Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Yankee Pride

I've been a Yankee fan for so long, not decades mind you, but what seems like a long time. I'm such a die hard I've Yankee inked myself as well as having personalized Yankee plates on my car which have garnered me horn honks as well as the middle finger salute. I had one over zealous man scream at my car, "The Yankees suck". I've heard it all and I'm used to it.

The Yankees season, as young as the season is, has been filled with numerous trials and tribulations already. There season was tumultuous even in the off season, what with the steroid allegations against Roger Clemens, (my jury is still out on that one) to Andy Pettite having to testify on The Hill. The changing of the guard, saying good-bye to Joe Torre and bringing in Joe Girardi. I'm excited about the change. The team has been riddled with injuries, more so it seems than previous years. It is damn cold in New York! That makes muscle flexibility hard and injuries that much more prevalent.

All those things being said, the Yankees have just kept their collective nose to the grindstone and kept working away trying to turn some of the lackluster offence into something that will generate enough runs to come away with a win. For all those insane fans that think this is all about winning and losing it isn't. Okay, maybe it is, but it's not just winning and losing on the field it really is about winning and losing in life.

I could go on and on about the ups and downs of this young season, but I'll no longer bore my non-Yankee fan readers with my thoughts on that. My reason for this post is so much more than just a Yankee team brag. It really stems from the team being filled with classy individuals, such as Derek Jeter.

I honestly don't know if a classier individual exists. There is a young phenom pitcher, Joba (Justin) Chamberlain, in the Yankees organization, living his first full year in the majors this year. He comes from a challenging background and has overcome some personal odds and difficulties to be where he is today. It is documented in his dedication, hard work and the unquestionable love and support of his father, Harlan, to see his rise to this level of professional sports. Joba's father is of ill health, sometimes doing not so bad, but at other times really struggles. Just on Monday Harlan took sick and Joba is now off for a few days to be with his father. That in itself is one thing, but how it came to be that Joba got to Nebraska to be with his father is what has me singing Yankee Pride.

I read numerous blogs daily and quite a few of them pertain to The Yankees. One of my favorites is LoHud Yankees Blog written by Peter Abraham. It is the first Yankee blog I read when I'm on my google reader and never fails to keep me informed of the latest Yankee news. First thing this morning this is what I see:

*Derek Jeter arranged for a private plane to take Joba Chamberlain to Nebraska.

Some will say, oh they have so much money they can afford to do that for each other. That is not the point here. It's not about money. For me, I read that and all I saw was one human being showing they care for another. Derek Jeter is the man! I've said it before and I have no problem repeating it. I think, and this is only my opinion, but I believe, Derek Jeter is the classiest man in all professional sports.

It doesn't take much time out of your day to be compassionate to another and it may seem like a small thing to you, but to that one person it may change their entire outlook for the day. You don't have to arrange for private jets, or spend lavish amounts of money to make a difference. The message is simple - give of yourself it may make a difference to another.

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