Port Chester, NY, December 25, 2014 — With apologies to Charles Dickens, end-of-the-year musings can be melancholy ones for long-time fans of the New York Yankees. Though they are enthusiasts for the most successful team in spectator sports history — the happiest of outcomes — most now remember that fiery player and manager Billy Martin passed away on Christmas Day in 1989. This was 15 years before one-time pinstriper Johnny Oates (2004) died on Christmas Eve. And one year ago, slick-fielding first baseman Mike Hegan, who debuted in the Bronx, joined Martin by succumbing on Christmas Day, 2013. Continue reading
Hermosillo, Mexico, February 7-8, 2013 — In September 1988, the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees “treated” me to the longest live ballgame I ever witnessed in person, a 5-4 Yankee walkoff that took a little more than six hours. Twenty-five years later, I got to see a similar contest, 18 innings again, and a full hour longer. Only this one was broadcast to me, attentively watching in my recliner, over my TV, and in Spanish.
It took a real marathon to settle the 2013 Caribbean Series. The heavily favored Dominican Republic team, fielding the most current or one-time major leaguers – Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Tejada, Fernando Tatis, Jordany Valdespin, Julio Lugo, Fernando Rodney, Tony Pena, Jr., Jhonny Nunez – would have already won the Championship in former years with its 5-1 record in the round robin games. But in 2013, a Championship game pitting the top two finishers was added. Continue reading
November 12, 2012, Port Chester, N.Y. – It was an inscrutable moment, this past Saturday, traveling by train, then subway, to New York’s Central Park for an event. The first 50-degree-plus day in a week that represented the second straight seven-day period the city and its environs remained recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the first time many New Yorkers were emerging for any purpose that was more than survival-based. Why was everyone smiling at me? Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., January 24, 2012 – Jorge Posada made it official Tuesday morning, announcing his retirement as he sat with his family in front of a crowd of worshippers at Yankee Stadium. Team officials, players, ex-players, broadcasters, members of the press and, most important of all, a group of his most passionate fans listened to Posada explain what his 21 years toiling in the franchise, 17 of them in the big leagues, has meant to him, and how bringing it all to a graceful conclusion makes him feel. Continue reading
Although I just served as a grunt (and lowly scribe), I’m delighted to announce the fifth annual Maple Street Yankee Annual, this one subheaded 2011. Compiled by the brilliant writer, editor (and Yankee fan) Cecilia Tan, the annual is a grab bag of everything a Yankee enthusiast would want at this soon-to-be magical time of year. Continue reading
So sorry that we are booked, but so excited that we were able to make the live rehearsal show at City Winery (fabulous Manhattan venue, by the way) for the Carnegie Hall benefit that’s happening Thursday night. From having attended the concerts showcasing the music of Bob Dylan (at Lincoln Center) and Bruce Springsteen (at Carnegie Hall with an appearance by Bruce himself), there was no doubt that it would be a great evening of music and this show did not disappoint (showcasing Neil Young, how could it).
Bronx, N.Y., February 3, 2011 — We all have our favorite Andy Pettitte moments. How to pick one or two? For me, it’s actually rather easy. When it comes to Andy P, think Peter O’Toole, because 1996 is My Favorite Year. Any Yankee fan who has been watching this team since that stunning season could easily point to magical Game 5 of the World Series, October 24, when the young Yankee southpaw stunned baseball by outpitching a superb John Smoltz in a 1-0 Yankee win in Atlanta.
In what has become an off-season tradition for us, Dan and I braved the snow flurries to head in to New Rochelle for dinner at Mo’s New York Grill with fellow Yankee fans Sharon and Bob. We’ve been scheduling up a dinner at Mo’s with them between the end of the season and an annual trek down to Tampa for spring training for a couple years now.
With all apologies to a movie with special effects that bring a smile and the genuine heart and humor of baseball (It Happens Every Spring, of course), I’m delighted to announce the fourth annual Maple Street Yankee Annual, this one subheaded 2010 Continue reading