Why do I love the New York Yankees so much?
Let me count the ways.
I grew up in the New York metro market in the era of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
I could stop right there, but I won’t. Don’t have to. In fact, I like today’s New York Yankees as much or more than I loved those old timers.
I also suffered through some lean years with my team – 1965-1975 to be exact. No championships from the team that leads all sports in them. But that was OK, because it tested the mettle of the true fan.
There was only one career aspiration I had during that decade – to play shortstop for the Yankees. What did I know? I was just a kid, but the Yankees shortstops in those down years were not exactly Derek Jeter caliber. It seemed like an eminently achievable goal.
The Yankees had a rebirth beginning in 1976 with their first American League championship after a long drought. The next year they won the World Series and were back on top. Life was good again, with Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Thurman Munson and the gang. Then came Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson.
But life got even better starting in 1995 when Jeter made his debut. The team began to take on a persona of professionalism and dignity worthy of the Yankee legacy.
While other teams had players who sported long hair and beards and looked altogether scruffy, the Yankees had a style of their own – and standards. Jeter was the captain and set that standard. It has not deviated since.
The Yankees have character. They don’t conform with the latest fads in the culture.
It’s with that in mind that I noticed something recently. The Yankees are the only Major League Baseball team that has never planned to host an LGBTQ pride night. I say, “Good for them.”
I don’t understand – and will never understand – why any team, corporation, city or organization would want to celebrate any form of sexuality, normative or aberrant. What is the point? Whom does it edify? What does it accomplish? Would you want to bring your kid to LGBTQ pride night at a baseball game? Would that be uplifting? Let’s be honest. I’m shooting straight here and defying conventional thinking – at no small risk, I might add. But someone has to say it.
How many people actually believe there are no fixed biological genders? My guess is no one actually believes this. It’s irrational. It makes no sense. It’s a game of pretend for political power. It’s a denial of truth and God, for heaven’s sake.
Recently, the Los Angeles Angels announced plans for a 2019 LGBTQ pride night – their first. That leaves the Yankees as the last holdout. Once again, I say, “Good for them. God bless them.”
Believe me, they will face lots of pressure to join the club.
I hope the Steinbrenner family stands firm. What does baseball have to do with this nonsense anyway? The Yankees pack their stadium day after day and night after night with families who come to see some of the most exciting stars in the game – not a freak show.
And why should sexual preference and proclivities have anything to do with pride? It makes no sense. This is all politics, and the NFL and ESPN have clearly demonstrated that politics and sports don’t mix well.
Instead, Yankees fans enjoy a team that excels at the game with star players, like phenom Aaron Judge, who are of such good character people can’t help but notice and appreciate their decency. It’s amazing how fast players who, for instance, dabble in drugs are cast off no matter how well they play.
As our culture becomes more insane, more off-the-wall, I can always escape it all by watching a Yankee game.
I will continue to do so as long as they maintain that proud tradition.