Yanks-Twins Game 3: Let The Party Begin!

Since the players seemed very well protected from the sting of champagne tonight, I figured I’d follow suit and don my rain slicker, shower cap and goggles. Why suffer? 
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Despite their sputtering en route to the playoffs, the Yankees showed why they’re the reigning World Champs, sweeping away a good-but-not-good-enough Twins team. I was so proud of them. But special mention has to go to Huuuuuughes, who stepped onto the mound and delivered a spectacular performance. It’s very heartening to see a young player reward a team’s faith in him that way. There was a time when I would have considered shipping him off to get a Santana or Halladay, but clearly I was a fool. (See above photo for further proof of that.) I also doubted that Marcus Thames would make a contribution earlier in the season, and he, too, proved me wrong. (I would make a really lousy G.M.) Anyhow, what I loved about this entire series was that our “core four” guys were as superb as ever and the newer guys did a great job too. Joe managed each game as if we were talking about Game 7 of the World Series, and while I winced every time he called for Mo, I can’t argue with wanting to get this round won and done – the first time the Yanks have moved into round two as the wild card team. I’m just glad I made it home from my friend’s daughter’s wedding this afternoon in time for the first pitch. The cake was pretty, wasn’t it? You can’t see the inside, but the center layer was chocolate heaven. 
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On the subject of cake, I’ll announce a cake-related contest in Monday’s post and will simply say now that one lucky winner will be eating sweet. In the meantime, most of you have “met” my mother from all the She-Fan Cam videos I’ve done with her. Now, you’ll find out how she became a Yankee fan. A piece I wrote about her is running in Sunday’s New York Times sports section (it’s on their web site tonight). Enjoy.

Twice Widowed and Now Smitten With Men in Pinstripes

Baseball is full of heartwarming “Field of Dreams”-y stories about fathers and sons playing catch in the backyard, going to their first ballgame together and building a closer relationship over hot dogs.

Bob Eckstein


Keep up with the latest news on The Times’s baseball blog.

Major League Baseball



My mother, on the other hand, wasn’t big on playing catch (“It’ll
ruin my manicure”), didn’t take me to a single ballgame (“Go with your nice friends, dear”) or eat hot dogs (“God only knows what’s really in them”).

In those days, she wasn’t a fan of theYankees or any other team. Widowed, newly remarried and the mother of six, she was focused on raising our blended family in Scarsdale, N.Y., and commuting into Manhattan to teach Greek and Latin at Hunter College. The only time she ever talked to me about baseball was to scold me for thumbtacking Mickey Mantle posters to my bedroom wall and poking holes in the avocado green paint.

She grew up in the Bronx with a father who adored the Yanks, so she could hardly escape the names Babe Ruth,Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, but the sport itself held no appeal for her. To wit, she was cleaning out her closet one afternoon during my college vacation and came upon what looked like a yellowed, tattered menu.

“You might as well have this,” she said, handing it to me. “It’s got Babe Ruth’s autograph on it, so maybe it’s worth something.”

I was stunned and said, “How in the world did you get his autograph?”

She shrugged, nonchalant about a bona fide treasure, and said: “He was at the next table when your dad and I were out for dinner. I walked over with the menu and asked him to sign it.”

As I got older, my Yankees fandom became a genuine mania, and Mom, now widowed for the second time, would stare at me as I’d watch games and rail at whichever batter left a runner in scoring position, saying, “You’re very entertaining, dear, but why do you raise your blood pressure with this nonsense?”

I decided it was time to explain the basics of baseball to her — just the way so many fathers have explained the sport to their sons. I went through the list of Yankees players on the roster that year and gave them each a back story. I described the difference between a slider and a splitter and pantomimed various pitchers’ windups. And, of course, I ticked off the many, many reasons why Yankees fans hate the Red Sox.

Mom absorbed my lecture, then asked lots of questions, including: “Who decided there should be four balls allowed but only three strikes?” “Does the D.H. get paid less money since all he does is hit?” “Why do the players spit so much?”

