Impressing New York Yankees fandom onto your sons is equal parts a joyous art form and an arduous task.
For my boys Eric and Adam, some four years ago, I first had to sell them on baseball before I could instill them with an ardor for the Bronx Bombers in much the same way my parents did for me throughout the eighties and nineties. For my parents, the task was much easier:
- The Yankees of my formative years had star power. Pick “your guy” to vehemently follow, a simple task, considering just how many there were: former MVP Don Mattingly, a maestro with the glove; Dave Winfield, who battled Donnie Baseball until the season’s last day in 1985 for the AL batting title; Rickey Henderson, whose stolen base records will never be eclipsed, given the nominal attention paid to “small ball” in baseball today; Bernie Williams, a stud outfielder from Puerto Rico who carried on the tradition of stout pinstriped centerfielders in the mold of Mantle and DiMaggio; the Core Four of homegrown prospects in Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera, two of whom are mortal locks for enshrinement in Cooperstown; Paul O’Neill, the very epitome of grit and fervor; Tino Martinez, who so capably replaced Mattingly at first with both the bat and glove.