Living the Good Life with the Yankees

My first World Series memory: Yankees-Braves, Game 4, 1957, Milwaukee.

I’m a Yankee fan, from a long line of Yankee fans. My father is a Yankee fan. My family, friends, you got it. Yankee fans. Very happy Yankee fans right now.

My father saw Monte Pearson no-hit the Indians in 1938. Some 60 years later, my son, nephew, brother-in-law and I saw David Wells pitch a perfect game against the Twins.

My Dad saw some of the Yankees-Dodgers Subway Series matches of the 1950s. My son and I saw the great Yankee teams of the 1990s win three straight World Series.

I was too young to remember the climatic Yankee-Dodgers battles, when the teams met six times in a 10-year period between 1947 and 1956. Baseball memories for me began in 1957. One of the families in our neighborhood had just purchased a color TV (a real novelty in the 1950s) and I watched part  of Game Four of the Yankees-Braves World Series in living color.

Excitement at Home

Later that day, back home, my father jumped off  the coach and nearly hit his head on the ceiling when Elston Howard hit a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth to tie a game the Yankees eventually lost in extra innings.

The Yankees were practically a permanent fixture in the World Series throughout my years at St. Bernard’s grammar school. I still recall rushing home from school jin time to see Bill Mazeroski’s ninth-inning home run , right, give the Pirates a 10-9 win over the Yanks in Game Seven of the 1960 World Series. I cried that day and still cringe when thinking of Maz nearly 50 years later.

In grammar school, the nuns would occasionally let us listen to the World Series on our transistor radios. That sometimes caused problems, like when Sister Mary Consolata told us to turn off the radios as Mickey Mantle came up in a key situation against Bob Gibson and the Cardinals in 1964.

I was a sportswriter and columnist for the Fitchburg-Leominster Sentinel & Enterprise, an industrial area in north central Massachusetts, when the Yankees returned to  glory, beating the Dodgers in both 1977 and 1978.

Living in Florida

When the Yankees returned to the World Series in 1981, I was living in Fort Lauderdale, at that time the spring training home of the Bombers.  Working the sports desk at the Sun-Sentinel, I watched the Yankees fritter away a 2-0 lead and lose to the Dodgers in six games.

Fast forward 15 years to 1996, Joe Torre’s first year at the helm and the Yankees first World Championship in 18 years. The Yankees went on to four titles in five years and three in a row, from 1998 through 2000. I saw the Yankees beat the Padres in Game Two of the 1998 Series, and then win the clincher in 1999 against the Braves. I was in San Diego on a business trip when the Yankees closed out the Mets in the 2000 Subway Series.

Following disheartening losses to the Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Marlins in 2003, the Yankees are back where they belong — on top of the world.

And Yankee fans are loving it. In the words of Yankee general manager Brian Cashman:  “You can call us anything you want, but you also have to call us world champions.”

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