Tuesday, October 09, 2007

OK ... It's over.

This past evening, I had an invitation to go see "Eastern Promises" at the DGA theatre here in NYC. There was a special Q and A with the film's director David Cronenberg after the movie, so I felt I couldn't pass this up. It was a great movie, and I highly recommend that you all check it out.

Despite this special event, on several occasions I found my mind wondering off in the dark of the theatre. I knew I was missing Game 3 of the ALDS between the NY Yankees and the Cleveland Indians.

George Steinbrenner made an announcement that if Joe Torre and the Yanks did not win this series versus the Indians, it would be Torre's last year with the team. Since more than half a dozen of the Yankees are now in their mid-thirties, this could mean the end of this Yankee era.

For many years in the 90s, I had gone off of the Yankees. They seemed like just a collection of overpaid players all playing for themselves. However, in the last few years, that seemed to dramatically change under the leadership of Joe Torre. They really started to play like a team.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have been a Yankee fan. I grew up with the 70's Yankees. My boyhood hero was their captain, Thurman Munson.

To this day, I still have an easier time naming all the players from the 1977 team than I do the current players.

In the mid 70's, my dad and I were good friends with the Yankee chaplin, Father Jim Conway. He would always get us great seats, and often a private audiences with the top players. At one time I had a ball signed by all the 77 Yankees. I owed that ball to the kindness of Father Jim. Being the stupid kid I was, I used that ball for batting practice. A ball that would now be worth thousands of dollars today.

However there was another special baseball that Jim got for me.

One day, there was a rare appearance of Cincinnati Red Pete Rose at Yankee stadium. At that time, Pete was not exactly a very friendly guy.
He wouldn't sign anything, under any circumstances. Nevertheless, Father Jim caught him off guard by calling out to him in the player parking lot. "Hey Pete ... this little guy is named Peter too!"

Mr Rose swung around, and then looked down at me with my new blank ball in hand. He slowly leaned down to my level. "Is that right?", he said. He flashed a wry smile and signed my ball in a unique way.

To this day, it is one of my prized possessions, and it sits in my office.

Now ... I am the antithesis of a Red Sox fan. I hate the city of Boston, and I would giggle if I heard that Ben Affleck was hit by a cross town city bus. I can however admire great baseball players. I think you would have to be a major idiot to watch the HR swing of Manny Ramirez and then deny him a place in baseball greatness.

From now on in, I am rooting for the young Colorado Rockies team, but I hope it's the Sox they face in the World Series.

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Blogger KleoPatra said...

Wow. What a cool post.

i cried when Thurman Munson died.

Pete Rose belongs in the HoF.

i want to write more but give me a few days.

Been meaning to visit here for a while but had a lot on my proverbial (home) plate.

Stellar post.

2:26 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

I'm Red Sox born and bloody,
but this year I discovered a respect for the Yankees that I can only attribute to aging, and realizing how difficult it is to be a great prof. athlete, to deliver and sustain despite the aches and drama that come with age and sport politics.

Great post.

Go Sox.

1:12 AM  

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