Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Charlie Hayes Might Have a Play...He's Got It!

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

That's how Vin Scully called it on CBS Radio 15 years ago tonight. The magic moment happened at 10:55 PM Eastern. I chose to watch it with friends in Yonkers, right at The Bronx line.

To a Yankees fan, 18 years is an eternity. I had watched the Rangers win the Cup in '94 and though I enjoyed it, I still hungered for a Yankees title.

No World Series has brought me anything like it. I literally couldn't wait for each game. I smuggled a radio into my photography class at Western Connecticut for Game 4, and raced home, hoping that the Yankees could somehow erase a 6-0 deficit (they did, of course).

Then came that Saturday night. The moment...seriously...that I had been waiting a long...long time for.

After hugging the fellow fans that I was with, I needed to step outside and have a moment to myself, exhorting "YES!" in the streets of Yonkers. I needed a moment to share with those I missed. I wondered what it would be like to talk with my dad about it, but sadly those moments aren't meant to be.

I floated home - quite sober, mind you - riding in Kevin Jaffe's Mazda Miata, with the top down, listening to all of the post-game talk on the radio. Though chilly, it was a amazing night, and all was right in my world.

The next day, I was on WREF radio in Ridgefield, CT. You better believe that, between the classic hits of Sinatra and others, there was plenty of baseball talk.

Fifteen years. Time marches on.

It's funny. That wasn't my first Yankees championship. I remember watching both 1977 and 1978, and am pretty sure I still have a scorecard I kept from the latter one. I treasure 1998, 1999 (I was at the clincher), 2000 (beating the Mets? Yes!), and 2009. I love them all equally, but there was something completely different about 1996.

Something amazing.

Something I will never forget.

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