by MEGAN DREHER & HALEY BURNSIDE, Editor & Asst. Editor
New York City sports are as exciting and competitive as any other aspect of life in the city. New Yorkers often align themselves with teams early in life, following the lead of generations of passionate sports fans before them. The Bronx is home to one of the most well-known and iconic Major League Baseball teams in the country: The New York Yankees. Yankee Stadium draws millions of fans to the South Bronx each year. Many of the fans are members of the Manhattan College community.
Jenn Bueti is a first-year student at the college but a long time fan of the Yankees.
“I have been a Yankees fan since I was born,” said Bueti.
She credits her mother with her passion for the team.
“As soon as she was able to, my mom dressed me in Yankee shirts and hats to parade me around town in,” Bueti continued. “She’s been a Yankees fan her whole life and she had two kids so one of us was destined to follow in her footsteps.”
She recalled one game she went to at Yankee Stadium as a child.
“My uncle, my mom, my sister and I went back in the early 2000’s,” said Bueti. “That was a great experience. I loved it, especially the stadium peanuts.”
The proximity of the stadium to the college is a benefit in Bueti’s eyes.
“It’s nice to know I can go to a home game whenever I want because it’s so easy,” she said.
Michael Plugh, PhD, is a professor in the communication department. He has spent time studying sports in his academic endeavors, and he can trace his love for the Yankees back to a particular family member.
“My mother had three considerably older brothers who were big Yankees fans,” said Plugh. “One of them in particular worshipped Mickey Mantle. He didn’t have children of his own so when I was born it was like a thrill. He bought me all this Yankees stuff. All of my early baby clothes and toys were all Yankees things.”
Plugh has attended a number of games throughout his years as a fan.
“In the 1990’s the Yankees were starting to get really good and I used to go to games after work,” said Plugh. “I remember I would ride the train up and I could walk up to the old Yankee Stadium and get a bleacher seat for six dollars.”
Staten Island-native Bryan McKeon, like most Yankee fans, has been a team supporter since day one.
“I’ve been a Yankee fan since birth,” said McKeon. “I grew up in a Yankee home at a time when the Yankees were one of the best teams in the MLB.”
He has made the commute to the stadium more than once to watch his favorite team play.
“I have been to multiple Yankee games” said McKeon. “A few of these games include several subway series games. [The close stadium] is a great addition to going to school here. It’s good to have that ability to go see a game.”
Kevin Stagno, a senior at MC, has also been a Yankee fan since birth, and has enjoyed watching his favorite player, Derek Jeter, over the years.
“It’s a cliche answer but he started the year I was born so I got to see him grow in the league and he was one of the best Yankees ever, so getting to see him play was a big part in becoming a Yankee fan,” said Stagno.
Out of all of the games Stagno has been to, his attendance to Game 6 of the American League Championship Series last year was one that he enjoyed most, and recommends that other Yankee fans attend at some point in their life.
“It was a postseason game, so the whole environment was very loud and cool,” said Stagno. “I’ve been to a lot of regular season games, but there’s something different about the postseason. I’ve also been to the World Series one year, Game 1, but still I recommend postseason if you’re a Yankee fan because it’s just different in a good way.”
The Yankee fans on campus are often easy to distinguish by their caps, jerseys and outspoken team pride. The famous Yankee Stadium is both a staple of Bronx pride and New York City pride as a whole. Manhattan College’s short distance from the Stadium allows a valuable connection between the community of students and faculty and the larger community of New York City sports fans.
“Being in the Bronx, Yankee fans are very loyal and they settle for nothing less than the best, which I feel that any team should have that kind of fan base,” Stagno said. “That’s what differentiates Yankee fans from other fan bases, their unwillingness to accept anything less than a championship. That’s what makes Yankee culture good.”