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The earliest documentation of my obsession with the Bronx Bombers. Sporting my little Yankees jacket in 1987, less than 2 years old.

The New York Yankees have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was born to be a Yankees fan. My birthday is October 11th. October: the most important month to Yankees fans, the month that has defined the Yankee legacy. The Yanks are 9-4 all-time on my birthday (I did the research).

Being a Yankee fan is in my blood, as much of part of me as my Irish/Italian heritage or large intestine. Heart disease runs in some families; being a Yankee fan runs in mine. My grandfather grew up in the Bronx and although Mel Ott and the New York Giants were his favorite team, he went to a plethora of games at both Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. He remembers the days when boys under 12-years-old received free admission if accompanied by their father and how he and his friends would grab the hands of men they didn’t know to get through the gates. My grandfather was a New York City detective for many years so my dad grew up in the Bronx as well, six blocks from the Stadium. The fact that my dad saw Mickey Mantle play means a lot to me, like part of me saw that powerful swing and those churning legs running down fly balls in center field. My grandmother on my mom’s side remembers watching Joe DiMaggio play at the Stadium. Her intensity as a fan is such that when my grandpa flips the channel at the end of an inning to check the Mets game, she goes in the other room to watch so she doesn’t miss a single pitch. It’s comforting to know that my propensity to yell at the TV during games, out of either joy or anger, is more a result of my genetic makeup than a defect in my personality.

I grew up on Long Island and I can still recall how even at a young age, before I could even fully understand the game of baseball, the name “Don Mattingly” was revered in my mind. The modern Yankee dynasty began at the perfect time for me. When they made their improbable run to the 1996 World Series I was in 4th grade, the age when I first became a conscious sports fan. I remember running out to the driveway on September mornings and hurriedly flipping to the back of Newsday to check the box scores and the American League East standings. Then there was 1998, 1999, 2000… The New York Yankees World Championship video became an automatic Christmas present, something my brother and I could pencil in on our lists to Santa around Labor Day.

We all have happy and sad memories from when we were kids, mine happen to be narrated by Joe Buck and John Sterling. When I think of some of my most euphoric moments of my life Yankees highlights come to mind: watching Aaron Boone’s home run ending the 2003 ALCS or any one of the last 5 Championship celebrations. It works both ways though: there is the final at bat of the 2001 World Series. I cried some angry tears that night and whenever that highlight comes on I still have to change the channel. I kid you not.  I also went to college 25 miles north of Boston and when the Red Sox came back and won the 2004 ALCS I seriously considered transferring schools. What can I say, the Yanks are a part of me.

I hope this blog will be a fun place for both serious and casual Yankee fans to enjoy reading about and discussing the players and moments that make up each of our memories of the greatest dynasty in the history of sports.

Me, Mike and Dave at a game in 2005.

Me, my dad and Paul O'Neill in August 2009.

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