On the Eve of Spring Training Game #1…

I thought it would be fun to put myself in a Yankees frame of mind with a little mood food. Not that I wasn’t jazzed before I watched this video or that Girardi’s team building trip to the arcade wasn’t worth writing about (sort of). I just needed something really Yankee-ish to look at – something that reminded me why I love this team, its history and all the pleasures it’s brought me. Yes, the video’s long and it’s been around awhile. And Yankee haters should avert their gaze or they’ll turn to salt. But for those who’ve got the time, watch and enjoy…and let’s discuss.
* I loved how the video moved so easily from black-and-white to color.
* I noticed for the first time how Babe Ruth’s lefty swing wasn’t all that different from Ichiro’s, the way he moves toward first base as he swings.
* I forgot how huge Lou Gehrig was – a cement block.
* I didn’t really need the audio when it’s introduced in the modern clips; there was something pure and simple about the old days when the footage spoke for itself.
* Jim Abbott threw a no-hitter. Think about it, people. He didn’t have a right hand.
* When Jeter dives into the stands, it still makes me go, “No! Don’t hurt yourself!”
* The players of yesterday really aren’t that different from today’s; they all love the game.
Good luck tomorrow against the Pirates, Yankees. I’ll be watching.


  1. thesmoov1

    Saw the video the other day — it’s a perfect way to get ready for the first ST game. I still get chills whenever I see the clips from 1995 on, they remind me of why I love the Yankees and the game of baseball.

    Nicely done, Jane!


  2. bgalaxy@verizon.net

    thanks, jane. that was a great video and a perfect way to end our baseball off season. joy is just around the corner! i get to see the thursday night game on the mlb network and i am so excited to see anyone in a yankee uniform. i love the video. it was the funnest (wasn’t that an aj phrase from last year?) by the way, i’ve been wondering if aj is going to do pies this year or something else for walkoffs. anyone have suggestions for a new fun way to celebrate walkoffs? barbara

  3. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Chris! Actually, it’s the early footage that chokes me up. Just seeing all those old guys (well, they were young guys then) playing with the same boyish enthusiasm as the kids today is eerie and wonderful.

    I’ll be watching that Thursday game too, Barbara, although I’ll be teaching the final session of the winter Muse Madams writers workshop that night and will have to leave and see the rest when I get home. Yes, “funnest” was A.J.’s word from last year. I would think he’d keep the pie thing going this year. I’m so superstitious that I don’t want him to mess with anything else.

  4. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Hi, Jane!
    Posting fom Marco Island, FLA, courtesy of a friend’s PC…but subject to the whims of other systems, of course, and for some reason, theirs doesn’t retain the video…too bad, woulda loved to see Babe after finishing the book, but c’est la vie, encore…
    Found a set of DVDs at a Barnes & Noble — every winning Yankee WS from the forties to 2000 — it’s FABULOUS, and would love to share…and half-price, no less! Got me “in the mood” for what’s to come…have a great week…!

  5. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    Thanks for that Jane. I’m glad I watched it at home alone so the tears could just run down my face! And lots of goosebumps as well.

    Every time I see that video of Chambliss alone out in that mob I feel how frightening it must have been.

    Lots of great memories there – wish they’d put in Horace Clark turning a double play. ; – )


  6. devilabrit

    I also think the Jim Abbott feat was amazing, has to be, if the all time great, then close to it, as far as no hitters go…

    Excitement mounts, you gets to see them run out onto the field for a semi-real game today, baseball really is here…:-)
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  7. jojovanb27@hotmail.com


    In three or four of the Babe’s at bats shown, he seemed to keep his left foot planted, but in that one instance, he clearly moved up on the ball (ala Ichiro) by moving his back foot forward. In fact, I wondered if his right foot didn’t wind up outside the batter’s box, but that’s just the umpire in me.