I didn’t have all the answers, but I was glad she was interested enough to care. When we had finally exhausted the subject, she nodded and said: “To think I’ve been wasting my evenings watching ‘Law & Order.’ I’ll give baseball a try.” Have I mentioned that she was in her 80s when this conversation occurred?

From then on, she started watching the Yankees every night, settling in with the YES Network, familiarizing herself with the players and coaches, learning the rhythms of the game, staying awake until the final outs. She realized what good company the Yanks were; she was no longer alone or lonely. In other words, she became a fan — late in life, yes, but no less hard core.

She developed an attachment to Bernie Williams and was bereft when he wasn’t re-signed. She regarded Melky Cabrera as her wayward son and called him “my Melky.” She became positively giddy whenever Mariano Rivera trotted in from the bullpen to “Enter Sandman,” although I’m sure she thought Metallica was a type of jewelry sold on QVC.

Now, at 93, she is as addicted to the Yankees as I am. Her memory isn’t what it used to be; she forgets the players’ names or mangles them. Cano can be “Canoe.” Jorge is often “Hor-gay.” And C. C. is — well, she doesn’t remember the Sabathia part unless prompted.

Still, every time I fly in from California for a visit, we eat dinner on tray tables in front of the TV so we can watch the games without missing a pitch. We bond over baseball in a way we never bonded over shopping, cooking or other girly pleasures — a mother and daughter debating the pros and cons of batting Jeter in the leadoff spot.

Here’s the catch. I may have turned Mom on to the team I love, but she ended up being the truer, more steadfast fan. She doesn’t scream at the TV, doesn’t panic when the Yankees are losing, doesn’t second-guess Joe Girardi‘s every move, doesn’t even freak out when Austin Kearns whiffs with the bases loaded. She’s unwavering in her cheering, without all the hysteria I bring to every game.

“How come you never get angry at them?” I asked during my most recent trip east.

“Because they’re the Yankees,” she said with conviction. “They always try to come through and do their best. You of all people should know that, dear.”

“Yes,” I said, chastened. “I should.”

As I watched my team compete against the Twins in an American League division series last week, I tried to come through and do my best — to emulate the fandom my very wise mother taught me.

Jane Heller is the author of “Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees.”


  1. colombiano2386@yahoo.com

    LOL glad to see you protected yourself Jane. Those goggles are a funny sight. Hughes was fantastic tonight: 7 IP, 4 H 1 BB, 0 ER. It’s nice to see Hughes panning out well from a highly touted prospect to a successful major league pitcher. If he continues to develop like this, I’d say a few years down the road when CC is nearing the end of his deal and declining, Hughes would be able to step up to become the new ace of the rotation. Your story about your mom is very heartwarming and out of the ordinary that you were the one that taught her baseball and to become a fan at that age! My parents were fans ever since coming to the states from their respective countries and taught me and my sister about the game and the Yankees; taking us to games when we were toddlers. They taught us well and now we’re both diehard Yankee fans who also took the time to appreciate and learn about baseball and the other teams as a whole when we got older. I love that we swept the Twins and answered any doubts about our rotation but now we have to wait until Friday for the ALCS. The offseason with no baseball is almost unbearable for me but even waiting a measly 6 days gets me impatient and antsy.

  2. serrabloodsong

    Hi there! First, I’ll start with honesty. I am a huge, HUGE Red Sox fan. That being said… I am also a fan of your blog. I’ve been reading it for awhile. I by nature don’t care for the Yankees…at all..I think hate is the right word…but…you’re such a good writer I can forget it for awhile and enjoy your style of writing…your stories…your commentary…everything..you are an excellent writer and a true blue wonderful fan. It makes it worth while to read your every entry. Seriously. Now, about today’s entry….I cried these past few games….my sister absolutely loves the Twins..and as such I had at least two big reasons for booing your team these past few nights. As it is…I still tip my hat to games well played. The part of this entry I truly enjoyed though was the mother/daughter story…it was a similar case with my mother…my dad was into hockey and as he never had a son he didn’t really try to indoctrinate me into sports…my mom is a Cubs fan…and boy..the way she tells it..the Cubs are the only team worth mentioning in any conversation about baseball…Never..and I mean NEVER get her started unless you are willing to sit for over an hour listening to her go on about how her father worked for Mr. Wrigley himself and the box seats just behind Home she would get to sit in season after season…still..that’s mom..and she..at the very least…made me quite the baseball nut…I love her soooo darn much for that. Of course, I committed a mortal sin for loving a team other than the Cubs…but love is love and the heart wants what the heart wants. The Red Sox are my babies…and my summer lovers…even my husband understands that. ^.~ Thanks for being such a good read…just thought I’d finally drop a line and let you know you had another constant reader and fan. Take care of yourself…and I know I can’t promise to root for your team…but I hope happiness finds you one way or another. Take care!


