27th Heaven: Yanks for the Memories

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(Note: The SportsLifer took the day off from work to to attend the Yankees championship parade in lower Manhattan. No crowd estimates were available, but the ‘Lifer counted a million Yankee fans. Here is his report.)

The big city with an even bigger heart poured out its love for the New York Yankees as players, fans and the entire Yankee family celebrated the team’s 27th World Championship with a ticker-tape parade down the famed Canyon of Heroes.

These Yankees didn’t win the 2009 World Series because they had the biggest payroll, or the newest stadium, or the loudest fans. They won because they were the best team, with the emphasis on the world team. They played with pride and guts and resiliency, qualities appreciated by the citizens of the city they represent, the greatest city in the world, New York, New York.

The Yankees won not because of fat wallets, but because of gritty at-bats, steady pitching, an underrated defense  and an amazing ability to come from behind  dozens image of times, as evidenced by their incredible string of walk-off victories in their new Yankee Stadium home.

A Band of Brothers
They won because they were family, a band of brothers, a bunch of guys who had one another’s back and were determined to give an honest effort, day in day out, throughout a long season and pressure-filled playoff run.

They won because they have ownership that truly cares about the team and its fans, and which constantly reinvests in that team in an effort to put the best product on the field. The bar has been set high by the ailing George Steinbrenner, The Boss, who must have been a happy man as New York honored its heroes.

Sure the Yankees have talent, probably the most talent in baseball this year. But talent is no guaranteed ticket to success, no E-ZPass to a title, no automatic ring.

The Yanks have had talented teams in recent years, but they were unable to grab the ultimate prize since winning three straight championships ending with the 2000 World Series victory against the Mets.

The Yankees didn’t break any rules. They built this team by the laws of the game. They accomplished what many Americans dream about: and attained their goal to be the best.

Win over Phillies Ends Drought

Their nine-year drought ended on a chilly November night, when the Yankees vanquished a tough Phillies team in six games to win that unprecedented 27th championship.

The moment the World Series ended with the Yanks 7-3 win in Game Six, the party began. And it culminated with a paraded attended by more than a million fans who showered their love on their pinstriped heroes for giving them a season to remember.

Perhaps columnist Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post summed it up best:

“Really, in many ways, the era this team most resembles is the Old-Time Dynasty Yankees, the ones that inspired such devotion among their fans and such resentment everywhere else, teams built to batter you and to better you, teams that inspired so many fans in America League outposts like Detroit and Cleveland and Chicago (and yes, Boston too) to wail “Break up the Yankees!”

“You hear that a lot now, and those shouts are sure to get louder and you know something? That’s OK. Let them all roar. Today in the Canyon of Heroes nobody will be able to hear anything other than a city and a baseball team thanking each other, loudly, for the ride of their lives. It’s a rite of autumn the Yankees know better than any team who ever lived.”

Let the quest for 28 begin.

Origins of The Ticker-Tape Parade

New York knows how to throw a party. In fact the term ticker-tape parade originated in New York City after a spontaneous celebration held on October 29, 1886, during the dedication of the Statue of Liberty

Since then, New York has held more than 200 or these lovefests, for luminaries like Charles Lindbergh, Albert Einstein Generals Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur, and astronauts, Vietnam veterans, Olympic medalists, and New York sports teams.

Strangely, the first ticker-tape parade for the Yankees wasn’t held until April of 1961, to celebrate the 1960 American league pennant. The first World Champion Yankee team to be honored was the 1977 club which beat the Dodgers in the World Series.

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2 Comments on “27th Heaven: Yanks for the Memories”

  1. Christian says:

    Rick,

    You have a nice site set up here. I don’t know how Jay-Z’s going to take it with no mention of his performance, but otherwise nice article.

    -Christian Carnevali

    • sportslifer says:

      Christian, thanks for your note. We had a great time at the parade, and I was glad I was able to use one of your father’s signs for my headline. Jay-Z gets enough publicity, this one was about the Yankees — the best team in baseball in 2009.


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