Do The Fans Believe That the Yankees Will Succeed?

By Clayton W. Conaway Sr.
Updated: June 19, 2007

BRONX, N.Y First day on my beat. I got my pen. I got my pad. And, I got my Bow Tie. It makes a statement, and it’s my signature. My name is Clayton W. Conaway Sr., but you can call me “Big Brother Bow Tie”.

Now to the business at hand. Just a few weeks ago, the Yankees were 14 and a half games behind the Bosox. They were declared dead. Some of the most optimistic Yankee fans turned pessimistic — just like that.

One losing streak and they were about to throw in their Yankee towels. What a difference a few weeks and a few wins make. So, I thought I’d ask a few of the Yankee faithful if they believe the Yanks are contenders or pretenders.

It was game three of the Subway Series. The Yankees and Mets split the first two games, so there was a lot on the line for both teams. At stake for Mets and Yankees fans were the bragging rights for New York.

I believe true fans stick with their team no matter what the outcome. I’m a life-long New York sports fan — being born and raised in the South Bronx. If the team (Yankees, Knicks, Rangers, etc) had a New York logo on its uniform, they had my support as a fan.

The rubber game was my first assignment as BASN’s beat writer for theYankees. As I arrived at Yankee Stadium via the No. 4 train, you couldn’t help but notice the new Yankee Stadium construction site. It is a sight to see.While aboard the No. 4, you immediately can feel the aura of this new sports facility.

Although the only visible sign of the new stadium was the concrete foundation, you can feel the magic of what the future may bring to this new facility: The House “The Boss” Built.

When I was 10 years old, I attended my first Yankee game with my dad. It was the Yankees versus the Chicago White Sox. I don’t remember the score, but I do remember my excitement and that the Yankees won.

Today, however, I’m entering the House that Ruth Built not only as a fan but as a journalist. I am just as excited as I was on my first visit with my dad as a youngster. I located the Press Entrance to pick up my credentials, but I was very disappointed to learn that I was only granted access to the Press Box and the Field.

As per the Yankee organization, I was denied access to the clubhouse. Does anyone have Gary Sheffield’s phone number? — I want his viewpoint on this issue.

As part of the “Media” I had access to the entire stadium (except the clubhouse) which is quite different than the everyday access afforded to a fan so I took advantage of my Media pass and visited several sections.

The first section I entered was the left field box seat area where I met Frederick who is a member of the Yankee Stadium Security Team. Frederick has been working with the security staff since the season began.

“I can feel the excitement amongst the fans even before the Yankees current winning streak.” He continued, “A good team will always find a way to comeback after a loss.”

“The Yankees didn’t score any runs in the first game against the Mets, but you saw what they did in the game Saturday. I’m not guaranteeing that the Yankees will win the American League Pennant, but we (Yankees) will make the Playoffs, so watch out Boston Red Sox Fans.”

The first pitch was thrown at 8:11 p.m., and the sellout crowd was in an uproar. Momentarily, I thought I was at a playoff game. When A-Rod hit a two-run homer in the first inning, every fan stood and gave him a deafening standing ovation.

I proceeded to the Bleacher Section where I met Louise who has been a Met fan since 1967. I asked her what did she think about the reversal of the win/lose columns between the Yankees and the Mets.

“It doesn’t make a difference this early in the season. We (Mets) will win the National East Pennant and we will win the World Series no matter who we meet from the American League especially the New York Yankees.”

Louise didn’t receive a standing ovation for her comments, but she did get quite a few boos from those who were within an earshot of her predictions. Remember Louise, you are in Yankee Stadium.

I proceeded to the upper tier, section 22, where I sat with the most enthusiastic fans in Yankee Stadium thus far that day, and these folks were having a great time. They playfully booed every Mets player who came to the plate.

In the eighth inning when the Mets shortstop, Jose Reyes, fell on his pants swinging at a second strike, they roared. When Reyes swung and missed for strike three, they began to chant “Oops there it isn’t, oops there it isn’t.”

I got the feeling these fans believe in their New York Yankees — for now. But if the Yankees stagger, slip, or fall, will they still believe?