This is my first post of any kind on TT. I've been reading for a couple of weeks -- finding this site through SB Nation and it's hockey blogs.
I live in New York City. I rooted for The Bronx Zoo as a kid -- Thurman Munson was my favorite player until he passed away. As anyone could image, I was heartbroken but for some reason I kind of lost interest in the Yankees after that.
Fast forward to summer 1982...
I almost started rooting for the Cubs. Their young future HOF 2B looked a lot like my older cousin and I had spent a few weeks every summer visiting my grandparents who lived in the Illinois cornfields. It was that summer that while playing whiffle-ball with those summer friends that I first heard of someone with the COOLest name ever... Kent Hrbek.
After returning home from summer vacation, my Dad went to a Yankees' game after work. The next day, he gave me a present. It turns out that he went to the game with the former Head Coach of the St. John's University baseball team. The game was the NY debut of local kid and St. John's alumn Frank Viola. After the game, the coach took my Dad to the lockerroom and introduced him to Viola. In the conversation my Dad's 11 year old son - ME! - was mentioned. Viola picked up a ball and signed it, then passed it around the lockerroom.
I'm sure most of you remember that '82 team: Viola, Brunansky, Gaetti, Laudner.... oh, yeah.... that guy with the COOLest name ever!
From that point on, I was hooked.
The first game I went to see the Twins as a fan was near the end of the '87 season. Yankees won - surprise! But we sat in the 5th row between home plate and the Twins dugout. It was UNBELIEVBLE!
For '88, my Dad took me to the Yankees' home opener against the defending World Champion Twins! We sat in the front row of the left field seats in fair territory. I remember watching the highlights of the game and saw myself as Ricky Henderson's home run flew straight over my head by 10 rows. We left before the Twins pulled a triple play in the 8th inning. Yankees won - surprise!
My Dad lost his job that year and I went away to college. There were a couple of down years going to games, but strongly rooted for the Twins all along.
In 1991, my future (now ex) wife had a Yankee fan for a boss. He had a pair of season tickets for the Yankees, 4th row behind the Yankee's dugout -- you know those $2,500 seats today. From that year until 1999, he gave us tickets for one of the games. Over that 10 years, the Yankees won 9 times - surprise!
One of those years he said he almost gave us 2 games. The game he kept was David Wells' perfect game. Oh well...
During Game 6 of the '91 World Series, I was waiting for the game to end so I could meet friends at the bar. After the 8th inning I couldn't wait, so I drove 50 MPH to the bar 1/2 mile away. I walked to my friends and said, "It's going to extra innings, Kirby wins it with a HR." I was right for once!
2001, after the disaster of 9-11, my wife and 9 month old son drove to Cleveland to see the Twins in a surprise run chasing the Indians. Indians won - surprise!
In 2002 - after my divorce - while visiting my parnets (who inherited my grandparents house) my sister and I drove to the bright lights and big city of Minneapolis to see the Twins at home for the first time EVER! What a game! Against heated rival Oakland for Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. A's won - surprise!
Earlier that season, I went to see the Twins play the Yankees. It was raining and cold. But the Twins scored 3 runs in the top of the 13th inning to win the game. I was so excited!! But NO! That F-ing Giambi hits the Yankees' first walk-off Grand Slam when down by 3 in extra innings since Babe Ruth. Yankees win - surprise!
2003, another Yankees' home opener against the defending Central Division Champion Twins. In the 7th inning, bases loaded. I tell my friend, "Matsui pops out or hits a grand slam". That F-ing Matsui hit the Grand Slam. Yankees won - surprise!
They STILL show replays of those 2 home runs in the introduction video to Yankees' games, by the way.
I bought ALCS tickets for 2002. Hoping the Yankees and Twins would meet. Those dreams went to the wayside, when the Yankees lost to Anaheim while the Twins beat Oakland. Damn Yankees!
In 2003, the ALDS pitted our Twins agains the Yankees. Twins win Game 1. I get tickets for Game 2. It was a chilly night, maybe a little mist. But I kept my jacket off showing my Twins jersy with pride. When the chill got the best of me and I put my jacket on, the Yankees took the lead. One of the Yankee fans noticed me putting it on and said "That's right! It's cold here in New York, not like Minnesota!" I may not be from Minnesota, but I had to laugh at him. Yankees win - surprise!
2004, another ALDS Twins-Yankees matchup. Twins win Game 1. I couldn't get tickets for Game 2, but my friend from the Matsui game calls and offers me her extra ticket. It's AWESOME when Torii Hunter hits a go-ahead home run in extra innings. It's DISGUSTING when Jeter scores on sacrifice fly to win the game. Yankees win - surprise!
Over the following few seasons, I was able to take advantage of $5 tickets to see almost every game the Twins played out here. There was one game, I sat under the screen behind home plate. It was Thurman Munson bronze statue night - there were only 5,000 made and being one of the first I got one! Talk about coming full circle! I was offered good money for the statue. I turned them all down and almost every person - noting my Twins jersey - said "But you're a Twins fan!"
Tickets are too crazy for the new Yankee Stadium, but the results haven't changed. After last night it's 3-23.
It's really tough growing up in the shadow of the Yankees -- at least for a Twins fan. Stupid Yankees!