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The Night I Became a Yankee Fan

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(Sports Video Daily)

The Night I became a Yankee Fan.

It was the fall of 1977 I just turned 5 that summer and remember it’s the year I really started to get into baseball.  I was like any other 5 yr old, I rooted for whoever was on tv and wore anything mom would put me in.  I mean I still have pictures of me wearing a Mets jacket that year, however that all changed Oct 18th 1977.  Now for those of you that don’t know or are too young to remember, this is the day Yankees legend Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 6 of the World Series.  I didn’t know who Reggie Jackson was at time, but I would that night.  See this night was different, something Magical was in the air and I was about to witness greatness.

So there I sat with my dad he on the couch and me on the floor watching game 6.  The Dodgers came out swinging, taking a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fourth and what happened next was just unimaginable to me.  Here comes Reggie Jackson to the plate, who George Steinbrenner paid millions for, to give us moment like these.  As I’m sitting in front of the TV playing with a baseball in my hands I hear my dad say “papi, watch Reggie’s going to hit a home run”.  I turn back to the TV as Burt Hooton threw his first pitch and BOOOM, there it goes upper deck, Howard Cosell’s voice playing in the back ground.  I whip my head around to look at my dad who just looked back at me as if to say “I told you so”.  Here’s this 5 yr old kid who just witnessed his dad call the Home Run, I mean there was no rewind here, it was live TV.  What the heck did I just witness??  No way could my dad have known the outcome before it happened.  Now!!  I am really into the game watching anxiously waiting for Reggie’s next at bat.

(Sports Video Daily)

It is the bottom of the 5th Yankees leading 5 – 3 man on first and here comes Reggie.  You know at this point my curiosity wasn’t what was going to happen in the game but if my dad was once again going to call a home run.  So again, I look up at him and he turns to me and says, “he’s going to hit another one”.  I turn and look, another first pitch this time off of Elias Sosa a line drive home run right over the right fielder into the stands.  Now I’m going crazy, how the heck does he do it, is he a wizard, did he watch this game before, How is he doing this?  My thinking now is, my father’s a GOD.  I could not wait for Reggie to come to bat again, and when he did, he did not disappoint, my father that is.

Bottom eight Reggie steps to the plate, I look at dad and he looks at me and says, “What do you think?”  Another first pitch this time from Charlie Hough a knuckleballer, and there it goes the farthest of the night into the black seats.  AGAIN!!  He called all 3 home runs that night and it was like Reggie Jackson heard him each time he said he would. Now I know this is moment they started calling Reggie Jackson Mr. October but for me Mr. October was sitting in my living room.  Needless to say, from that moment on I rooted for no other team.

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Thank you, Dad, for the night you made me a Yankee fan.

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