EMBRACED…By The Dark Side!
By Michael – Louis Ingram , Editor – in – Chief
BASN Newsroom (www.basnnewsroom.com)
THE BRONX, NY (www.basnnewsroom.com) Do you remember the exact moment – when you became a fan?
Many can recall being at a sporting event young and wide-eyed to the spectacle of cheers and jeers-all while indulging in a favorite snack or drink. Some were indoctrinated by birth; or perhaps a relocation to a new area awakens desire and adds you to the fold!
My fan moment occurred on a chilly October evening in 1976 as the New York Yankees were engaged in a one game playoff with the Kansas City Royals…
I lived with my extended family of Total Music Concepts, Ltd. on Woodycrest Avenue in the Highbridge section of The “Boogie Down” – the neighborhood directly above Yankee Stadium, where buildings sloped up ridiculously steep walkways; and you could still see a baseball game from the elevated tracks of the Number 4 Jerome Avenue train chugging its way up to Tracey Towers and Woodlawn Cemetery after stopping at the 161st Street – River Avenue Station…
It had been several years since the borough had so much life and energy after Labor Day; the Bronx Bombers had been anything but for over a decade. The 1976 edition showed distinct signs of progress – and the addition of infielder Chris Chambliss was a definite upgrade.
The game was being televised nationally, but we had our local feed with commentators Phil Rizzuto and Bill White. Up to this point, I didn’t feel any kinda way about the Yankees; Moms was a New York Giants fan (Monte Irvin was her favorite player, which pissed off Pops to no end) and although I played baseball and loved it, I was more a fan of certain players rather than a team (the ’71 Pittsburgh Pirates notwithstanding…)
Chambliss, the Yanks’ first baseman, was having a good season – and from facial features and physique, was a dead ringer for my brother Joseph Kelley, Jr. “JK” would even mimic Chambliss’ stance at the plate, cocking the bat at times between sessions of “Longball” – a family favorite board game.
JK, Maurice Hundley, Keith J. Hundley, John Harrison and I were watching the game and, because we were close to the Stadium, you could hear the ebb and flow without the announcers telling us what’s what…so we had the sound turned down – all between whipping up some Friday Night Grooves on the turntables!
The game see-sawed into the ninth tied at 6-6; and the evening the game was played was October 14 – my Moms’ birthday…
Mark Littell, the Royals’ closer, had come in as the Arm du Jour – he had developed a reputation as a smoke – throwing reliever who would walk onto his field accompanied by John Denver’s serenading K.C. fans with “Thank God I’m A Country Boy.”
Littell has now finished his warm up pitches, and Chambliss steps to the plate after a brief delay due to fans actin’ a fool…
Over a dozen years of no post-season ball in El Bronx!
We’re all watching the at-bat with the sound totally off now…
Littell winds up, and…
We saw the ball go up – we saw it land in the seats…and there was a vacuum of silence…
Which then exploded into a rush and roar so loud it was as if we were sitting in the
The fact they got spanked by Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine in that years’ World Series
was of no consequence – my training was complete!
Since then, Sith Lords like Reg -EE – Jackson, D’arth Mun-Sun, Ga-Tor-Guidry and BRONX
VADER (aka Der’ek Je-taah) have continued the mentality that the championship is
ours…by Divine Right!!!
LONG LIVE THE EVIL EMPIRE!!
always outnumbered…never outgunned.