    He wasn’t wearing a number in that at bat, so that makes it in the earlier part of his career. I wonder if it was his way of dealing with a change-up, or possibly trying to catch a curve before it broke? There’s no one left, who can tell us, so that leaves us free to speculate. I’m sticking with my change-up idea until I’m convinced there was another reason.

  8. Jane Heller

    Emma, watching Joe Torre choke up is one of life’s great pleasures because you know it’s when something good happens! Luckily, lots of good things happened during his Yankee years.

    Thanks, Cat. Same to the Dodgers.

    Glad you were able to check in from Marco Island, Dave. I hope the weather’s great. (I just read it was cold and cloudy in Tampa.) Enjoy your trip!

    Ah, #15, Mike. I hear you. Seeing him in that video brought it all home….again.

    I’ve heard Chambliss talk about that crazy scene, Melissa, and he was definitely afraid. Can you imagine that happening today? Would there be enough security to contain everybody? Or would the Yankees bring out the firing squad? Glad no one was hurt. And yes, it would have been sweet to see Horace in that video somewhere. LOL.

    Me too, Christy. Hey, you left a comment. Woohoo!

    I had to single Abbott out for that very reason, Jeff. People forget what a HUGE achievement that was, and his name has virtually disappeared from everybody’s radar. I was thrilled to see him in the video.

    It was a great feat, Peter. Exactly right. I think Abbott has been a motivational speaker since his retirement and he must have compelling and inspiring stories to share.

    I noticed the same thing, jojovanb! It wasn’t until the later at bat in the video that he moved up on the ball, a la Ichiro. So you think it was his strategy for dealing with the change-up? Sounds plausible. Don’t you wish he could drop down from Yankees Heaven and fill us in?

  9. jojovanb27@hotmail.com


    Meeting the Babe is a great thought, but at my age I have to be very careful what I wish for. First, I’d need an assurance that he didn’t mind going back alone. Second, I’d be happy to travel and meet up with you and the Babe in LA or Tampa, but I’d worry if his message said, “Meet me halfway.”

  10. Jane Heller

    HAHAHA, jojovanb. Babe would have to sign something declaring that he would come down and visit us but return solo. We’re not ready to join him!

  11. mhugill@verizon.net

    Jane you made my day with that video.
    Had a few minutes here at work to jump over to see you and thought I’d check in on the game.

    So here I sit at my desk with tears in my eyes.
    But I’m one happy broad right now.

    I live for this stuff. 🙂

  12. Jane Heller

    Isn’t it a great video, Peg? Glad you found the time to watch. I’m one happy broad too – especially since the Yanks won their first spring training game today!

  13. James Buxton

    Jane, this is my first comment, but I’m a long time fan of your blog. I have to agree with everybody, I had tears in my eyes with that great video. It’s great the offseason is over, now it’s that time of the year full of hopes and drama.

  14. Jane Heller

    I’m looking forward to it too, Jenn. I bet you’re psyched about seeing Halladay pitch. I’m sure he’ll be even more dominant in the NL than he was in our division.

    Very cool, gonzo. The first spring training game is such a source of pleasure. Enjoy it.

    I’m so thrilled that you’ve been reading the blog, James, and that you left a comment so I can “meet” you. The video is great stuff, isn’t it? I love the sweep of history in it and said to my husband after watching it, “We picked the right team to root for.” Now on with the 2010 campaign!

  15. bgalaxy@verizon.net

    i know it’s only spring training and it doesn’t matter but i had to laugh when i heard that the yankees won on a walkoff homer. what fun. yes we still want pie and hopefully this was a taste of what’s to come in the season.
    anyone else desperate enough for yankee baseball that they watched the video highlights? i sure did and i’m excited to watch the game tomorrow night.

  16. Jane Heller

    Another walkoff, Barbara! I was jumping up and down as if we were in Game 7 of the WS! So funny. I’m about to post about the game now. Very exciting to have spring training underway, picking up where we left off.

  17. Jane Heller

    Sorry you lost your bet, Matt. It was pretty close at the end there, and I didn’t know what would happen. You guys were running out of pitchers, right?

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