"Everybody says we hated the Yankees. We didn’t hate the Yankees. We just hated the way they beat us." ~ Al Lopez
I’ve been a lifelong Yankee fan ever since I saw Mickey Mantle hit a monstrous home run in the late 1950s on the Saturday “Game of the Week.”
In my youth, I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and never thought in my wildest dreams that someday I would live and work in New York, watch all the Yankee games on the YES Network, and see the old (and new) Yankee stadium in person. I even saw the Yankees win the World Series at the old Mets stadium in 2000.
So unlike Hillary Clinton, I’m a genuine Yankee fan, and not a sunshine patriot.
Before coming to New York, my family and I lived in Orlando, Florida, where I organized a county softball team called “The Yanks.” We won two championships in ten years, and that was a pretty good feat considering the hatred those Southern boys had for our team’s name.
The New York Yankees have always been the team Americans love to hate…..except the 41% of Americans who think the Yankees are “America’s team” (according to the latest poll).
I always thought it appropriate that the most storied team in all of sports — now winning 27 championships — is called "Yankee."
Yes, the Yankees can be arrogant, brash, and greedy, but if they get their act together and work as a team, nothing can stop them. They are winners.
After the loss to Arizona in the 2001 World Series, the first series in a new century, the critics said that the Yankees were washed up and one writer wrote a book saying New York would never win another championship.
What happened? The Yankee owners built a brand-new stadium, the costliest stadium ever built in America ($1.5 billion). They repeated history. The old Yankee stadium was finished in 1923, Babe Ruth hit a home run in the first game, and the Yankees won the series that year. This year, nobody hit a home run in the first game (the eternal Derek Jeter singled), but the Yankees went on to win the World Series in their new park.
The Yankees are a symbol of America. And America, like the Yankees, can’t be kept down. We Americans (Yanks) can solve any problem if we get our act together. We can fight world wars and even a civil war and survive and prosper. We can beat the Great Depression, and fight poverty despite the machinations of government.
And, yes, we can overcome a financial collapse, foreign war, deficits, unfunded liabilities, crime, abortion, and socialized medicine.
After attending the big parade Friday morning for the Bronx Bombers, I heard a hedge fund manager give a very depressing talk at a luncheon sponsored by the Cato Institute. He said he was a libertarian who could say nothing good about where America was headed. He complained about taxes, ObamaCare, the bailout and the stimulus, the deficits, green technology, foreign policy, you name in. In his mind, the country was headed straight for financial hell.
Whenever I hear a litany of doomsday scenarios, it would be well for us to remember these words by Adam Smith, the great Scottish economist:
"The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition…..is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite of the extravagance of government and of the greatest errors of administration."
Or in the words of J. P. Morgan: "The man who is a bear on the future of the United States will always go broke."
After nine long years of not winning a World Series ring, the Yankees are back on top…..In short, don’t count America out.