  3. ooaooa

    These are the Yankees! Hughes was outstanding. You could see the intensity in his eyes and demeanor. Now a week with no late games (till Friday) and maybe a day game following week. My client who had my tickets saw a real gem. (I landed up feeling well enough to go but couldn’t take a chance.) Great article about Momma Fan. I would love to give her a big hug. Pass one on for me. Is she of Greek decent? My father in law is Greek. “I Live For This”

  4. beckers46

    Great article, Jane! Thanks for sharing. I agree with serrabloodsong, you are a great writer. Your mother is so funny. I love seeing her videos. My mother also grew up in the South Bronx. My Yankees addiction started with her. When we were kids, there was no Mother Goose. Only mom’s stories about her sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium. I work in retail. It’s been so busy at my store. I had to close last night. I came home, and there was my mother on the recliner glued to the Yanks game. She brought me up to speed and had nothing but praise for Phil Hughes. A lot of people think that my dad taught me all about baseball. I love my father, but I had to explain to him who Phil Rizzuto was at Cooperstown. My dad has to put up with a house full of crazy obnoxious she-fans. He gets a kick out of us yelling at the tv. I’m so thrilled that we sweeped the Twins. I’m really happy for Phil. He definitely proved himself. Jane, my mom is in love with Thames’ dimples. She wants to poke her finger in his dimples, lol! I’m looking forward to the ALCS. Have a great day, fans!

  5. bgalaxy@verizon.net

    well that was fun. who knew a playoff game could be so much fun? no stress, no worries, ok barely any stress. hughes was incredible and the bats came alive. what a treat. i don’t dislike the twins so i feel a little bad for them but i am so happy we won.
    sweeping means a well rested bullpen and a set up rotation for the next round. i thought we had no pitching, no hitting and no chance in these playoffs and i am so happy to be wrong. i mean cc was the worst of the 3 starters!
    jane, what a great article. you are such a great and moving writer. i love your moms attitude towards the game. i love your way of sharing your stories. since i go to your blog before the times website, i hadn’t read it yet. cheers to you and your mom and the yankees!

  6. devilabrit

    Phil Hughes did the deed, the dirty deed of knocking out the Twins and giving them probably a complex almost as big as the Cubs have… love it..

    Well done to the Yankees for another ALCS appearance…


    Phillies Outside

  7. Jane Heller

    The goggles are my husband’s scuba goggles, Leo. I used them for the pic last year (after we won the WS) after learning that champagne really does burn the eyes! But they’re so tight that I couldn’t breathe. LOL. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Hughes did develop into a true ace and led our staff after the others leave or end their contracts? Not that I want to think about that right now, but it’s a comforting thought. I’m not happy we have such a long rest before the ALCS (I don’t want the players to lose focus or their timing) but in Mo’s interview with Kim Jones after the game he said the rest was a very good thing as a lot of guys are banged up. If Mo says it, it must be true. Thanks for sharing your own story about your parents’ fandom. They taught you well.

    Lauren, I really appreciate your leaving a comment and letting me know you’ve been reading and enjoying the blog. I do understand the hostility between our teams (and fan bases) and that it will never change. But fans are fans and we’re passionate. That’s something we have in common, right? How interesting that your mother is such a Cubs diehard and yet you fell for the Red Sox. Was it because you live in Boston? Or did you just rebel against all her Cubs talk? LOL. So if you’re not going to root for the Yanks the rest of the way, does that mean you’re throwing your support to the Rays or Rangers?

