January is traditionally a slow month for baseball news. So for the second year in a row, we will showcase other blogs with a series of pinch hitters.
Next up is Jeff from Bronx Insider.
Jeff is from Westchester County, New York and started his blog a year ago. He’s a senior in high school and writes to give the perspective of a 17-year-old fan.
Here’s his post:
My father is a Red Sox fan, and for the first five years of my life, I was inundated with messages of Boston supremacy. While other babies were saying “goo-gah,” I was saying “Rog-ah.”
The only Yankee fan in my family was my grandfather on my mother’s side. He used to tell me stories of serving in the army with a guy named Edward. “But by then, most people knew him as Whitey,” he used to say. Yep, he served with Whitey Ford.
But for those first five years, I hated the Yankees. How unkind the fates were to me. Living just an hour north of the Stadium, I was constantly bombarded with taunts from my friends. Then, as I started developing into a mature first-grader, I came to my senses.
It started with a few Yankees baseball cards — Bernie Williams, David Cone, Paul O’Neill. It then grew into some posters, followed by magazines, books, and t-shirts. In the blink of an eye, I had converted into a Yankese fan.
My father, faced with this unpleasant and painful scenario, finally took me to a Yankees game on September 25th, 1999. I was 8 at the time. Much to my chagrin, the Yanks lost 2-1 to the Devil Rays; it was the first time the Rays ever beat the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Regardless of the outcome, it was a day that I’ll never forget.
Since then, I have soaked in baseball. I love everything about it; the home runs, the strikeouts, the amazing catches. I love the numbers, especially – 73, 2,632, 714, .406, 56. Any way you slice it, the Yankees are at the center of it all, virtually all baseball history links back to them.
Unfortunately, I was a bit too young to appreciate the championships of the late 1990’s. The clips have been played myriad times. I even have John Sterling’s call of the last out of the 1996 World Series on my iPod. “Swung on and popped up again, off third. Hayes, has room, Hayes, makes the catch! Yankees win! Theeee Yankees win!” Even though these championships live on in Yankee lore, I was never able to enjoy them as they were happening. There have been some great moments since then, but those classic October moments have diminished since I started becoming a fan.
This is why I am so excited for the 2009 season to begin. I feel that the moves the Yankees have made so far, especially in the rotation, will make them a dominant team from April through October. Long gone are the days that Sidney Ponson, Darrell Rasner, and Carl Pavano start three out of every five games. The Yankees are built to win.
So as the days become warmer and the grass becomes greener, here’s hoping that this Yankee fan will be able to enjoy an October celebration in 2009.
Good job, Jeff. Baseball needs more fans of your generation. Coming tomorrow: Matt from Yankees Republic.