...Mother Knows Best
My father grew up in the Bronx, New York so I was indoctrinated into New York Yankees fandom pretty early along with my younger brother James. My mother, on the other hand, wasn’t that into sports. Her father was more into basketball, football, and boxing and didn’t really care for baseball so she’d often tell people how crazy my father, brother and I were. I recall one time her saying to me that couldn’t understand how we could love baseball and the Yankees as much as we did. Little did I know how much she was actually paying attention.
Back in June 2009, a childhood friend of mine got married. Her name is Amy and she grew up a Yankee fan like me. Her husband Matt, a Rhode Island native, grew up a Red Sox fan. The minister mentioned this dichotomy in his speech more than once and did so in amusing ways. He spoke of all the disagreements that they’d have including raising their future children. I leaned over to my mom at one point and whispered that I would never be able to marry a Red Sox fan and I gave Amy a lot of credit for doing so.
After the ceremony ended, we were all standing in line, waiting to congratulate the happy couple, and after what seemed like an hour-long wait, we finally reached the groom’s parents. My mom shook the groom’s dad’s hand and said, “So you’re Red Sox fans, huh? We’re all Yankee fans.” The groom’s dad smiled and replied, “Oh yeah? Well, we’re in first place!” At the time, the Red Sox were four games up on the Yankees in the standings. And my mom, without hesitation retorted with, “Well, you guys can dance in June, but we’ll celebrate in October.” Now, you know how people like to claim that their jaws drop when they express shock and you know it’s an exaggeration? Well, mine actually did drop at that moment and I’m surprised it didn’t stay locked in that position. I couldn’t believe it. My mom, the woman who claimed she didn’t care about sports, the woman who claimed that she never paid attention to baseball and the woman who thought that me, my father and my brother were being ridiculous when we’d scream at the TV reacting to every play, was trash talking the groom’s father; a person we didn’t know for more than five seconds. The groom’s dad, who was a very good sport about the whole thing, chuckled and said, “We’ll see.”
Part of me wanted to apologize to the poor man. Some strange woman he had never laid eyes upon was razzing him at his son’s wedding but another part of me also felt proud. My mother actually did care about baseball. And my mother turned out to be right. She may have been a little bit off because the Yankees didn’t capture their title until early November of that year, but her proclamation was correct. They did win the World Series and we all celebrated with a bottle champagne in our den the night they won their 27th ring.
One of the reasons I decided to do this project was because looking back on this experience, the best part was the people I've encountered.
As much as it might be difficult to comprehend, I'm friends with Yankee fans.
I've never met her in person, but I find Stacey Gotsulias charming. She's smart, she's talented, she's got great insight.
For that, I will always talk about this with you, Stacey.