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Thank you, Yankees. Or a Sentence I Never Thought I’d Write

April 19, 2013

As a fan of the New York Giants, I often get mistaken for a Yankee fan.  I’ll be wearing a Giants hat or one of my jerseys, and someone with a Yankees hat on will walk by me and nod.   When this happens all I want to do is scream, “I am not a Yankee fan!”  I am actually offended that this person could think that I—a Rhode Islander and devout Red Sox fan—would ever stoop so low as to root for the New York Yankees.

This week, I feel differently.

In the wake of the horrific and devastating terrorist attacks in Boston, the outpouring of support from other baseball teams and cities across the country has been truly touching.

A day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Cleveland Indians fans, who certainly have plenty of reasons not to like the Red Sox, waved signs that said, “Pray for Boston,” as they sat through a long game on a cold, damp night at Progressive Field. “Sweet Caroline” was played in stadiums from Los Angeles to Miami to Chicago.

And then there was this picture and message tweeted by our rivals on Tuesday:

Yankee Tweet

It brought tears to my eyes.  It was an act that seems small but means so much.

Terrorists want to divide us but their cowardly acts only serve to bring us closer together, and this is proof. The New York Yankees put a big red “B” on the side of The House that Steinbrenner Built. The team that would mercilessly chant “1918” at us when we were down is now in our corner.  This is what makes sports and our country great.  We may play or root for different teams, but we are all in this together. When the chips are down, we have each other’s backs.

At the end of the day, we may say that we hate each other, but deep down inside we know that the game of baseball that we love so much would not be as great without the other.

Thank you, Yankees.  Thank you, for your support. Thank you, to every team and fan that has kept the great people of Boston in their thoughts and prayers. Rest assured that the city of Boston will only emerge from this tragedy stronger than it was before.

Now, don’t worry Red Sox Nation, we can go back to “hating” the Yankees eventually, but I wonder what the atmosphere will be like when New York plays its first game at Fenway in mid-July.  I’m sure players and fans will want to show their gratitude, perhaps with a few friendly smiles or tips of the cap.  Maybe even with some applause—at the very least, less booing.

One thing is for sure, the next time a Yankee fan nods at me, I will gladly and proudly return the gesture.

As the manhunt continues for the second suspect, my heart is with the people of Massachusetts.

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