Yankees Fan Cheering For A Red Sox Player

Paul Morrone |

Growing up in CT and especially in the New Haven area, choosing which city to root for, New York or Boston has always been and will presumably always be a competition into itself among sports fans. It does not matter what sport it is but what matters most is what city it is, New York or Boston. I like baseball but do not follow the game anywhere nearly as close as some fanatics do. Back in the day there were names like Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio for the men in pinstripes in New York.  The Red Sox have produced their share of legendary greats such as Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Cy Young.  Some stand out players actually played for both teams such as Babe Ruth, Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens. But of course some of the great names are remembered for their tenure for only one team even though they may have played for several teams throughout their career. One of those players for the Red Sox is former pitcher Pedro Martinez.

Pedro struck out many a Yankee to my dismay on the Red Sox path to winning the World Series in 2004. The Red Sox actually played the St. Louis Cardinals for the title that year but had to get through the Yankees to win the American League Championship Series to advance to the World Series. The Red Sox were down three games to none against the Yankees and then won four straight to advance to the World Series. They were the first team in Major League Baseball to accomplish such a feat. Those victories were in part due to the pitching of Pedro Martinez. My son Paul and I actually attended one of the games in New York during that championship series.

On July 28, 2015, the Boston Red Sox retired number 45 which was the jersey number worn by Pedro while a Red Sox pitcher. I was fortunate to be at Fenway Park that night for the gala ceremony that was held on the infield before a regular season Red Sox game. Prior Red Sox greats were on hand for the festivities and members of the Red Sox organization presented Pedro and his family with wonderful memorabilia of his fabulous baseball career. The actual retirement of his jersey number was done by David Ortiz who is an actively playing Red Sox icon who played on the 2004 World Series team with Pedro. It was a very emotional evening…even if you were a Yankee fan or just not a Red Sox fan. That night was not about wins and losses or team rivalries between New York and Boston. The night was definitely about paying tribute to a player who earned the respect of any batter he faced. The highlights of his career were shown on the large screen at the stadium that night as part of the ceremony. There is no doubt that he earned his position in the Baseball Hall of Fame. All fans at the stadium that night cheered for Pedro, including me.

All that being said, go Yankees!

Until the Next Tom’s Take…