June 24, 2008

Feeling 60?

Well, the much anticipated and overly hyped arrival of the Yankee$ is here.  Maybe I am just nuts (okay I am but play along), but I am actually looking forward to the Rays series more than the Yankee$.  For some odd reason I expect the Pirates to take 2 from the Yankee$ with the Yankee$ winning one tremendous blowout.  The Rays on the other hand are an exciting young team, a team the Pirates strive to be.

Don't take me wrong, I think it is great the Pirates FINALLY get to host the Yank$, 3 sure sell outs are better than none.  I'd just like someone to give me a good reason to get overly enthused over this series.  Will it be a playoff atmosphere?  Will the crowd be mostly from Brooklyn?  What is the major draw to the game?

One thing this series does do for me is remind me of a friend of mine back in Raleigh.  Carlos was a manager at IBM who was born and bred in New York.  He was a die hard Yankees fan, so I always had to mention Maz every time we were talking baseball whenever he implied how great the Yankees were.  Usually I would drop a line about George having the best team money could buy for good measure.

But Maz was his most hated player in the history of baseball.

He would always tell the story of him being 10 and listening to the game on the radio.  He remembered hearing the call of Maz's homer in the bottom of the 9th.  He vividly would paint a picture, with pain still visible on his face and present in his voice of how he had to look out the window so his mother would not see him cry.

Carlos would remember seeing kids across the street looking out at the same time.  All with a tear in their eye over the devastation they just experienced.

It seems a common theme among Yankees fans of the generation, a fond hatred of the Pirates team that stole a championship from them.  A championship that was rightly theirs, in their own minds. 

For those of us too young to remember 1960, remember how you felt when Sid Bream slid home under Spanky's tag in 92.  Multiply that by about 10 and you might feel the pain Carlos still feels to this day when Maz is mentioned.

God Bless You Maz.

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