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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Those Damn Yankees

Here is my memory and tribute to George Steinbrenner.

My earliest memories of George and the Yankees include plaid fashion statements, Billy Martin (all versions), and my first trip to a major league baseball game with my dad.

I don’t remember the exact date, or even who the other team was. All I remember was that I was going to Yankee Stadium to see the Yankees play. This alone was an amazing event considering my dad was born and raised in Brooklyn and was a diehard (former) Brooklyn Dodgers Fan who referred to the Bronx Bombers, like his dad, as the Damn Yankees.

He still hates the day the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to LA.

I can clearly remember my dad and I driving to the Bronx and having enterprising young businessmen boldly walking up to our car at each intersection offering to wash our windows or park our car for us. For a small fee of course.

We managed to get to the stadium in one piece, in our car, with dirty windows, and all money intact.

The game time experience was amazing. Oh the vocabulary I learned that day! I do remember seeing George, well, actually the owners booth. I’m sure he was there. Billy, well, being Billy and that the Yankees won.

And I remember the great team George assembled back then with the likes of Reggie, Thurman, Bucky and Lou.

Everything associated with the Yankees and George Steinbrenner was about greatness. About winning. About being larger than life. And I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in the midst of greatness.

Of course I have a bit of my dad in me and there is a small part of me that still occasionally thinks of them as “the damn Yankees”. Myself, being born and raised in Maryland, can relate to my dads memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers by remembering the former Washington Senators play on TV. I never saw them play in person and of course, like the Dodgers, moved out of town to someplace in Texas.

And now that I am back in the DC area, I prefer the Orioles and Nationals. Hey, I tend to be geographically loyal, OK.

But, back to those Damn Yankees. . .

The Yankees are an organization instantly recognizable and instantly polarizing. We all love to hate them and hate to love them.

AND; we all cannot deny the force and influence George has had on both baseball and the world of sports entertainment.

Ummm (cover your ears dad)

Thank you George.

You will always be remembered.

A Toast to you and all that you have done!

May you rest in peace.

And say hello to Thurman and Billy.


Gimpdiggity July 15, 2010 at 5:37 AM  

The Emperor is dead. Long live the Emperor.

George took a team and turned it into something that is known throughout the country as "The Evil Empire."

That's saying something. When you can take a team, and make it SO successful, that the country starts believing that your team is evil, then you know you've accomplished a lot.

I hope George's legacy lives on in the Yankees. He was a great man.

Sam July 15, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

Great tribute, Doug... and thanks for sharing your story. Great stuff! By the way, you can still watch the Washinton Senators; they go by the name Minnesota Twins these days!

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