February 3, 2011

Good bye Andy ... (sad face all day)

When it comes to ranking my favorite New York Yankees, we all know who is No. 1. The cardboard does not lie when it comes to this.

Number 2 at times got tricky. Some days I like one guy more. Other days I picked someone else. In 2004, it became clear it was Andy Pettitte. I was miserable when he signed with the Houston Astros. Crestfallen. I couldn't believe Pettitte, one of my favorite players, was not only leaving but going to a team I would never watch.

I didn't know what I had until he was gone.

I followed Pettitte's career in Houston. Tried to watch as many starts as I could. When I moved to southern New Jersey, I bought the baseball package in 2005 and watched every single one of his starts. When he pitched in Philadelphia that year (I wasn't covering the Phillies yet), I bought one ticket to the game. Brought my binoculars with me and just say there watching him throw after he would peer at the runner from the top of his glove. When he was finished, I went home.

Pettitte was my man.

Then in 2007, there as jubilation. HE WAS BACK IN NEW YORK!!

I made sure I saw his first start back with the Yankees. I had to be there.

Whenever Pettitte would pitch after that, Marie would entice to come to NY for the games with "Your boy is pitching tonight."

I can't say it always worked, but it worked enough that I've seen him pitch in so many games. My Pettitte collection has grown tremendously over the year. I would love to show off those cards, but this winter I had to move and packed up all my cards. They are sitting in boxes right now and Pettitte (and my Jeter cards) are housed away. I am not entirely sure how many Pettitte cards I have, but he is close in the 200 range of unique cards, which is more than I have of Kevin Kouzmanoff.

I think it all started with Pettitte in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series. I was spending the weekend at a college in upstate New York. We were all supposed to go to some dinner or reception they had for the high school students there that weekend.

I said, "No."

I plopped down on the couch in one of the common areas and just watched that game. I pissed some people off, but it was well worth it.

Thanks for the memories Andy.

4 comments:

  1. Now I will have to think of a new way to get you to a game... Oh wait... I figured it out.

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  2. I'd also like to add that this saddens me as well. Despite his age he has been one of the most consistent big game pitchers for the Yankees in his years on the team. I don't care what kind of regular season he has, or second half, he is consistently the same guy come October.

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  3. Sad to see one of the "true" Yankees leave. I was never all that enamered of Andy. I always thought he had a lot more luck than the other guys during the regular season. But post-season, man, he was lights out. He was definitely the guy you wanted to see on the mound if you were down 0-2 in game 3. It will be a while before we see someone of his post-season talent again. On the Yankees that is, I think Cliff Lee, is approaching Petitte type numbers in the post-season.

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