This week’s topic is team alliances. Which team do you root for?
I know first-hand how slavish team devotion can be. I’ve been a fan of the NY Yankees since my dad brought me to my first game at Yankee Stadium when I was about twelve. I grew up in the New Jersey suburbs, about ten miles outside of NYC, so they were my hometown team, too. When I was a kid, the Mets weren’t a terrible team, either (see the 1986 World Series) but, I don’t know. I think there’s something intangible about team loyalty, and something imprints on you when you see a game live at an impressionable age. I mean, the Yankees were not great when I first started getting into baseball, but they were my team, you know? (And, besides, they turned it around.)I went to college in Massachusetts, which meant I had to defend my baseball loyalties quite a bit. I’ve probably written about this before, but the tricky thing about living in MA and being both a Yankees fan and a girl was that a lot of people assumed I was a Pink Hatter rooting for the home team because I didn’t know better. I don’t know if that’s a universal term; in Boston, “Pink Hatters” are the girls who don’t know anything about baseball but come to games to cheer along with their boyfriends, and there’s a negative, ditzy connotation associated with them. They are so named because for a while, they all had baby pink hats like the one pictured. (I feel dirty just inserting that image into my post.)
I used to get pretty offended, but my weapon of choice was baseball statistics. In those days—the late 90s—I could have talked anyone’s ears off about Derek Jeter’s numbers, and usually whichever dude had dismissed me as a cute clueless girl was like, “Oh, wait, you know what you’re talking about.”I mean, defending your team is one thing. Being a girl defending her team is another.
Anyway, now I try to go to a Yankee game once or twice a summer. I’ve seen some pretty epic games in person. I like going to games generally; I’ve been to plenty of non-Yankee games, too. (I went to one of the last games at the old Shea Stadium. My ex and I also once went on a stadium tour around the country. Wrigley left the strongest impression.) My youngest brother also follows minor league teams and likes to go to those. In Brooklyn we’ve got the Cyclones, but there are a bunch of teams in the greater New York Metropolitan area, if you like baseball but not pro stadium prices.
The team loyalties among the guys in The Rainbow League series are a little mixed. They love their own team, obviously. Neither Ian nor Ty, the heroes of Book 1, follow professional sports, so neither has strong opinions. Mason, one of the heroes of Book 2, used to be a Yankee, so he has pretty strong loyalties. And Carlos and Nate, the heroes of Book 3, grew up in the Bronx in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, and they go to games together all the time. So, wait, maybe they aren’t that divided after all! (Um, sorry Red Sox fans. I hope you like the books anyway!)
So what about you guys? Which team has your loyalty? It can be major leagues, minor leagues, or your son’s T-ball team.
And the Giveaway is still in effect: