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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How I Became A Yankees Fan

Now this is a story all about how, my life got flipped-turned upside down, and I'd liked to take a minute just sit right there, and I'll tell you about the day I became a Yankees fan.

 Lets start off by saying that I am a die-hard Royals fan no matter what. I love spending summers at the K and supporting my Boys in Blue through highs and lows. But this is how I became a Yankees fan. I used to hate the Yankees. A-Rod, Scott Brosius, you name it. I didn't like the Yankees. But then I took a trip to New York City in 2008 and went to game at Old Yankee Stadium. It was one of the greatest days that I can remember.

I went to New York City as my senior trip after I graduated high school. The specific weekend was June 5-8, 2008. During this time, New York City was experience record, or near-record, high temperatures. Let's just say that it was a scorcher. The Yankees just happened to be playing my hometown team, the Kansas City Royals, that weekend, so I was fortunate enough to be there for that. The game was that Saturday afternoon.  Our tickets were in the very last row of the upper deck, so pretty good seats. I was rockin my navy blue, "KC" shirt and cheering for my Royals the entire game. Being in the last row, nobody gave me any trouble for cheering for my team. It was an exciting experience just being in "The House That Ruth Built." Then, the game started.

Here is the link for the official box score of the game. A couple notes before I get started. Mike Aviles was playing in one of his first few major league games, so to start in Yankees Stadium would be awesome. The Royals had won the previous night. Brian Bannister was facing Andy Pettitte.

The game went back and forth throughout. The Royals jumped ahead 5-1 with help from a Mike Aviles triple, and a Jose Guillen two-run home run. The Yanks tied it at 5 in a big bottom of the fourth inning. They took the lead in the 5th with a big home run by Jason Giambi but the Royals answered in the 7th with five more runs, highlighted by a Grand Slam down the left field line by Jose Guillen. The Royals were up 10-6 heading into the bottom of the 7th. Two runs in both the 7th and 8th innings tied the game up at 10 heading into the top of the 9th inning. The Bronx Bombers brought in the greatest closer on earth, and the only active player allowed to wear number 42, Mariano Rivera.

Normally, as a Yankees fan, one would feel pretty comfortable with Enter Sandman blasting over the loudspeakers and the Hall of Fame closer coming in to hold the tie. Well, today was a little different. David DeJesus, a fan favorite, walks up to the plate and takes the first pitch from Rivera over the right center field wall to give the Royals the lead. What a huge, huge moment as a Royals fan. We went into the bottom of the ninth holding onto a one run lead. We brought our closer, who isn't too shabby himself, Joakim Soria in to get the save and secure the win for the Royals. Well, that wasn't the case today. Jorge Posada, one of my all time favorite players, took him deep to tie the game. A couple more Yankees got on base and Johnny Damon came up to the plate. Prior to this at bat, Damon was 5 for 5 with 3 RBIs. He was having one hell of a game. He comes up to bat and bloops a single over the first baseman's head to win the game for the Yankees. A walk off victory for the legendary Yankees. They celebrated at home plate and the stadium was going absolutely nuts.

It was unbelievable. I had never experience anything like it in my life. The greatest city on Earth in full celebration after the most successful major league baseball team ever wins in walkoff fashion. It was awe-inspiring. As we were walking out, the fans were going wild and chanting and singing.

That is why I am a Yankees fan. It was a life-changing experience. To be able to experience something like that in the final year of Old Yankee stadium, I will be forever a Yankees fan. They will never overtake my love for the Royals, but I will continue to support them no matter what.

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