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HEAD TO HEAD: Confessions of a Yankees fan

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Sports

October 30, 2009

Everyone has something they love, something they’re passionate about. For me that thing is the New York Yankees. My obsession (as I will honesty call it) began over a decade ago when my PopPop had me watch a game with him on TV. Chuck Knoblauch came through in the clutch and had a grand slam. When I saw him cross the plate and high-five Derek Jeter, I saw how short he was. I’m only 5 feet now, so needless to say I was tiny back then. To see this guy standing on his own with the big guys was great.

“Short people do cool stuff, too,” my PopPop said. From that moment I was hooked.

I went to my first game on Aug. 15, 1999 and stayed until the very last out (ironically, it was Chuck Knoblauch grounding into a double play) to see my boys lose to the Minnesota Twins. I walked out of the stadium with a smile on my face and a Jeter shirt on my back. When my PopPop passed away a week later, I think my dedication to this team was set in stone. He was so happy I’d gone for his Yankees, especially given my father is a Red Sox fan, I just couldn’t let him down. My love for the team has just grown from there. Obviously with having my team in the World Series, my fanaticism is coming to the forefront and with the new stadium, I find myself reminiscing over the years gone by.

My family has been season ticketholders for almost five years now and, including World Series game two on Thursday, I’ve been to four post-season games. I’ve sat in almost every section in the old stadium, from right behind the dugout to the last row of the tier, from the bleachers to the loge level. I knew that place like the back of my hand and could tell you how to get to any section, the best gate to go through, and most importantly, where to find Dippin’ Dots.

Needless to say, moving to the new stadium this year was a rough road. I was at the last Opening Day of the old stadium and am not the least bit ashamed to admit I cried. My last game in the House that Ruth Built was the All-Star game with my best friend and, in my usual stubbornness, we stayed through the whole game. I still couldn’t understand I’d be leaving that place, my second home, when we walked through the gates at 2 a.m.

It’s been hard to adjust to the new stadium. Walking past the real Yankee Stadium and seeing them slowly tear it down has been heartbreaking this year. Still, I’m slowly becoming used to the comfier seats, the better quality and variety of food, and the absurd prices they’re charging for everything. The series against the Phillies is going to be tough and anyone who didn’t think so going in is in for a rude awakening. The defending champions want to keep their crown but the Yankees are looking better than they have in a long, long time. The loss against Cliff Lee was expected because he is such an impressive pitcher, but it’s safe to say Yankee fans were probably expecting a closer game than it was.

All Yankee fans can hope for now is that the ghosts crossed the street to the new stadium, bringing with them some of the magic of the old house. Whether they’re sitting at home watching it on TV or broke down and spent an absurd amount of money on StubHub for seats (guilty as charged), every one of us is full of anticipation. With a little bit of luck, skill, and a few answered prayers, we won’t be disappointed.

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