First, I needed a distraction to keep my mind from wandering again to what this vacation was originally supposed to be.
Second, the Yankees called up big time prospects Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge to play today, and I wanted to see the future of my favorite team in action.
Third, the Yankees were honoring the 1996 World Series Champions, a team with which I will be forever linked.
So what’s up with the 1996 Yankees and me? I did play baseball back in the day, so was I member of that team? Have I been holding out on that secret until right now?
Sadly, my story isn’t that exciting. The 1996 team won the Yankees’ first World Series title since 1978, so that was a pretty big deal for me, a lifelong Yankees fan.
Remember, I was at Game 6 of the 1977 World Series when Reggie Jackson hit those three home runs and the Yanks won their first title since 1962.
I was not on hand for Game 1 of the 1996 World Series, however. That was because I was in a church in upstate New York getting married.
That’s right, Modern Philosophers, the Yankees gave me the greatest wedding present of all. They made it to the World Series for the first time in ages and arranged it so that the first game of the series was played on my wedding day.
Clearly, much like the 1996 New York Yankees, my marriage was destined for greatness. I was marrying a fellow Yankees fan after all, so everything had to work out perfectly.
I was on top of the world.
As I watched the pregame ceremony and saw all my heroes from twenty years ago introduced to an adoring crowd at Yankee Stadium, I thought back to that day.
It had rained. It was a small wedding. I managed to stand at the altar of a church without bursting into flame. I swore before God, a few of my family members, and a large contingent of my new wife’s family, that I would love her until death tore us apart.
Things didn’t start out well for the Yankees in the 1996 World Series. They had to contend with rain, too. Then they lost the first two game of the series.
While I was on my honeymoon, they too got down to business. My heroes rose from the ashes and charged back to win the next four games.
We actually returned to our apartment in Brooklyn just in time to watch Charlie Hayes make the catch that ended Game 6 and made the Yankees World Series Champs.
That was when we knew. The Yanks made it to the World Series for the first time in an eternity the same October that we were getting married. Game 1 happened to fall on our wedding day. They clinched the series on the day we got home from our honeymoon.
Their rings might have been nicer, but mine meant just as much to me.
And the cool thing was, just like the members of the 1996 Yankees, I got to wear that ring for the rest of my life.
So watching the Yankees game today was pretty cool. It was like time traveling back to a moment of what might have been.
I guess I managed to distract myself from my current relationship problem by thinking about an entirely different problem.
Let’s just hope this story has a much happier ending.
Congratulations to the 1996 New York Yankees. You accomplished what I couldn’t…you made it to your twentieth anniversary.
Even if you’re not a Yankees fan, you can still follow me on Pinterest!