I’m a pretty big Yankee fan. I’m not a crazy paint your chest so when you take off your shirt you and your friends spell out the team name and then on the ride home all wonder why girls won’t date you.
That’s not me.
My fandom is a little more snotty. I feel that everyone enjoying the game should have the same intense knowledge of each player as I do. I think that is fine, though the issues arise when I tell people they are dumb for not knowing certain things. There is also an upside to telling people this and it’s that I usually get at least one free drink a game by way of ringing out my shirt into a souvenir cup I constantly have on my person.
With being a snotty fan you have to hold yourself to a certain sense of decorum. This means you usually don’t yell at players on the field, join in on any of those annoying chants, go out of your way to interact with players by way of asking for an autograph or handshake, and finally – and this is a big one – no participating in “the wave.”
I am very steadfast in these rules, but one time I broke two of them at the same time.
It was Opening Day at Yankee Stadium and – if memory serves me correctly – I have no idea what year it was. My friends Sean, Chris, Chris and myself venture to the Bronx to get tickets and wait on line hoping to gain admission to the game while also standing back to back as to make sure we wouldn’t get shanked and robbed.
The only tickets available were the ones behind the left field wall.
“Hey, it’s better than nothing”, Sean said.
We get lead to our seats and luckily it turns out we won’t just be staring at a wall all day but rather peering through a dirty plexi-glass wall that was constructed just to get more money out of fans. Hey, they didn’t become the most valuable sports franchise in the U.S. by giving things away, unless it’s prospects!
So we are in our seats when all of the sudden there is rustling behind because the bullpen doors open and people then start cheering because there emerges Jorge Posada.
Jorge Posada, the all-star catcher for the New York Yankees who, at the time, had 3 World Series rings is in his full gear, in game mode, walking right toward where we are seated.
I think that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I hop up and run over to a banister, lean over and put out my hand all while saying “JORGE!” – it’s in caps to show how much I really yelled it.
That’s right folks, within the span of five seconds I had broken two of my golden rules and I paid for it dearly, as Jorge must follow them as well because he not only didn’t slap my hand but didn’t even acknowledge my existence.
This threw me into a fit of rage and no one was safe. Some dumb girl in her pink Yankees hat got yelled at, some old guy who accidentally said Joe Tomei was told to go watch “My Cousin Vinny” if he wanted to see a Tomei, and then the security guard yelled at me and I started to cry.
Me crying is not the point though.
Jorge had dissed me, had hurt my honor and from that day forward I decided I WOULD NOT BE A FAN OF HIS AND WOULD POISON ALL THOSE WHO HELD GOOD WILL TOWARD HIM!
My mission failed as he was, and continued to be, quite popular among the Yankee faithful.
About two years later I’m sitting at home and reading an article on ESPN.com and within the pages there is a comment that opened my eyes to the whole Posada incident. Apparently MLB batters – and I’m sure to some extent Japanese players – pee on their hands in order to toughen them up so they don’t have to wear batting gloves.
Oh, MAN! I made a huge MISTAKE! As it turns out Jorge knew that his hands were – well – dirty and didn’t want to be rude!
How could I do this!?
Luckily my smear campaign on my AOL Homepage didn’t take off – A fool I would be if it had!
However my experience with Jorge was NOT a once in a lifetime experience because a few years later I end up at a bowling fundraiser he has for his foundation every year. As Jorge was walking around thanking everyone he came up to me to thank me for my support and when he put his hand all I could say was, “would you mind using this Purell first?”