Thursday, November 5, 2009
New York Yankees Win 27th Championship
For a man as typically stoic as Hideki Matsui, the display was something more emblematic of his caricature, Godzilla. Matsui, clapping his hands together, listened to the emcee boom out his name and walked to the front of the stage. He removed his cap and doffed it to the crowd. He then raised two clenched fists into the air. International superstar of baseball, Hideki Matsui was now MVP of the World Series after driving in a jaw dropping 6 runs in the championship clinching game.
"I guess you could say this is the best moment of my life right now."
On a night in early November in the Bronx, Hideki Matsui transcended being human, and for a moment, became Superman. He single handedly won Game 6 of the World Series by driving in 6 of the total 7 runs the Yankees would score. Of all the great World Series performances we have seen this year, from CC Sabathia to Chase Utley to Mariano Rivera, this was surely the finest.
9 Years between championships isnt a lot for most teams, but for the New York Yankees it is an eternity. Founded in 1901 in Baltimore Maryland, the team moved to New York City in 1903, becoming known as the New York Highlanders before being officially renamed the "Yankees" in 1913. In those 108 years, the club has won the championship 27 times. This high percentage of championship winning teams is a record in professional sports, and a birthright for fans in New York.
2009 was a vindication for many players and fans who watched the team falter from 2001-2008, reaching the playoffs 7 times and the World Series twice, but failing to convert, including a devastating loss in 2004 to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS. With this championship, all those nightmares, all those demons have been slayed. 2009 represents the birth of a new Yankee legacy, as well as the passing of an old one. For vintage players such as Jeter, Rivera, and Andy Pettite, who won 4 straight championships with the Yankees from 1996-2000, this latest victory tastes even sweeter. To everyone in baseball who said these legendary players were too old, too worn down, and too beat up to compete anymore, Ill just say this: You arent the ones hoisting a trophy right now.