I put the blame on my father.

He grew up down south in a small town of less than 500 people. He grew up by taking his savings, his every bit of earned money, down to the small store they had in town and buying “penny” baseball cards. He grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle. He finely tuned the radio to hear the Yankees play. And through the static and the fading in and out, he listened patiently to hear his hero “The Mick” come to the plate.

Why so much about my father, when I should be telling you about me? Because he instilled the same passion and devotion of the New York Yankees into me, as he did himself those many years ago.

I grew up in the same small town, but I imagine that it has grown some from back in my Father’s day. I watched the games via satellite (a monster of a dish back then) on MSG and Fox.

I enjoyed how the game was played in a slow and methodical way. It was like watching a chess game (especially with the pitching). My passion or what I would like to call “rabid-fan” state came in '95. I went from a Yankee fan, numb from the years of losing and the strike, to someone who lives, sleeps and breathes the New York Yankees.

I took my father to his first Yankees game in 1996 (my first was in '95). What a thrill it was for me to see his reaction. It was how he pointed toward the field to tell me “Babe Ruth stood out there.” It brought new meaning and a special sacredness than when I went the first time.

I’ve been to the Stadium plenty of times since then. I’ve seen the Yankees at the height of their glory and sadly at the rock bottom of defeat. The word that best speaks for this team and teams before and after is “class” (or as John Sterling calls it, “World Class”).

Now I have a son of my own. He has both Yankee home and away uniforms. He has his own baseball bat and ball. He is only 15 months old. People we come across say, “What a nice boy you have.” Then I point out, “Yep, the future Yankee first baseman.”