My Tradition

I am a rabid Yankees fan. I was born this way. I love the Yankees to my very core.

While I was having a fanatical fan moment at a recent game against the Red Sox, my younger daughter asked: “What is it about the Yankees? Why are you so obsessed? Why do you love this team SO much?” I hesitated while I considered her question, because so many thoughts consumed me at once.

I love the Yankees, because, when I was a kid, the highlight of every summer dinner for my brother and me was when my dad would quiz us on that night’s starting line-up. It is because every childhood memory of summer has a Yankees game blaring in the background. It is because I learned every curse word in my current vocabulary from watching Yankees games with my dad and grandfather. Those memories make me smile and provide comfort.

My love affair with the Yankees, though, is not just about nostalgia. It is also about certainty. I know the umpire will call an out after three strikes, and that four balls are a walk. I know when the Yankees play at home, they will be wearing white with navy pinstripes, and that they will be wearing plain gray on the road. I know that when I step into the Stadium, time will stand still, the outside world will disappear, and a tribe of strangers, who love this team as much as I do, will unconditionally accept me as one of their own.

The Yankees have been there my whole life. I can be certain of the Yankees.

And as if my daughter read my mind as the movie-style montage of memories flooded through my brain, she answered the question herself. She said, “You love the nostalgia. You love doing the same thing every time you are at the Stadium.” She hit the nail on the head. The Yankees are a constant.

These days, I search for constants. I am close to reaching my limit of continued uncertainty. And I know I am not alone in this feeling.

Many of us are at our breaking points, exhausted from waking up every morning to face yet another day of the unknown. We wonder what new calamity or tragedy the day will bring. A new strain of Covid? A war? A recession? A mass shooting? More political unrest? Decades of legal precedent being overturned? Our new baseline is unsettled and anxious. We frequently experience fear, rage, uneasiness and sadness. We feel a loss of control as we desperately try to find ways to cope and adapt.

It is for these reasons that my craving for nostalgia and tradition via the Yankees is so intense. As the world around me remains unpredictable, tradition satisfies my need for stability and consistency. It gives me a sense of belonging, helps bring meaning to my life and makes me less lonely. It provides me with human connection based on shared experience. Tradition allows for a sense of continuity and security.

Tradition also provides me with perspective. My grandfather and father were Yankees fans long before I entered the world; my girls will continue to love the Yankees when I am no longer. Life goes on no matter what. I find solace in being part of something larger than myself. Tradition reminds me that humans have endured in the past and gives me the reassurance that we will continue to persevere going forward.

The comfort of tradition is why I cling to the Yankees so tightly. We all need a bit of comfort right now. I use my love of the Yankees as a coping mechanism. For me, the Yankees are certainty, ritual, comfort, bonding, memories. In a world of chaos, the Yankees help anchor me and keep me connected.

And with this sense of comfort comes certainty. Not about the specifics of tomorrow, but about life’s broader journey. Certainty that we will persevere. Certainty that all of this will pass. Certainty that together, we got this.


I’m grateful our connection is one of my new traditions, Michelle. #moreYankees

Watching the game as I read this and smiled the whole way through! I try to keep a lot of my families traditions going too they really do bring such comfort. Thank you for sharing!