It’s up to you, New York.
Your destiny has been written with indelible ink on ageless parchment. New York is a city and the Yankees are its baseball team. Throughout history, they have risen together, dominating the space between us and greatness. Like buildings scraping at the sky, the Yankees have risen to win 26 World Series using all means necessary to attain excellence. Many teams from across the country have ground their teeth in frustration.
“Typical New Yorkers,” they said.
With the New York Yankees taking the American League Championship yet again, it reminds us of what was “New York” — and what New York will never cease to be. The Big Apple. The center of everything. A new opportunity. America. Home.
One of the first tangible signs of that rising came from Yankee Stadium on Monday. The Yankees’ miraculous 12-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners capped an impressive triumph over two American League foes, the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners, who were as game as ever to beat the pinstriped titans. Heroes named Jeter, Williams and Soriano rolled off Bob Sheppard’s tongue like heroes in a Greek myth — strong and lithe, imperfect yet victorious.
From Los Angeles to Boston, no one will ever feel too distracted from the events of Sept. 11, even if it is a classic American October baseball game. But New Yorkers especially feel the need to celebrate something. The Yankees gave their fellow citizens the chance Monday night not only to celebrate victory but also to experience a normal New York within the new New York.
Amid the usual chorus overflowing from the outfield wall, there had rarely been a constant roar louder than Monday’s at Yankee Stadium. Instead of the traditional seventh inning singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” the team offered a singing of “God Bless America,” which boomed in a raucous peal of a dream, a reality and a promise. The echoes off the gables in center field still reverberate between the rumble of 4 trains passing behind the outfield wall. This victory will not be the last stop for these Yankees.
It’s no coincidence, however, that destiny sends New York’s Yankees to a city called Phoenix. The Diamondbacks are a good team, the new kid in town with the right stuff to beat the Yankees. Their starting pitching is unstoppable, burning opponents long before they step out from the oasis of Bank One Ballpark into the scorched horizon of the Sonoran Desert. Scattered across this desert stand saguaro cactuses, tall like lost people in search of a leader.
Through a baseball team and faith in a history of excellence, New York has led the nation’s search for a new symbol.
During the Depression, New York introduced the Empire State Building to the world. It represented a city on solid ground, supporting its highest point, which now almost touched the sky. The building was a monument — a marker of power, glory, excellence and wonder. Decades later, the World Trade Center renewed this promise.
We renew them again at Yankee Stadium. No matter the outcome of the World Series, the Yankees have brought the rest of the American League to its knees, and the rest of New York and America to its feet, again.