Tag Archives: New York Yankees

Fan Mail Can Go Both Ways – A Note From My “Pen Pal” Dan Quisenberry

I was a Red Sox fan growing up, but how could I NOT love Dan Quisenberry, the guy who led the league in saves throwing underhand!

I was a Red Sox fan growing up, but how could I NOT love Kansas City Royals closer Dan Quisenberry, the guy who led the league in saves throwing underhand!

Handwritten letters are endangered species.

About the only places they live on are birthday cards, thank you notes and summer camp letters, which kids are forced to write because nostalgia keeps their parents signing those checkbooks (another endangered medium).

On the occasion of one of my favorite childhood baseball players, Dan Quisenberry, missing out on the Baseball Hall of Fame, I just wrote a column for The Atlantic reminiscing about the thrill of receiving a two-page letter from him in 1981. (“How Athletes Ensure Immortality: Not all greats make the Hall of Fame. Not all Hall of Famers are remembered. But a player who forges personal connections with fans with live on.”)

You can read the story here, but I’d also like to share the full text of the letter for the benefit of the world’s Kansas City Royals fans — or anyone who still cherishes the power of handwritten letters.

The idea of a professional athlete, let alone the American League’s best closer, taking the time to write a two-page letter to a kid he thought was “creative,” is unfathomable to me as a jaded adult. Sadly, Quisenberry died of brain cancer at age 45 — younger than the age that many of the kids watching him pitch would be now.

Here’s Dan’s letter for you to read for yourself:

Dan Quisenberry Letter - Page 1 of 2 (Double click to enlarge)

Dan Quisenberry Letter – Page 1 of 2 (Double click to enlarge)

** Continue reading

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Filed under Dan Quisenberry, Sports, Sports Psychology, Submarine Pitchers

Opening Day Meditation: How I Learned to Stop Hating the New York Yankees

(click to enlarge image)

New Hampshire Magazine’s Photoshop guy is phenomenal. Yes, I did go to Yankee Stadium for this story, but the yoga happened at their Manchester newsroom. That’s a Kevin Youkilis jersey in case you were curious. (Double click to read story)

It’s Opening Day: Yankees vs. Red Sox — and let the gloating begin!

Based on the injuries the Yanks are battling with A-Rod, Jeter and Texiera, there’s a fair chance that Boston and New York will be fighting each other to stay out of last place this year.

Sure, celebrating would be premature at this point, but fans in Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay have to like their chances in the AL East where the Sox and Yanks used to trade off the division title and the Wild Card every season.

Before the Sox took their depressing nose dive, I surprised my son with a Yankee Stadium trip to see the home team when Sox-Yanks tickets at Fenway were simply unaffordable. To my surprise, I liked many of the people sitting around me despite my lifetime of regarding Yankees fans as arrogant, obnoxious punks. You can read my humble attempt at a Nobel Peace Price nomination in the April issue of New Hampshire Magazine, on newsstands now.

contributors New Hampshire Magazine Darren Garnick
I love this cover, especially since New Hampshire was recently ranked as the Least Religious State in America by the Pew Research Center. The Red Sox is a more popular religion around here than Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism combined.

My first cover story for New Hampshire Magazine explores the die-hard subculture of Red Sox fans in the Granite State -- and their state of mind after one of the worst seasons in Sox history. (Cover design by J Porter)

My first cover story for New Hampshire Magazine explores the die-hard subculture of NH Red Sox fans — and their fragile psychology after one of the most disappointing seasons in Sox history. (Cover design by J Porter)

We left no New Hampshire baseball angle unexplored, even tracking down Carlton Fisk’s 1963 high school yearbook. He’s the guy holding the trophy on the far right.

What if Carlton Fisk had decided to pursue pro basketball instead of pro baseball?

What if Carlton Fisk had decided to pursue pro basketball instead of pro baseball?

You can read the full story here.

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Filed under New Hampshire Magazine, Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock

The United Countries of Baseball

The United Countries of Baseball, according to Nike.

I discovered this brilliant Nike poster four years after the fact, but it still resonates with me. Heck, I’m still enamored by their Ken Griffey Jr. for President campaign.

Click on the picture above for an enlarged version. The demographics are fascinating:

  • Why do the Arlington Rangers, who were still nobodies in 2007, enjoy a wider berth of Texas than the Houston Astros?
  • The St. Louis Cardinals seem to be imperialistic, taking up far more territory beyond Missouri. Perhaps an aerial attack from Wrigley might contain their ambitions.
  • Ditto for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Have they staked a claim of all of Appalachia?
  • I’m just not buying that the Washington National have any fans, let alone encroaching on most of the Orioles’ turf.
  • Why do the White Sox and the Mets get treated like second-class citizens?
  • I know for a fact that the Mariners own much of Idaho, too.
  • It would suck living in a region without a Major League Baseball team, May as well be living overseas.

Can any baseball fans out there point out any geographical inaccuracies here?  Or explain any of my conundrums?

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Filed under Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock, Sports

Dear New York Post: I Love You

Pedro-Martinez-World-Series

Does the baby who this body belongs to get any modeling credit?

My romance with the New York Post began at least two decades ago, but how wondrous to discover that the passion is just as strong as it was when I got the first newsprint smudges on my fingertips.

This Pedro Martinez crybaby World Series cover is the most amusing tabloid Photoshop gag since the infamous “Axis of Weasels” front page during the Iraq War.

New-York-Post-Axis-of-Weasels

The courage to call a weasel a weasel

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