My Imaginary Christmas Guest

There I was, spending Christmas with loved ones, thinking of all the things I was grateful for, feeling truly blessed, when a friend offered me some of this.

I can’t stand eggnog, but I drank it just to be polite – all of it. And you know what? It wasn’t as bad as I thought. So I drank some more.
Suddenly, my legs got a bit wobbly and I developed a little buzz. And before I knew it, I was imagining objects that weren’t really there. Like the presents under the tree – they started moving, as if they were people.
Which led me to wonder….What if one of them sprang to life – as a baseball player? What if I could have a Yankee drop in at my Christmas Day celebration? Which one would it be? In this eggnog-induced fantasy world of mine, it could be any living player from any era – someone I’d just die to pepper with questions. So who would it be? Who?
Yes, of course, Yogi would be on my list. I would ask him to act out those Aflac commercials and tell me juicy stories about The Mick and encourage him to come up with funny, incomprehensible Yogisms.
On second thought, the Yankee who probably has the juiciest stories about The Mick (Billy Martin too) is Whitey.
What a great Christmas guest he’d be. In addition to dishing up the Mantle anecdotes, he could talk about what it was like to be a pitcher back in the day. I know I’d be fascinated.
But is there anyone more enigmatic than Reggie?
He was a big-time free agent long before the likes of Sabathia and Teixeira. I can easily see myself sitting him down and asking him if he really was the straw that stirred the drink and which current player stirs the drink now.
Having Paulie over at Christmas would be interesting.
He’s a non-stop talker so there would never be a lull in the conversation. The only drawback would be his temper; I’d have to watch what I said or else he might kick the bowl of eggnog onto the floor, smashing it in a million pieces.
I wouldn’t be a Yankee fan with a pulse if I didn’t want Captain Jeter to stop by.
I’d have a million questions for him. Like what did he really say when he called Sabathia to recruit him? Does it hurt his feelings when people say his skills as a shortstop have deteriorated? Does he have any intention of settling down with a wife and kids or will he be a swinging bachelor forever?
Speaking of bachelors, I suppose I could invite A-Rod over. Maybe I could ask Reggie to bring him since they’re pals.
But do I want to hear about Madonna all afternoon? On Christmas? Not so much.
And that’s when it hit me – the Yankee I want for the holidays more than any other.
Mariano Rivera-1.JPG
I don’t speak Spanish, so we’d have to improvise. But the truth is, I love Mo the best. From everything I’ve read or heard, he’s the most thoughtful, kind, generous guy on the team – a truly outstanding person. There’s a scene in my book where someone close to the Yankees shares an amazing story about him. It’s a tear-jerker, no question, but it shows the measure of the man.
So it’s settled. Mo is my imaginary Christmas guest. Who’s yours? Oh, come on. You know you have a favorite player that you’d kill to have over. Tell me who it is. I promise not to laugh.
Before I sign off, I just want to say thanks to everyone for stopping by and reading my posts since I joined the MLBlogs community at the end of last season. I never expected to become so bloggy, and yet here I am, being bloggy right now.
Merry Christmas to one and all.


  1. Jane Heller

    Oops. I forgot Don Mattingly. Somehow. (Must be the eggnog.) I would make him tell me if he’s happy with the Dodgers – really happy – or if he’s hankering to return to the Bronx. I’d tie him up in a chair until he fessed up.

  2. steve_t

    My all-time fave Yankee? Reggie Jackson. I was 11 years old back in 1977 when Mr. October hit those magical three home runs against L.A.
    Probably the one game that made me a life-long baseball fan.
    What? Did you think I’d pick A-Rod??

    Merry Christmas, Jane!

    Steve T.

  3. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    I think it would be great to have Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner as a “special” Christmas guest — and, even, his sons, Hank and Hal !!! … First I would “thank” them all, for the three great Christmas gifts [Tex, CC, A.J.] they gave all Yankee fans this winter; and, then, just talk about “Baseball” and the “Yankees” !!! … All Yankee fans should always remember, the greatness of the whole Yankees Organization, and renewed interest of the “awesome” Yankees Tradition is because of the great efforts of the Steinbrenner Family, especially, George M. Steinbrenner, III … Best Wishes, Jane, to you, and your family, for a Very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday Season !!! … Also, Best Wishes, that your upcoming book will be a huge success, and top all the “Best Sellers Lists” !!!!!!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  4. Jane Heller

    If Reggie ever comes over for Christmas I’ll be sure to invite you, Steve. We could double-team him with questions. Hope you’re having a great day.

    Back at you, Happy. In fact, I was telling my husband about you. We were talking about what a coward I was while I was writing my book about the Yankees. I was so shy about approaching the players at first, but you? You not only catch all those balls. You get them signed and go on TV. You’re my role model! Merry Merry.

    George Steinbrenner would be the perfect guest, Jimmy. I guess I forgot about him because his health doesn’t allow him to travel. But in his feisty days? Oh, yeah, he’d be entertaining, no doubt. Btw, bestselling author Peter Golenbock is writing a book about George and I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’ll be out sometime in ’09. He’s just finishing it up. As for my book? You were right about Teixeira so I’m putting my faith in you about that too. Merry Christmas and all the best to you.

  5. Elizabeth D

    I’m glad that you’re so bloggy Jane, it’s great to be bloggy! It’d be great to dine with our fabulous baseball players. Current players I’d like to dine with? Mind as well put the entire team up there. I’d love to dine with the captain, and well… everyone else! Past Red Sox players? Williams of course (if I could have dinner with any person, living or deceased…), Yaz, Fisk? The list goes on and on! Come to think of it, I might just have a gigantic banquet, everyone can come.

  6. Jane Heller

    I know how you feel, Elizabeth. The truth is, I’d rent a huge ballroom and fill it with Yankees past and present. There are some players I’d leave off the guest list, but in the spirit of Christmas I won’t name them!



    Joba just left our house for the annual Christmas feast. He was impressed when I told him we had a special visitor last night from the North Pole. He said if pole dancers in Oklahoma made house calls, he could have avoided that DWI.

    el duque

  8. Jane Heller

    Duque, I really hope you didn’t give Joba any eggnog.

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too, Julia. I went to the movies and am just about to go blog about it.

  9. Jane Heller

    I miss O’Neill too, V, but at least we get to see him on YES when he does the games with Michael Kay. I love it when he’s on. The question with Jeter stopping by is how would we get him to tell us the good stuff? He’s too circumspect to really dish about things.

  10. Jane Heller

    I’m sure he’d be a hoot at a Christmas party, Mark. If legend is correct, he’d have everybody holding onto their hats. Just reading Dennis Lehane’s new novel “Any Given Day” and G.H.R. is one of the main characters.

  11. Jane Heller

    LOL, Greg. I thought of that Thanksgiving post when I was writing this one. Things were much mellower yesterday, probably because I wasn’t in a group setting and no one picked on me about the Yankees! Wishing you a great 2009!

  12. Jane Heller

    I thought you might pick Trevor, Kaybee. What a kick that would be, right? Merry Christmas to you too, late or not!

  13. Jane Heller

    Bernie’s a great choice, Neal. I’d love to have him over too. If the conversation hit a lull, he could play the guitar and put on a private concert. Not bad at all.

  14. The Iceman

    It would have to be the Babe. You know it would be one heck of a party, but I might need some extra egg-nog for that one!!

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