Generally I don’t get involved in back and forth banter when it comes to websites like the NY Post and such but it’s World Series time I’m all in.
A few different websites are reporting that Mets fans are not too thrilled with the idea of having Yankees fans rooting for their team during the World Series. Going as far as to say, “We don’t need them bandwagoning our team.” The New York Times went out of their way to interview some drunken Met fan that compared Yankees fans rooting for the Mets to “…post-war Nazi’s wanting to come over for tea 10 years after the war.”
When I was growing up, Willie Randolph was my Yankee hero. I started liking the Mets in junior high school because they had a right-fielder named Darryl Strawberry. He was tall and lanky like me and I discovered my love of playing right-field because of him. I wasn’t quick enough to play the infield like Willie could. So in the 80’s, I loved the Yankees but I also cheered for the Mets. Once their front office decided that Davey Johnson wasn’t of value to them anymore and treated him like he hadn’t brought them their first championship in 17 years, I was done cheering for them.
Me and legendary Mets Outfielder Darryl Strawberry
Here’s why I still won’t cheer for the Mets, even throughout this World Series; Yankees fans are not Turncoats.
Mets fans… you can keep your team, we have our own. Unlike Mets, Cubs and Red Sox fans… we don’t start flying our team’s colors once the “good” starts happening for them. In the last 3 weeks, I’ve seen more Cubs hats and jerseys than I can ever remember. Mets “fans” are all over the place now too… and to their credit, Red Sox fans are nowhere to be found, as usual. It’s disgusting. I do realize that there are some die-hard and loyal Mets fans out there who feel the same way towards the Yankees and their fans, and that’s fine… I respect that. But, what those fans need to realize is that we aren’t interested in joining your nation or sacrificing our team loyalty to follow another team because of the moment. When any NY team enters a finals series, I’m excited for them… because I’m a New Yorker. If they win, I’m even happier because “When N.Y. does good… New York does good!” If you know what I mean. It’s completely insane to not want a team from your home state to do well when your team is no longer in the fight. But please, don’t think that Yankees fans are over here cheering the Mets along as if they were our team…. flying the colors in good times like their fans do. It’s not the Yankee way. We suffered through the 80’s and early 90’s with horrible teams but we always flew the colors and we welcomed the rest of New York to join us. That’s what winners do, they act like they’ve been there before and they never forget where they’re from.
This is one of my first experimentation’s with Panoramic photography. I took about six shots with my Nikon D40 and used PS CS5 to get this final image. If you look closely, there are some areas that give this away. Overall I think it came out pretty good.
Anyone who knows me knows that the Yankees are my all-time favorite sports team. I’ve loved baseball since I was a little kid. My Uncle Harold was instrumental in teaching me about the game and I remember walking down to his house on hot summer nights to sit on his front porch and watch the Yanks play on WPIX. After every game, he would stand on the sidewalk and watch me walk to the far corner to my house… I would wave when I got there and he’d whistle to let me know that he saw me. I would get home and think all night about how great Willie Randolph was and how I wanted to be as great of a player one day as he was.
I’ve witnessed some of the greatest baseball moments ever in my short life and 75% of them have involved my team, the New York Yankees. But as much as I love the Yankees, I’ve never had the opportunity to see them play in person before. Every time I’ve made plans to do it, life has kicked in… something more pressing has taken priority. That changed on Sunday, August 7th, 2011.
My girlfriend came over to my house, sat down next to me on the couch and handed me a card and a manila envelope. The card was actually a birthday card (my birthday is in October) so I immediately knew she was up to one of her tricks. She’s extremely thoughtful and always surprising me and it’s truly one of the things that I love about her. After reading the card she tells me to open the envelope and I pull out 3 pieces of paper… the first is a seating chart that says “Yankee Stadium” at the top. The other two pages were two tickets for the Yankees-Blue Jays on September 3, 2011… Labor Day Weekend. I was in disbelief at first and all I could do was stare at the tickets for a minute and then the seating chart and then back to the tickets. In the 35 years that I’ve been a Yankees fan, I could never imagine the feeling of holding Yankee tickets in my hand and knowing that I was going to see them… the team that I’ve loved since I was 6 years old.
As we waited outside of Gate 4, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what she looked like on the inside. When we finally walked in, we were right behind home plate and it was more beautiful than I imagined. Several players were on the field already (no BP today because the Yanks played extra innings the night before, just my luck) and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. A lot of people would argue that but when you grow up in a city with a Triple-A team and small stadium, anything you pay at a major league stadium will be well worth the price. Yankee Stadium looks massive when you watch games on TV… it seems like the ball travels forever when it’s hit into the deep seats. Our seats are perfect, 28 rows from the field, ground level and right along the third base line, we can see everything… even right into the Yankees dugout. My girl did good! We tried going to Monument Park but there was almost a two-hour wait for that and I wanted to walk around and shoot as many pictures as possible. One thing that is highly disappointing about the Yankee Stadium experience is access to the players. If you’re not sitting anywhere near home plate, you have a better chance of being President than going down near the field to get autographs from them. (More on this when I write about our Cleveland/Progressive Field experience.) What’s even more disappointing is that this isn’t because of player safety, but, because of all the “stars” in the $3k seats that security is trying to protect. When the spectators become more important that the game on the field, something is definitely wrong. One major highlight about the Stadium is the food and it’is pretty awesome and there are so many options, but they’re kind of pricey ones. I recommend the Waffle Fries from Nathan’s ($8) and pass on the $6 Hot Dog though, it’s not worth the price (And I now hear that it’s $6.75… the Yanks still gotta pay A-Rod that $25mil. per year!).
I still can’t believe that I made it… The Mecca of baseball in my eyes. My favorite team is on the field, my favorite player is at second base and the house is packed. It’s a beautiful day, I’m with the woman of my dreams and we we’re having a blast. The game was great and Robinson Cano came through with a clutch hit to give us the lead. The Yankees won 6-4 and I couldn’t have been happier. Even though I never stepped foot in the old Yankee Stadium, I’m kind of glad that I never did. My first trip to the new sports Mecca was with someone I love dearly and I was able to start new memories there. I know there will be more to come. Since this trip, Liz and I have decided that we’re going to make it our mission to reach all thirty MLB stadiums over the next 10 years. I’ve officially started a Bucket List and put this mission at the top! #GO YANKS!!!