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Late Night Open Thread

With John being under the weather, my super-hectic schedule, and the lack of any outstanding Yankee news (yeah, Jaret Wright has back spasms, but what else is new) I think an open thread is in order.

Topic: Your most vivid Yankee memory.

I'll start things off with mine. I grew up in the Bronx. There is a street around where I lived called Stickball Boulevard, one of the few remaining places where organized stickball is played. It's the most famous in the city. It was late August 1995, and the Yanks were in the midst of a pennant race. A couple of young kids named Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada had yet to break into the lineup and a struggling starting pitcher named Mariano Rivera began to find out that maybe the bullpen was a better place for him.

I was accompanying my father to his Sunday afternoon stickball game. On the radio that morning, the news that Mickey Mantle had passed on stunned the both of us. We arrived, and what was normally a raucus group of stickballers; firefighter, cops, salesmen, business owners, college and high school kids were sullen.

Everyone wore their #7 jerseys that day. The old timers shared memories of their favorite moments of The Mick. His massive home runs, his grace in centerfield, his presence, his magnetism. Some were teary eyed. I wasn't old enough to see him play, but growing up in the Bronx, Mantle was as much a part of the city as the Empire State Building or the Brooklyn Bridge.

I knew that a piece of history was gone. All that was left were the memories, film clips, and stories to be passed down through the generations. Grown men...Grown New Yorkers cried that day; the day that The Mick passed away.