies, or your O’s but you root year in and year out regardless.  You hate us spoiled Yankee fans. 

I don’t care. 

The sun is out again and I am back as a fan. 

Yankee fans are used to being booed.  Give me your best shot.

Go Yankees!

16 comments:

  1. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Okay, I just couldn't help myself.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

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  2. You must be made of the same stuff as the hubs......he's only a fan when the team is winning. It's fine by me. I'm never a fan.

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  3. While not a pinstripe fan, I did always enjoy the continuous Steinbrenner/Martin feud....fired, hired, fired, hired....

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  4. My father always "hated" the Yankees but both my brothers are die hard fans. I will take my grand kids to the Lake Monsters ball games because that is a fun activity, but I don't generally follow any major league team. I think I was greatly overexposed to sports as a kid -- my dad being ersatz team manager all Sunday afternoons, being dragged to my brothers' little league and high school games.

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  5. I agree with you on the no name uniforms. Come on, show your pride Yankees and spring for a few letters for your guy's backs. I am a Marlins fan--remember the 2003 world series--he he. This year however it has been brutal to be a fan. We only won our first series yesterday for the entire month of May while logging 18 losses. All weather Patti has hung in there and will to the end. Hope you continue to enjoy a winning season. Think another world series rematch would be fun somewhere in the future.

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  6. I love the Yankees. One of our hometown heros pitched for the Yankees when Babe was there.

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  7. As a Cardinals fan, I must say that the Cubs fans deserve to suffer.

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  8. I'm with you Joe. I want the Yankees to do well, too. And I want them to win the pennant, then go on to the World Series, and win it in 4 games. Because then baseball season will be over with, and we can concentrate on FOOTBALL! Yea!!!

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  9. When I need a good nap, baseball ... nothing personal!

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  10. Right now i am concentrating on college baseball first. Once those who will be on the road to Omaha are decided, i might or might not be able to spare some time for the majors. Eventually, though, i will.

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  11. Go Yankees!! Hope it is a successful season for them! Don't follow much baseball these days, do enjoy football though and wondering how it will all play out next year when the San Diego Chargers (a favorite of bygone days) will relocate up north to the Los Angeles next year. I'm sure lots of die hard fans will no longer be die hard fans.

    betty

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  12. I'm not a fan of any sport, fair weather or otherwise. I did used to stay up late to see the olympic ice skating and floor mat gymnastics, but that doesn't make me a fan, and I don't do that anymore. I'd rather sleep.

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  13. I was raised pulling for the Braves, mainly because of where I am from, but now I can't tell you anything about them, I keep up with more Nascar than ball.

    I say if you enjoy it, fair weather or not it is Ok.

    Great post Joe.

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  14. Lifelong Tigers fan. . .

    So, nothing personal, but. . .

    Screw the Yankees. . .

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  15. I'm with Craig. I too am a lifelong Tigers fan. I wish they hadn't torn down Tiger Stadium. So many great memories there.

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