Favorite Yankees / Red Sox moment - for consideration

It was October 20, 2004, and I was at the Long Branch In Albany, NY. For most of us (and to be honest myself included) this is the WORST memory we can have of this rivalry, however it sticks out to me for a multitude of reasons. I remember standing at the bar, trying to order a drink, and not even caring that I was missing the final out of the most epic collapse I have ever seen in my lifetime. However, when the drink came, that was all I cared about. I heard all the commotion around me, saw people crying, glasses breaking, and all I cared about was what I was just given to drink. This is not my favorite Yankee moment because of the result, however it is my favorite because it was the beginning of the end of the worst chapter of my life.

My entire life up to that point (I was 19, don't @ me) revolved around baseball. Don Mattingly was always (and will always be) my favorite, and I wore the number 23 to honor him the best I could. Andy Pettitte was my favorite pitcher, and I tried to emulate the two of them the best I could. Since the age of five I played, and began at a very competitive level at the age of nine. I never had much time for socialization and life at home wasn't always perfect, but the Yankees were always there to comfort me. Whether it was watching Danny Tartabull (LOL) "play" baseball, hoping against hope that Sterling Hitchcock would turn into the ace we had hoped, or cursing Tino Martinez because he replaced my idol, I always had something to lean on. The years that followed were exciting. When I reached high school I was able to watch the best pitcher I have ever seen ever throw a few times a year, while simultaneously calling the Yankees his daddy. Watching George Bush walk out to the mound after the terror attacks made me weep. Bottom line, baseball is what made me tick. I even had the opportunity to play baseball in college, what every kid dreams of!

To say I developed a "problem" or a "dependency" would be a disservice to both of those words. Fact is, I was a full blown alcoholic at the age of 18 and stopped caring about anything and everyone, including my beloved Yankees. My steady demise into the depths of depression and self loathing was a dangerous slippery slope, one that I can say I am lucky I made it out of. The reason 2004 sticks out so greatly in my mind is because a lot of the Yankees timeline matches up with my own. 2004? Starting the descent into darkness, but still treading water. up unitl 2009? Good enough, however are we going to make anything of this? 2009? Back on top of the world, quite literally. 2012-2014? I think we can forget these years existed (as my mind mostly did, thank god). 2015 was the start of my true return to greatness, and my youth and exuberance began to show again. 2017 was the best year of my life since I was a kid, and I couldn't have done it without the help of my teammates. 2018? I can't predict the future, but I know I couldn't be happier with how it has started.

This may be a different type of write up than was expected, however it is what immediately came to mind. Again, as a fan 2004 was a terrible year for the Yankees. As a person? 2004 was also awful. But the connection I am able to make and the rise back up to the top that I can relate to? THAT is what makes the ALCS loss my most memorable. Thank you for reading.

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