Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yankee Legends

Derek Jeter's last

I have to tell you , being a Texan, I grew up on Texas Rangers baseball, but the Yankees always held a place in my heart... What's not to love? It is the home of legends... and when Jeter signed on... who knew he would be in the same books with those legends like DiMaggio, Mantle... Ruth... Gehrig.
There have been others.Reggie Jackson, Bernie Williams, Roger Maris, ARod ( I suppose he won't ever count, but he was really good) Many have played, some forgotten, like Tony Lazzari who was a second baseman for the Yankees, even though he still holds the record in the American League for the 11 runs he drove in in ONE game in 1936, or that he still holds the Major League record for recording and RBI in 15 consecutive games. The name is forgotten.
Do people still remember stats? I don't, I can't even remember my phone number half the time, there are so many numbers running through my head. War of 1812, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, in 14 hundred and 92. My social security number, My kids social security number. My mother's... sigh. I've never been good a numbers anyway, but trying to remember how many home runs Roger Maris had in his single season best that beat Babe Ruth's... 61, by the way. Or that Lefty Gomez, the Yankee's pitcher threw 28 shutouts. That Mickey Mantle had a .353 batting average. Or, that Yogi Berra wasn't a cartoon character, but a really great backstop for the Yankees who had 10 World Series titles under his belt.

The game just isn't the same now is it? Maybe it has gotten better? Maybe it has lost some of it's luster, though. Sure when Mark McGwire was beating records, one after another they went, he was like the golden boy with a career 583 home runs. When he and Sammy Sosa were locked in this battle of stats, back and forth, Sosa just trailed McGwire, but all in all, it seems that was tainted. Can the kids look back and say it was all skill? Jose Canseco rocked the whole country with his tell all book in 2005. Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big. Bring down the game, bring down the players, and bring down a dream.  
Baseball doesn't seem like America's game any more. 
At least, to me, it seems like just the jaded, scandal-ridden, professional sport that is just there to make the money. Legends fall and are forgotten, no one remembers what it was like to have the local team be the representative of your dreams and aspirations. Guys like Mantle were looked up to, emulated and loved. 
I don't want my son to be an athlete. 
But there was that hope in Jeter... He seemed to be one of those guys that put his love for the game first. He was always respectable. He was always professional. He was lovable and worthy of respect. Kids should emulate him.
Jeter ended his career with  3,465 hits, in Boston of all places and a 9-5 win over the Red Sox. Derek Jeter said goodbye and headed into the locker room for the last time as a player. Earlier, the Red Sox had presented him with a piece of the famed Fenway, a piece of the "Green Monster" that had white lettering spelling out "Re2pect".  I think that says it all.

picture from gazette net . com

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