    I will give my mom a hug for you, John, the next time I see her. Thanks. Very glad you’re feeling better. Does that mean you’ll be going to games in the Bronx in the next round? Hope so. Hughes did have fire in his eyes. He looked determined. No nibbling. No walking around the mound. Just pitched. Fantastic performance. And yes, there will be cake. Stay tuned.

    For starters, Becky, I love Thames’ dimples too! How interesting that your mother’s passion for the Yanks got you into them too. She sounds like the ultimate she-fan. I got a big laugh that your dad didn’t know who Phil Rizzuto was and you had to tell him! Talk about the odd man out!

    Yes, it was a fun game, Barbara. I felt strangely relaxed throughout. Well, maybe I got tense when the bases were loaded with Twins after Wood lost the strike zone. I was sweaty palmed with Robertson out there, but he has been just tremendous the way he gets out of tough situations. For a team with no pitching and so many question marks, we sure did well! I’m so glad you liked the article. It means a lot, so thanks for letting me know.

    Phil did do the dirty deed, Peter. Like others here, I don’t dislike the Twins or their manager so I empathize with their disappointment and frustration. But I’m sure glad we got through to the next round.

    I knew you’d make it back in time to see at least some of the game, Melissa. And good for your son for letting you listen to it on the radio in the car. LOL. Someday he’ll write an article about his mother! I know what you mean about feeling like we could go all the way after last night’s game. There’s something about playing at the Stadium, with the fans and the pomp and circumstance, that just feels championship-like. But conquering the AL Central’s best is just one step toward the ultimate goal. The next round will be tougher. Still, this one was a huge confidence builder. Or should I say a Huuuuughes confidence builder!

    Thanks for those kind words about the article, Audrey. And I love that you want your daughter to marry Hughes! (I remember my mother wanting me to marry Princes Charles. UGH.) You’re so right about every member of the team contributing. That’s what struck me too. Just take the DH’s, for example. Berkman came up big, but so did Thames. And no matter where Joe batted Swisher and Granderson, they both were great. Just an all-around team effort. I felt sorry for the Twins but mostly for Joe Mauer. That error was costly and so uncharacteristic for him. And I wonder if the result would have been different if Morneau hadn’t had the concussion and missed the series. So you did keep the rally meatballs going! Good job. I had the rally turkey burgers again too, so they will be on the menu for Friday night!

  8. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    I think my post today should just be:


    Great photo of you again Jane. You really go all out. Hughes was amazing. What a game! We ended up leaving late (yes, the weather was perfect!) and listening to the end of the Rays game on ESPN, then me flipping through channels and having to settle for the Yankees broadcast on AM. My oldest son was driving and he must love me because he doesn’t like to listen or watch sports, only participate. In our car, driver gets to choose what to listen to, but he let me (and my husband) listen to the game. We did have a short, but interesting conversation about why RBIs are a signifiant number. His point was that it really depended on your team mates getting on and you have no control over that. I agreed with him.
    Got home by the 7th inning.

    Barbara, we’re on the same wavelength again! I also feel bad for the Twins. They are a good team. It must be so hard to them to come up against the Yankees every year.

    This game was the first time I felt like we really could go all the way. We’ve got the pitching AND the bats.

    Loved the article about your mom, Jane. I know many older women who are addicted to baseball. Your mom is a gem!

    And Renegade, what a nice win for your guys! I hope you realize this is a compliment when I say they played like Yankees! Their comeback, and the way they kept adding on runs was impressive. But I do hope that that series goes to 5 games and every one is extra innings.


  9. nyyfaninvt

    Loved your story about you and your mom and baseball, Jane. I appreciate your mom’s approach to baseball and the Yankees – it’s kind of like they’re her kids – she loves them no matter what and has faith that they will find their way. I can learn a lot from her, both in childrearing and sports!

    What a wonderful passion to share. My daughters have been into Yankee baseball off and on but I hope the ons become more frequent as they finish school and settle down and have a little more time to enjoy this wonderful sport. They are both away at college now so I won’t be able to share the moment with them in person when the Yankees win number 28 but I’ll remind them to be watching where they are.

