For my 30th birthday, my sister and my brother-in-law took me to see “Damn Yankees” at the Kennedy Center. The play may as well have been about Baltimore Orioles fans. After all, it’s a phrase said over and over again in Birdland.
My siblings and I grew up being taught that the Yankees were pure evil. We were reminded again and again that all they ever did was beat up on nicer, kinder, more deserving teams – like the Orioles and the Indians. My Dad grew up as a Cleveland Indians fan in the 1930s and 1940s. The Indians, believe it or not, were actually quite good back then. Ever hear of a guy named Bob Feller?
Dad just might have had a legitimate complaint. The Yankees beat the Indians for the American League pennant seven times: 1921, 1926, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956. The Indians beat the Yankees for the pennant only once – in 1954. Clearly, the Yankees were quite an annoyance to the Indians. (Then the Yankees had to go and beat the O’s for the pennant in 1960!)
All of that was, however, more than sixty years ago. Does it make sense to keep holding a decades old grudge? Could the Yankees, in fact, possess some redeeming qualities?
Stay tuned …