It’s not often I write a cuddly post about the Yankees… so listen up.
Of course I didn’t like how Game 2 of the 2009 ALCS ended. The Angels are the best hope for Yankee haters who just don’t want to see a 27th title this year… and they suddenly emulated the 1962 Mets’ defense.
But if there was something to feel cuddly about, it was the fact that the game winning rally was sparked not by any of the big expensive stars. It wasn’t A-Rod, Teixeira, Jeter, Matsui, Posada or Damon.
It was Jerry Hairston, Jr. A role player who probably was almost left off the roster (I for one thought Eric Hinske was going to be among the active 25.)
He’s played 11+ seasons in the bigs… most of them nondescript for unmemorable teams.
He’s only remembered for being part of a great baseball family.
He is the son of former big leaguer Jerry Hairston, former White Sox pinch hitting wiz, the grandson of former Negro League star Sammy Hairston, the nephew of former Cub Johnny Hairston and his brother Scott Hairston plays for the A’s.
The only other reason he would be remembered for being traded to the Cubs for Sammy Sosa. People would bring that up to show how far Sosa’s stock had fallen… he was a Chicago icon who was dumped for Jerry Hairston Jr.
Well now he got the lead off hit and scored the winning run in one of the most memorable ALCS games of the decade.
And he did it as a Yankee.
And one thing the Yankees do well is honor their past heroes. No Old Timers Day is more thorough. They bring back ALL of their living post season heroes, from Whitey Ford to Ramiro Mendoza. And if their post season heroics are obscure, the MC will remind the crowd.
I remember seeing an Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium where they brought out Luis Arroyo and Brian Doyle and recapped their clutch play in the 1961 and 1978 World Series… and the crowd that may have forgot them gave them a huge ovation.
Guess what, Jerry. Stay fit. Live long. And don’t get too fat and look awkward in your Yankee uniform.
You will be given applause for Old Timer’s Day for the rest of your life.
And you can brag about that at the family barbecue for years to come.
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