Bronx run to 161st and River Ave. Yankee Stadium. Baseball is over, and the memories that I have here will live forever. I have been fortunate to be at many games in this " Cathedral " of baseball going back to my early childhood. My father was a police officer and used to take us to games along with kids from gangs in Brooklyn that they were trying to steer away from the gangster lifestyle through the youth intervention and police athletic league.
I was lucky to enough to be hanging with these young gang baseball enthusiasts who had a chant for everything that carried on through my life. They had chants to a player at bat or in the field, all the way to ordering peanuts, and both were done with as much fervor. These were people without fathers or mothers or in some cases both. BUT, they still had a determination of winning, and they did it with a flavor that still is recognized to this day. Back then they were" The Bleacher Creatures" as section 39 is known today , and I have the tickets to prove it. Con Edison sponsored these tickets by the way...
I learned at a young age to appreciate being a "fan" of anything, is good for the heart...and sometimes bad, when they lose of course.....but such is life. I was at the Ron Guidry 18 strikeout game, The 96 World Series win game with my father and mother who passed on a year later ( we had a choice to sell game 6 or 7 because we had tickets to both and my mother said NO tonight they win it, great memory), the Aaron Boone pennant walk off home run win game and many more record breaking and exciting games..I may drive a cab, but I am still very fortunate with my life experiences and learned not to take any of them for granted. ....but none will resonate more than the game I went to, as I tell you the following story.
April, 1979. My brother and I were sitting in our respective classes of catholic school as the day began. I was in the 5th grade and my brother was in the 7th grade. I guess it was about 11:00 am when the shit hit the fan..The PRINCIPAL who was a nun with her evil stare came to my brother's class as well as mine to tell us that there was an emergency in my family and we had to go upstate. UPSTATE !!!! ??????? What the fuck is going on we thought , who died? who is hurt ? what the fuck happened?!?!?!?!? Well, we put on our dorky catholic uniform winter coats with our names inscribed in script on the left corner of our lapel ( Eddie on one Matthew on the other) as we left our school quite nervous with the impending doom which we were both anticipating of something bad happening, because we NEVER, got taken out of school for ANYTHING less than something terrible happening to the family.
However, on this particular day my father and mother directed us to do our homework in the backseat of our Chevy Celebrity or it might have been our "Chevette" which was a UFO on the ground. Anyway , we did our homework and as I recall, it was very difficult to do my penmanship homework tracing the words of beautiful penmanship to the textbook that the school had for me, to the tune of a New York City pothole. Then as we crossed a certain borderline of the boroughs that make up New York City, and my father and mother felt like it wasn't lying to the good nuns, since WE were going UP-STATE from Staten Island...BUT !!!!! Here's the caveat,we were headed upstate ,and in our minds an emergency, but in the immortal words of my father and mother in unison as they turned around in the front seat to look at us face to face as any parent would at this moment and announced , WE were headed toward the
Bronx (Upstate to any New Yorker, well at least north towards upstate, so no lie !!) going to the Yankee Home Opener in THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT !!!
YANKEE STADIUM for opening day !!!! WHAT ???? Miracles do happen !!!!!!!! Ron Guidry won the Cy Young the prior year..but he lost the opener when we went...but it was better than school. Watching the first game with my brother and I smirking while eating a hot dog, a pretzel, and a hot chocolate....while all our friends were still in class....priceless.
So thanks for the memories Mom and Dad and thank you New York Yankees for many great years. Thanks for being the King and Queen of New York that opening day and taking our asses out of our desk and into the seats at The House that Ruth built....Peace, I am The King of New York hacks.