|photo by Elsa/Getty Images|
I had a choice this year – either watch Liverpool or the New York Yankees. If you know me well, then you’d know that the Yankees are the first sports team I followed (contrary to popular belief it is not the basketball team of my alma mater simply because as a kid I was weaned on other things). Liverpool is the second but that doesn’t make them an less a favorite for me.
I have seen the Yankees play live for about 100 times with all save one at Yankee Stadium (the other was in Baltimore’s Camden Yards). However, this was Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter’s last season. He is one of my two favorite Yankees with the other being Paul O’Neill.
Liverpool I have seen in the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand but all were exhibition matches. After the past World Cup where England did not go past the group stage, I thought that the Three Lions’ and Liverpool’s own captain, Steven Gerrard, didn’t have a lot of years left. Who knows it this season is his last?
So I kept my options open on where to go – to the United States or England.
I even came up with an audacious plan to catch the Aston Villa match at Anfield on September 13, spend a few days in London then fly off to New York City and catch the Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles.
It came down to where I could get a match ticket for the final home stand against the Baltimore Orioles. It didn’t happen as the prices even on the black market were insane. Furthermore, Liverpool lost to Villa.
So things as always work out in their own time.
Watching this season for the Yankees has been difficult. They started out well but when injuries hit them that was it for them. They have missed the playoffs in back-to-back years. So I keenly followed them day after day and especially how Derek Jeter fared.
My grandfather was the man who turned me into a Yankee fan. He hero was Mickey Mantle and for years I had that spread from an old Life magazine that I inherited from him taped onto the wall of my room. Going to Yankees games was even more special as I always thought about my late grandfather who I dearly loved. “I’m doing this, Lolo,” I always thought to myself.
So from faraway England, I watched as Derek Jeter played his last few games in pinstripes. I know it’s time to go but that doesn’t make it any easier. The era of the Core Four is over. There are a few links left to the title year of 2009 – Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, David Robertson, CC Sabathia, and manager Joe Girardi. But as always my support for the New York Yankees will never wane.
Sitting in the living room of a friend’s house as I write this (10:03am Monday September 29), I’m thinking, “At least I got to see two respected captains of their club play – Jeter and Gerrard.”