Sunday, October 25, 2009

For My Brother The Yankee Fan

His dog is named Jeter. His team is the Yankees.

Robert, my youngest brother, turned four the year we moved to New Jersey from Cleveland. I never stopped being a fan of the Indians and Browns, despite their stumblebum ways; Robert never knew such joy as a Yankees-Indians doubleheader in Cleveland back in the fifties when the Indians were a perpetual contender. It would be nice to see the Indians become contenders again, but for now it is the Yankees on the cusp of yet another World Series appearance. Weather permitting, tonight they will nail the Angels' hides to the wall of their new stadium.

As Tony and Maria sang in West Side Story
"Tonight, tonight, the world is full of light
with suns and moons all over the place.
Tonight, tonight, the world is wild and bright
going mad shooting sparks into space..."

That's what Yankee fans want to see tonight. Fireworks. Followed by dancing in the streets.

At the heart of the Yankees success these past dozen years is a guy not only talented but charismatic. True, there's not a weak slot in the entire Yankee lineup, so to be the brightest light in a city filled with bright lights is something.

What's impressive to me is how cool this guy is under pressure. Check out his fielding stats for 2009. In 1280 innings Derek Jeter only made eight errors. That is amazing. Of course his On Base Percentage at the plate is an equally compelling stat. Because he's at the front of the order, you can count on Jeter to get on base at least twice every game. Add to this his 30 stolen bases and you have a perpetual threat who keeps opposing teams perpetually on their heels.

Add to this his leadership, charm, and modest, exemplary behavior... Well, you can see why Yankee fans love their star shortstop.

Now that "The House That Ruth Built" is gone, it would be a fitting way to initiate their new home, with an American League pennant. It would be especially fitting if it were to happen tonight because one of their most avid fans is celebrating his birthday and anniversary today.

Happy birthday, bro'...

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