Saturday, July 05, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

I am a Yankee fan since birth. I love the history, the tradition, the uniforms. I love announcer Bob Sheppard and the organist. And, like most women in New York, I have a longstanding crush on Derek Jeter that equals Madonna's on A-Rod, though for some reason it hasn't made tabloid headlines.

I saw the Yanks lose to the hated Red Sox Thursday, the first of two losses this weekend. It might have been my last visit to the current Stadium, which has been the scene of much shouting of "Let's go!"and gnashing of teeth, as well as of many dates, including one at game 5 of the 1976 ALCS, when Chris Chambliss's walk-off home run in clinched the pennant for the Yankees, and a first date in 1990 that ended in a kiss that lasted for the entire ride downtown on the D train and for years after that.

My sports fandom was not inherited from my family, though my mom says that growing up in Brooklyn, she was a Yankee fan in Dodger territory, a pattern I later repeated in LA. Instead, as with most things in my life, I discovered the Yankees, the Knicks and the Giants through reading.

The sports section, unlike the rest of the paper, offered resolvable stories of good and evil, triumph and tragedy. It offered tales of derring-do from the likes of Dr. J, Joe Namath and the Amazin' Mets of 1969. It was, and is, soap opera for men. And ultimately, it helped me learn their language, which has been very helpful in making conversation. I can even explain the infield fly rule.

I've been told this makes me the perfect woman, though the argument for that was also made by a man who was deeply impressed by my passion for Parliament-Funkadelic.

That, of course, is a lovely thought. But it doesn't help my Yankees, who are currently nine games behind Tampa Bay (!) and four behind that team from Boston, nor am I happy that the house that Ruth built, inhabited by DiMaggio and Mantle and Mattingly, is picking up and moving next door, and taking my memories with it.

Fortunately, I'll always have my Yankee bling:

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