In Enemy Territory: Red Sox Fans in Yankee Country


Major League Baseball had its earliest Opening Day in history for the 2018 season, kicking off on Mar. 29. Fans across the country were ecstatic that their favorite teams would return to the fields that had been put to rest all winter, to compete for the World Series title.

The excitement was evident in the Bronx on the day of their home opener, Apr. 3, which they won 11-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays. With Yankee Stadium a mere 4.5 miles from Manhattan College, it’s hard not to feel the buzz on campus. Students can be seen sporting their Yankee gear and heard cheering on their team in dorm lounges.

Love for the Bronx Bombers on campus is clear, but how do the Boston Red Sox fans on campus feel about invading Yankee territory? The storied rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox is one of the most heated rivalries in MLB. Both teams have strong fan bases with the utmost loyalty to their home cities.

“I’ve been a Sox fan since I was born, I guess,” said sophomore economics major Sierra Arral. “If you grow up in New England with New Englander parents as well, sports will always be a part of your life.”

From Red Sox territory in southern Maine, one would think coming to Yankee territory in the Bronx would be daunting, but Arral said, “I’m proud to be a Red Sox fan in Yankee territory. I think there are rivalries between different teams on campus, but I don’t think it negatively affects campus life. If anything, the rivalries are what make being a fan fun. If you want to be a fan you have to learn to love the heckling, and there’s definitely enough of it between New York and Boston fans.”

Conor Darby, a senior marketing major from Haverhill, Mass. has also been a Sox fan for most of his life, pointing to his dad as his biggest influencer in which teams to support.

“Being a Boston or New England fan in any sport, you always feel tension,” said Darby. “In terms of being a Sox fan on campus it’s not too bad. I personally haven’t been trash-talked too much, but when you get into talking to someone and they find out you’re a Sox fan, you definitely get a dirty look and some choice words.”

According to Darby, the tensions are much worse off campus.

“Off campus, it can be a little frightening to be a Sox fan,” said Darby. “We’re talking about one of the most historical and iconic rivalries in sports histories. There is absolutely no love lost between the Sox and the Yanks and the same goes for the fans.”

Darby added, “Realistically though it is the same way if you flip the script and go to Boston; the Sox fans aren’t so nice to Yankee fans. Overall, there is a lot of tension, but that’s what makes the rivalry so riveting because there is true hate between the teams and between the fans. It’s not boring at all.”

In agreement with Darby, Morgan Fountain, a junior communication major from Cheshire, Conn., isn’t afraid to rep her team on campus, but off in the thick of Yankee territory is a different story.

“Off campus I don’t really broadcast the fact that I am a Red Sox fan because I know people of the Bronx are intense about the Yankees,” said Fountain.

Fountain, a devout Sox fan her entire life said, “Being a Red Sox fan in Yankee territory does not phase me, I will always stay true to my team. I also have friends at school who are Red Sox fans so I know I’m not the only one.”

Clearly Sox fans can sense the tension both on campus and off, but they’re not cowering away anytime soon. The Red Sox vs. Yankees rivalry will continue and stay strong another year and MC fans on both sides are eager to see how this season will turn out.