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The 2017 Yankees season was pretty much everything I could have hoped for

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This year’s team was different, and I love them for that.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

I am a spoiled Yankees fan. We all are, in many ways, but the important thing is being able to acknowledge it. My earliest memories start somewhere around 1993. I never saw The Dark Ages of Yankees baseball. What constitutes The Dark Ages for me is the totally tragic wait between 2009 and now. That makes the next thing I’m going to say probably sound pretty silly, but at least I admit it.

My fandom has suffered in recent years. I can’t exactly pinpoint when it began, but the shine definitely faded. Maybe part of it came from literally not being able to go a day without thinking of the Yankees in terms of covering it for the site since 2014. Aroldis Chapman’s presence on the team didn’t help. Randy Levine and Lonn Trost certainly didn’t make it easier.

The 2017 season changed things a bit. I got to be at Yankee Stadium for the home opener, got to see Aaron Judge hit one of his first home runs in what would become a historic season by a rookie, and got to see Greg Bird, who I’d followed since his time in the very lowest levels of the minors, finally in a Yankees uniform.

Players like Judge and Bird, as well as Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez, changed how this team felt. The white collar stuffiness that I’d grown tired of was replaced by youthful energy. These were not my father’s Yankees, and thank goodness for that. For what felt like the first time in my memory, the Yankees had a personality and it was a great one.

My investment in the team rebounded in a big way. Seeing this crop of homegrown talent blossom into legitimate big league success stories has been incredibly rewarding. I had reached a point where missing games was no big deal, but Judge and co. have brought it back to must-see tv.

We remain spoiled Yankees fans because seeing a team that was meant to be rebuilding make it to the last game of the ALCS felt like a disappointment. We all wanted them to win, but them just getting there has to be seen as a huge success when the initial sadness wears off. Best of all, this feels like just the beginning of something great. There is hope again in Yankeeland, which is kind of funny to say considering I was about 3 years old the last time they had a losing season.

This season was one hell of a ride and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m still very much willing to be annoyed at any number of things that happen with the team between now and the beginning of next season, but the feeling heading into this offseason is definitely a more optimistic one for me.

As we close out another season here on Pinstripe Alley, I want to thank you all for reading, commenting, and sharing all of your thoughts with us. I truly believe this is the best place on the internet for Yankees fans, and the large community of people we have here to interact with on a daily basis is a huge reason why. The staff and I hope you’ll stick around to see everything we have planned for the offseason as we stare out the window and wait for spring.