Bronx, NY: Living several blocks from the stadium practically all my adult life, I have met many Yankee fans. From my first visit to the stadium at age twelve to the present I have heard and seem many fans come and go. I sometimes like to just talk to fans at, or around the stadium prior to games and thus have heard many stories.
However, this past week for the Boston Red Sox series I did not have to go very far to meet a very interesting and committed Yankee fan. I was sitting in my garden at home prior to leaving for a Yankee game when I was joined by one of our houseguest, Mr. Steven Sparkuhle visiting from Lake Hernando, Florida. My home, Mi Casa Tu Casa is a registered guesthouse that receives guest from all over the world.
Mr. Sparkuhle, a proud veteran wearing his Purple Heart hat is also an avid Yankee fan since he was a child in the 1950’s seeing his favorite team battle the Boston Red Sox. I asked him if there was another reason for his visit to New York. We have had guest that have come for a game, but they also visit other tourist attractions. Not, Mr. Sparkuhle and he made it clear that the only reason he was in New York was to see and attend every game of the Boston Red Sox series. He stated that he does not attend, or interested in visiting Yankee stadium for any other series, only the Boston Red Sox. I asked him why? He described the intensity he remembers seeing as a child between these two teams that bordered on a word that he believes no longer applies, but back then it was pure HATE!
“In those days I remember sitting in Yankee stadium and seeing fights break out during the ball game and people in the mezzanine deck in the old stadium pour beer down on fans wearing Red Sox apparel.” He continued, “The security could not keep up with the number of fights that would break out.” He did go on to say how today it is much more civilized, “they are a just baseball fans, like us.”
However, the most incredible trip he has made to see a Yankee – Red Sox series was when he was stationed in Okinawa. He explained he went from Okinawa, to Hawaii, to the West Coast, then to East Coast landing in JFK airport. He then took the shuttle to midtown where he would normally stay and then from they’re to Yankee stadium. He made mention that this was the first time he has stayed in the Bronx and was loving it and would definitely return.
It was a pleasure having Mr. Sparkuhle as a guest, but it was a double pleasure to hear his incredible love to only visit and see Yankee – Red Sox games and the Okinawa to Bronx travel was indeed one of the rare stories I had heard from true, blue Yankee fans.
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