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Book review: '101 Reasons to Love the Yankees'

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You can finish this in a couple hours. It will entertain die hard fans but aims more toward casual fans.

I'm not sure how the fact that the Yankees were initially the Highlanders is a 'reason to love' them, or that they once played in the Polo Grounds, but alas, the vast majority are legitimate reasons. Each 'reason' gets a few sentences (and often a photo). Most focus on a particular player (e.g. Lou Gehrig, Paul O'Neill), a particular play (The Called Shot, Bucky Dent's HR), or something unique to the Yankees (the logo, the expectations, the pennants and titles).

There are even a few factoids that I never knew before: Howard 'Hopalong' Cassady was a scout and first base coach for the Columbus Clippers, and two Yankee pitchers swapped wives in the '70s (if there was any reason to love the Yankees, that would be it!).

The author even touched on several mostly forgotten Yankees, including Jack Chesbro, Frank Crosetti, Lefty Gomez and Bobby Veach (the only pinch-hitter Babe Ruth ever had).

The book even included a few off-kilter 'reasons', such as George Costanza, the Derek Jeter/George Bush/Mickey Mantle baseball card, and the infamous pine tar incident.

One 'reason' that particularly stuck out was the 'YMCA', which is anything but a reason to love the Yankees. I hate the YMCA.

101 Reasons includes some of the best quotes in Yankee lore.

- Catfish Hunter, on why he only pitched one perfect game: "The sun don't shine on the same dog's ass all the time."

- Billy Martin: "What does George know about Yankee pride? When did he ever play for the Yankees?"

- And Graig Nettles: "I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees, I have accomplished both."

The book concludes with '10 Reasons to Hate the Red Sox', but #6 (Ben Affleck) should really be the top reason.

Short, inexpensive and fun, it would serve as a good holiday gift for a Yankee fan in your family.