Brooklyn Yankees Fans: Explain Yourselves, Please.

No, I'm not asking you to justify your loyalty to the team just because they're having a very bad season so far.  (Indeed, I'm even sort of willing to give you credit for wearing that blue and white cap in these trying times.)  I'm asking how you can root for a team that was the most hated rival of our beloved Brooklyn Dodgers before the third most evil man of the twentieth century (well, maybe fourth, since the poll was taken before Pol Pot's atrocities), Walter O'Malley, moved them to Los Angeles.  How can you love a team that plays on the mainland, as opposed to our Long Island?  (Yes, Brooklynites, we are on Long Island: what bridges or tunnels do you traverse to get to Nassau County?)  Perhaps most importantly, how can you support a team that plays in the league that has the despised Designated Hitter Rule?

Update:  Vince, seconded by Just Me, (see "Comments"  below) points to a vein of Bomber loyalty among Italian-American Brooklynites of a certain age, in some cases transmitted to their offspring, yea, even unto the second or third generation.  The reason?  The Yankee Clipper (not to be confused with Sal the Barber). Evidently, the presence of the Reading Rifle on the Dodgers' roster (joined in the Bums' last Brooklyn hurrah, 1956, by the aforesaid Sal, who has the misfortune to be remembered by trivia buffs as the loser in Don Larsen's perfect Series game) failed to counteract this.

More: Sal Fasano, a transplant from cheesesteak heaven, asks why I object to the DH rule. Let me count the ways. Better, let me send you here, where I state my case, and defend it against several untenable objections, with a little help from, of all people, a Tigers fan. Of course, the DH does have one great virtue: it has extended the careers of several outstanding athletes.

Share this Story:
  • Eric

    Good point. Let’s go Mets!

  • Vince

    When the Cyclones first played at Coney Island in 2001, I took my great uncle (now 80) to the game. He was a Dodger fan who grew up in Brooklyn. He told me a lot of his friends were Yankee fans because they loved Joe Dimaggio, and they were Italian. In fact, he said most of his friends from Brooklyn were Yankee fans, and he — the Dodger fan — was the outcast.

    My Dad, now 64, also grew up in Bay Ridge/Bensonhurst. He is a Yankee fan, and credits Mickey Mantle for his choice of favorite team.

  • Just me

    I agree with Vince. My dad grew up in Bklyn and all I heard when I was growing up on Long Island were amazing Joe DiMaggio stories… now, a genetically predetermined Yankee fan, it feels beyond my control ;)

  • nabeguy

    For my mother, who grew up in Brooklyn, the Mets seemed the natural inheritors of her loyalty once the Bums left town. The ’62 Mets just seemed to capture the same zaniness embodied by the Dodgers (and Stengel being at the helm certainly added to that!). As she got older, however, she did become a Yankee fan with the excuse that she was getting too old to wait for another World Series Champion. I, however, have remained true to the Amazins. GO METS!

  • Sal Fasano

    Brooklyn Mets fans! How can you accept an inferior substitute to the Dodgers, and one whose colors are also meant to evoke the even more hated Giants? And DH — despised by whom? I like the DH.

    The connection to LI is overstated — not as strong a cultural tie as to Yankee-loving regions. It’s easier to get to the much nicer Yankee stadium than the hideous Shea; the Yanks also have much more history, and, except for this year, have the better quality product on the field, and including this year, a much better quality tv broadcast.

    But as a transplanted Philadelphian, it’s all moot, as I could live at the national tennis center in Flushing Meadows and still not root for the Mets. Even if it means cheering for A-rod and Clemens.

  • Tim N.

    Well, I could think of 26 reasons why anyone would root for the Yanks (sorry, couldn’t resist :>) ).

    Wow, I was all set to get all in your face over this, but then I remembered when I was living in the Bronx and I used to encounter Mets fans with a uber-disdainful “How could you???!!! This is the Bronx!!!” So I get where you’re coming from.

    My personal excuse? Bronx-born, what can I say? And, please, may I say one more thing, and this is coming from a huge Pete Hamill fan, the Dodgers left in ’58. GET OVER IT!!! The Mets are a Queens operation. Manhattan and Brooklyn are open territory. Let the games begin.

  • Qfwfq

    One of my favorite comments on the Brooklyn Dodgers, made by Jimmy Breslin at a forum about the Brooklyn Eagle: “Let me just say one thing about the Brooklyn Dodgers. The attendance for the last two years they were in Brooklyn was so low, I would have pulled them out a year before O’Malley did. The people didn’t care. That’s a myth that the people were crying, “The Dodgers left. Our hearts are broken.” They never cared when they were here.”

  • homer “miami” fink

    Waaaaa! You’re just “bummed” about the Bombers.
    Note to G-d: more rain please.

  • hoppy

    So this is now a Mets-Yankees blog pissfest? Anyway, I always found it interesting that my Bronx born/bred father grew up a die hard NY Giants fan in the 40’s on the Grand Concourse of all places! He even worked in the Polo Grounds as a ticket taker. Why? He never really told me. He eventually became a Mets fan as well, which I guess made me a Mets fan.

  • Claude Scales

    Tim N. – as a Bronx native, you get a pass.

    Qfwfq – Jimmy Breslin is a national treasure. His Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?, about the 1962 Mets, is one of the best, and certainly one of the funniest, baseball books ever written. Still, I’d venture to say, among the umpteen trillion words he’s spoken or written in his 76-plus years, there’s enough B.S. to fill the fabled Martello Tower several times over.

    Homer – G-d is pissed at you. He’s ignored your pleas, and sent Barry to water my mom’s lawn, instead.

  • Larry

    Why root for the Yankees, the hated rival of the Dodgers? Cause the Dodgers left and the Yankees stayed- and I grew up watching Mantle, Maris, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Elson Howard, etc.

    The Mets just didnt make it as a Dodgers replacement. Hell if they are not in Brooklyn, whats the differance if they are in Queesn or the Bronx?

  • Ed

    I’m from the Bronx and was raised a Mets fan. In the 1980’s it seemed that everywhere you went, everyone rooted for the Mets and the Yankees were just the mediocre afterthought with Don Mattingly as the only relevant player that people cared about. As my uncles told me, the Bronx seemed to be more Mets territory than Yankee territory during those days, because of the Mets success; same goes for the rest of NY/NJ/CONN area. Then in the 90’s when the Skankees built their dyansty, everyone hopped on the bandwagon and now all of a sudden the Mets are becoming the better team, but the Yankees are still there…so the bandwagon fanbase is trying to look for what team to stick for.

    The whole concept of territories may be a tad overrated nowadays. I’ll agree that the Bronx and even Manhattan cause it’s corporate can be seen as Yankeeland whereas Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island is Mets Nation. But it really comes down to this, whatever team does better, that certain borough will hop on their bandwagon and root for them. If the Mets win a world series this year….You’ll be sure the cars will be honking and the chants of “Lets go Mets” will be loudly heard in the Bronx.