Always a Yankee fan, once a Sox fan. Congrats bearded boys. October 30th, 2013
It is true. I am a Yankee fan from Southeastern Connecticut. I own a business, Urban AdvenTours, which promotes the city of Boston by bicycle. I’ve never said that I’m a Yankee fan in public in Boston before, mostly out of fear someone would call me out. Would be like saying I’m a witch in Salem. I don’t know why I really grew up a Yankee fan. I guess one day my dad told me he was a Sox fan, and from the age of two, I guess I just wanted to add to the rivalry.
I grew up with gold-framed pictures of Ricky Henderson and Don Mattingly in their pinstripes, prominently featured in my bedroom. I’m talking 2.5’ by 3.5’ large. Somewhere along the walls I had pictures of Dave Winfield, Willie Randolph, Dave ‘Rags’ Righetti, Mike Pagliarulo, and I even was able to get the tail end of Tommy John’s career(not just a surgery) and the ‘Gator’ , Ron Guidry.
See, people always think you are a fair-weather Yankee fan because they won so much 10-20 years ago, and obviously for all those years in the middle of the century (did I mention they have 27 World Series titles?). Growing up in the 80’s though, it was tough to be a Yankee fan. It wasn’t like always hearing “1918”, but it was tough. And just when you thought you would get that championship ring, the last time your man Don Mattingly could really get what he deserved, they had a strike. I had to wait several more years, after his retirement, but boy was it worth it when the championships started to come. How could you not love and admire players like Jeter, Paul O’Neill, and Bernie Williams. I remember how my Yankees gave us strength after 9/11.
You see, I respect Pedroia, how could you not? I’m not going to pick a fight with a guy like that just cause he plays for the Sox. He hustles, gets dirty, and is a true team leader. He’s no Derek Jeter, but he’s your Derek Jeter. And Lester might not be the greatest pitcher and closer of all time, he’s no Mo, but I remember years ago hearing the awful story of this great young pitcher with cancer. Years later I keep hearing his name. Dude has resilience. And Big Papi, are you kidding me? I love to see good people come out on top. Greatest World Series hitting streak of all time. Big Props. These men have fun in a professional manner. They all deserve to be sportsmen of the year. And when it comes to women, even Linda Pizzuti Henry is a class act. I can’t find fault with this organization.
The thing is, when I first moved to Boston, I ended up working with this die hard, everyday Sox cap-wearing fan from Mission Hill. When this kid found out I was a Yankee fan, no joke, dude treated me like I wasn’t there for the first 9 months! This was the start of me concealing my allegiances. See, a lot of the time, what I really don’t like about the Sox is the selective obnoxious fans, and the ones who can’t treat another fan with a little bit of respect, like how our politicians can’t cross party lines and come to some agreement that we are all sports fans. Guys with caps on backwards (don’t you know you aren’t supposed to bend the lid now guys) that get drunk and ask you in a bar which one of you is the pitcher and who is the catcher, some stupid unprovoked homophobic gay joke just to start a fight. I know there are a great amount of sports fans that love their bearded men, I guess I just bump into the drunk aggressive pigheaded ones by chance.
Truth be told I have an autographed Rich Gedman Sox hat from when he was catching down in New Britain, CT. It was cheap, easy, and fun going to AA games as a kid growing up in Connecticut. Couple years ago I started selling Red Sox cycling jerseys at my bike shop (boy did that hurt). I could not believe when Wade Boggs started playing for the Yankees. It just didn’t feel right. But after a couple wins, well, we all learned to accept Roger Clemens and even Johnny Damon in pinstripes. Never mind Babe Ruth, that was before my time, it is always tough seeing an old ‘sock’ in a Yankee uniform (sorry Youkilus).
Boston has been through a ton of crap this year. The community’s response has made me more of a Bostonian. I missed the events of the car chase by minutes on my bike, and live near the gas station where the car was stolen. My girlfriend was 4 blocks away from the finish line and I watched all of my staff panic as they called their family and friends with concern on ‘madness Monday’. Marathon Monday is a big day of business for us. We typically rent out over 100 bikes for people to bike the route in hopes of seeing their resilient, determined runners. I was locked down in Cambridge after hearing gunshots, and later listening to sirens for 8 hours straight, followed by a haunting silence.
So tonight, like the Saints win after Katrina, I hope this victory helps the healing process, but also reminds us to keep moving forward. If this is the pattern we are following, will the Sandy Victims be celebrating with Rex Ryan next? I won’t go out there and cheer with you, but have fun celebrating, just don’t kill anyone in the meantime. That wouldn’t be good sportsmanship.
So tonight I am a fan of the Red Sox. You are a group of guys and players I can root for. I won’t grow a beard, but I’ll continue to Be Strong. Thanks for that.
AP is a Yankee fan that has lived in Boston for 13 years who is struggling to deal with the state of MLB. This is the first time he has come out of the closet as a Yankee fan in Boston while drinking a Sam Adams.
Ed. Note: Let’s relive a couple of the most priceless moments from the world series: