Why I’m still a Yankees fan
I have lived in the South for almost 8 years, with a short stint away somewhere in the middle of that time. So not only am I already considered a Yankee, but I am a Yankee fan. Through and through, I proudly cheer on the Pinstripes April through September/October/November.
As you can imagine, I catch a lot of crap for this. Most people down here are first of all, College Football fans. Not baseball fans. They’re Gator, Dawg, Auburn, or Alabama fans. Second of all, if they are baseball fans, they’re Braves or Rangers fans. And even though Atlanta and NYY are in two separate leagues, nobody down here is a Yankee fan. Even non-baseball fans hate the Yankees.
But not me. I may have turned over to saying y’all on a regular basis. I have a twang in my voice that earns me giggles from friends and family, and I love, love, love my cowgirl boots and southern dresses. But I am holding on to my Yankee-loving roots because it’s not just about baseball.
It’s about the memory of my first baseball game as a young child, and begging my dad to stay just one more inning. Because I thought the smell of a freshly prepped ballfield with lights spilling over its players was the neatest thing I’d ever seen, smelled, and heard.
It’s about the stories of my dad and uncles going to great lengths – cutting out middles of books to stash radios – to listen to Yankees games not just at home but at school.
It’s about my grandfather taking his family on a trip to New York City so they could see the men they’d only so far heard of through the radio waves.
It’s about a game that has an incredible amount of history, all tied to a spirit of Americana that is now only visible in small spurts throughout the U.S.
It’s about games on in the background every Sunday after church and during dinner (dinner is what we called lunch on Sundays).
It’s tradition. It’s pride. It’s part of our history. And you don’t turn your back on your family.
And I know I made it my own as much as it was handed down to me, because when I stood in front of my television in Oct. 2009, and the Yanks stormed the field upon winning their 27th title, I cried. During my 7 middle school and high school years, the Yanks won 4 championships. My family rejoiced and celebrated and went to games and enjoyed general baseball merriment. For them to win at a time when I had no idea what my life was about to hold, it put me back in time as a teenager, sitting with my dad and grandparents in their living room, holding our breath for the last couple outs. Or holding our breath for the last pop-fly out to center field to be caught by Darryl Strawberry. It put me back at 13 years old when my cousins, brother, dad, and I stayed an extra day in Toronto so we could see an extra game.
And if all that isn’t enough, how about I make up for it by being Bills and Sabres fans. Two teams that definitely don’t buy their championships. Does that count? 😉