So, yeah, I consider myself a fairly intelligent, gainfully employed 40-year old (is that middle age??). I also consider myself a fan of Clay Aiken.
I am also a slightly obsessed Yankee fan! My screen name 4624 -- that's 46 for Andy Pettitte and 24 for Tino Martinez. Since tonight's the night that the most storied rivalry in baseball comes to Yankee Stadium, I thought I'd tell the story of when my fandoms collided.
Picture it, New York, October 2003 (tm - Sophia Petrillo). A few months earlier, we had sold my childhood home since my mom passed away a few years ago. So, I had come into some money and had never been to a World Series game. When I heard that Clay was singing the SSB at Game 1, I decided to treat my sister and 2 nieces to a night at the House That Ruth Built. I went on E-Bay, found a local seller, paid way too much and took the plunge.
It was a great night! Let me get this out of the way now --- IT WAS COLD!! Anyhoo -- we got there way early and watched the players warm up. My niece was thrilled to see her fave Andy Pettitte playing catch with Roger Clemens in right field. She ran down to field level, got a wave and was happy the rest of the night, no make that the rest of the week.
The pomp and circumstance at Yankee Stadium is something everyone should experience. The introductions, The F-14's (more about that later), Challenger the Eagle, Ronan Tynan singing God Bless America and for tonight, Clay Aiken. I heard no booing from where I was. Having been to many Yankee games, the crowd is always respectful of the SSB and I can't imagine there was booing. I did hear some BOOMER chants since David Wells was pitching and he was walking in from the bullpen. I've convinced myself that's what everyone heard.
Clay, of course, sang beautifully and looked gorgeous in the creamy turtleneck (IT WAS COLD!!). To me, it was just the way that song should be sung. However, the F-14 flyover was a little early. I was watching through my binoculars and it was clear to me that Clay didn't know what to do. He paused for the planes and then belted out the rest of the song with ease, like nothing ever happened. It was glorious and the crowd was appreciative.
Unfortunately, the Yankees lost and would go on to lose the Series as well. No ticker tape parade for me that year. In fact, no ticker tape since 2000!! Not happy about that. I hope that this is the year the Yankees get #27!!
Coming soon..... How fugly is Randy Johnson? Who knew Johnny Damon was hot without the caveman hair? Jason Giambi -- Back on the juice? A-Rod at 3rd, Derek at SS -- Does it get any better than that?