Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Yanks are Coming by Barbara Quinn

Since I was a kid I’ve been watching the NY Yankees. I was born in the Bronx, and my family lived there for many years, so it was natural we were all Yankees fans. My mother is 87 and still follows the team. We chat about their ups and downs, their lack of pitching, their latest injuries. They win. They lose. Each season has the same rhythm. We go to the games in spring and freeze. Then we swelter in the summer.

Baking in the bleachers, the Bleacher Creatures hold roll-call at the beginning of the game. They shout each player’s name until he lifts a glove in response. When they’re done, they salute the box seats with cries of, “Box seats suck.” Frying Pan Freddie makes the rounds allowing fans to smack his lucky pan with a spoon. Out in the monuments section the plaques of the greats gleam in the sun.

I know the Yanks are probably hated more than loved, hated more than any other team in the history of baseball. They’ve squashed the hopes of so many fans and teams. But no one can deny their incredible success: 26 World Championships, thirty-nine American League Pennants. No wonder baseball fans in many cities flock to the games. Not only to see them lose, but to see the future hall-of-famers. Watching Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in batting practice is as much fun as the game. The high arc of a well-hit ball, as it makes its way up into the sky, and then back down again, is artistic. Seeing a new pitcher like Joba Chamberlain is also exciting.

2008 is the final year in the old Yankee Stadium. The new stadium is rising across the way. It’s a bittersweet time for diehard Yankees fans like me. But I’m not complaining. As the guy from Saturday Night Live used to say: “Baseball’s been berry, berry good to me!” And so have the Yankees!


Kathryn Magendie said...

I hadn't been to a professional baseball game since I was about 12 - so while in Houston (and funny thing, the last game I saw was in Houston!) I went to see the Astro's play -- how exciting! The game moved fast, the Astros won, and afterwards there were fireworks - it was a great evening.

Angie Ledbetter said...

My middle son's sport of choice. Can say my latest stint working in the HOT concession stand for 5 hours yesterday wasn't a picnic, but watching the games are fun. Our famous LSU Alex Box Stadium has just been replaced by a new baseball field too. Kinda sad...end of an era.

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