Thursday, July 2, 2015

Remembering the July 1, 2004 Yankees-Red Sox game gives me a reunion idea

I have been fortunate to attend a lot of memorable Yankee games in my lifetime. I was at the Pine Tar Game. I saw Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield via for the batting title on the last day of the season. I saw Mariano Rivera get his 500th save. And, of course, I recently saw Alex Rodriguez get his 3000th hit. But the July 1, 2004 game between the Yankees and Red Sox was, after the Bucky Dent game, arguably the best regular-season Yankees-Red Sox game ever. Yesterday, I wrote the following on Facebook about the game, and about the Derek Jeter "Dive" play
I was there! One of the most amazing games I ever saw. At this point in the game, I had sneaked down from my crummy upper deck seat to field level reserve seats between home plate and first base. There were probably only about 20,000 people at this point (much of the upper deck moved down, like we used to be able to do.) So I had a great view of Derek Jeter diving into the stands. I also noticed when the ambulance took him to the hospital during the game to get checked out.
There were so many twists and turns to the game. Pedro Martinez started against Brad Halsey (sadly, as my friend Jo-Lynn noted, Halsey died under mysterious circumstances last year and was mentioned at this year's Old Timers' Day.) Remember when Pedro plunked Gary Sheffield, and Sheffield barked in response? Remember that Manny Ramirez hit two homers? Remember Nomar pouting on the bench? Remember who got the win -- Tanyon Sturtze -- and the loss -- Curtis Leskanic? Remember that Pokey Reese and A-Rod also had excellent defensive plays in the game? I would say to remember John Flaherty's game-winning hit, but since that literally is his claim to fame in Yankeeland, we see the clip about once a week as it is!

Anyhow, as many of my fellow Yankee fan (and Red Sox fan!) friends reminisced about the game, it occurred to me that sometime in the next few years, there should be a Yankees-Red Sox reunion of this era of players. Because let's face it, The Rivalry was much more intense 10 years ago, with such iconic players on both sides, than it is now.

And Squawker reader John brought up that the end of David Halberstam's "Summer of '49" is of a reunion of the '49 teams at the 1964 Yankees' Old-Timers Day. (Back in the day, the event used to also feature players from other teams, as well as the Yankee players.) In the book, the Yankees held a post-game party in the clubhouse with old-time players of both teams. Red Sox player Johnny Pesky,  was carrying his food and walking to a table when he saw Yankees Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi and Charlie Keller at another table.  Reynolds growls for him to sit down with them. Pesky is taken aback at first, then Reynolds tells him that he was a pain to play against, but that they liked him. (The exchange is more profane than that, but this is a G-rated blog!)

Anyhow, back to my point. Who wouldn't want to see an Old-Timers' Game with Roger Clemens going up against Manny Ramirez again? Or Pedro Martinez against Jorge Posada? Or Curt Schilling against Derek Jeter? (I would say Bronson Arroyo against A-Rod, but both of them are still playing, although Arroyo is recovering from Tommy John surgery.)

I would really like to see such a reunion happen in the next five to ten years. Somebody needs to make this happen!

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