Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dad in the Kitchen, After the Game

Most of the time, when people ask me to trace the history of my being a Yankees fan -- and they ask constantly -- I go back to my paternal grandfather, who was born in the Bronx. I took it for granted that he passed the team on to my dad.

Not so. Turns out, my grandfather was a Giants fan. The team played at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan, near to the Bronx. My father, at about seven, simply liked the way the word "Yankees" looked in the newspaper. From such an innocent seed, a fierce loyalty quickly bloomed. In Saratoga last week, he told me the story of how he threw a chair through the kitchen wall when he was nine years old.

It was 1947, and he was listening to Game 4 of the World Series, between the Dodgers and Yankees, on the radio. The Yankees had won the first two games at home. Brooklyn had won the third game, which my dad and grandfather attended at Ebbets Field, 9-8. In Game 4, the Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win, 3-2. The game-winning hit broke up a no-hitter, no less. It is just after this hit, with his mother and grandmother sitting peaceably in the next room, that we pick up Dad in action. I'll let him explain the rest. I transcribed this as he told it:
I’m screaming these four- and ten-letter words. I didn’t know what they meant, but I’d heard them from the older kids, because I played with them on the playground. I picked up a chair and just hurled it. It was a cheap, lousy kitchen with a plaster wall, and the leg just happened to hit it at the right angle. I was so nuts that my mother didn’t even know to yell at me. It was like The Exorcist.”

1 Comments:

OpenID pigtailsflying said...

Your dad and my dad should get together and share these stories of possession. Except my dad was a Dogers fan, and now he's a Mets fan. Maybe they'd throw chairs at each other?

6:13 PM  

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