    Daughter #1, btw, is twenty years old and destined to marry Phil Hughes, at least if I have my way. Every time he was pitching this summer I would tell her her future husband was on tv. She didn’t appreciate that – doesn’t think he’s cute – but I sent her the video clip you posted by his parents and maybe that will help. The fact that he likes to cook and has a dog are both in the plus column. So, of course, are all the millions of dollars he’s going to make, lol!

    Last night’s game was so fun to watch – it was so nice to be ahead the whole game and have a comfortable lead. What I’ve liked best about this series is that every member of the starting lineup has contributed offensively – it has been such a balanced team effort. I guess you could argue that Grandy and Tex have been the biggest offensive stars but as I went through the lineup in my head I realized every player had made a clutch play or two. Whether it was Gardner’s stolen bases or Posada’s timely walk (and hits) or Berkman’s homerun, they were all part of this division series and that has got to feel really good for them and Girardi. Gosh I love these guys!

    That said, I really do feel bad for the Twins, who looked so sad. I especially felt bad for their starting pitcher, who has experienced this twice in the last two years. I wish the Twins could go further some year but since they have to go around the Yankees to do that – well, sorry guys, really.

    Don’t know what I’m going to do with myself for the next six days. We have a couple of intense house projects coming up so maybe I’ll throw myself into them and earn my place in front of the television Friday night.

    I did eat a meatball covered in my lucky spaghetti sauce last night (I’d had a late lunch so a whole sandwich was out of the question) and have more sauce and sausages in the freezer. I guess I know what we’re having for dinner Friday night!

  10. aeh813@aol.com

    Every Columbus Day weekend, my family and I go to Cooperstown. It’s only about 4 hours from where we live. One of our traditions, of course, is to watch the playoffs. I have seen some of the most exciting (Sox/Yanks brawl) and heart-breaking (midges) games just minutes from the Great Hall. Going to the Hall of Fame today and seeing all of the artifacts and pictures from last year put me in a great mood and last night’s game was certainly great. Hughes seemed too good to be true, we were getting timely hits, the bullpen did great, and here we go. I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling to great about the Twins series. I thought this was going to be the year they got us back, but we looked like our old selves. There is nothing like watching the Yanks clinch in Cooperstown.

  11. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    Ah yes, the dimples! I love them also. Last year, when Damon and Melky were on the team, I used to think that the Yankees must have had the highest number of players with dimples on their rosters. Now THAT is an important stat!


  12. Jane Heller

    Wow. The comments really are out of order today! Sorry I didn’t see yours, aeh813. So you go to Cooperstown every year during the playoffs? What a great idea. Hughes did seem too good to be true, but he kept going, even into the later innings. I was surprised Girardi didn’t let him come out for the eighth, just for a batter, so he’d get a big ovation. I was feeling nervous too at the beginning of the series. But Game 1 got me thinking we’d be just fine. And we were!

    Ah, the dimples stat. LOL, Melissa. I forgot about Damon’s, actually.

  13. Jane Heller

    I wish my mother had been your professor at Hunter, Paul. But you’re not too far gone. There’s still hope for you. 🙂

    I’m sure my mother and your grandmother would be hilarious watching a game together, Virginia. We’d have to hire an interpreter! lol. They’re both quite the fans.

  14. nyyfaninvt

    Btw, Jane, my dad pronounces Jorge’s name as Hor-gay also. I thought that was very funny when I saw that your mom had the same pronunciation quirk.


  15. Jane Heller

    That’s so funny about your dad and my mom pronouncing Jorge the same way, Audrey. In my mom’s case, I think she tries to be precise in her Latino pronunciation and it just doesn’t come out right! LOL.

    Which team would I root for if the Yankees weren’t in the World Series, Lauren? Well, I hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does I would probably root for whichever team beat us, particularly if it’s the Rays because I like Crawford, Longoria and Pena. Or, since I live in California I might root for the Giants.

  16. serrabloodsong

    Jane, it was my pleasure leaving a nice message…true..there is a definite hostility between us and our fan bases…but that is no excuse for rudeness..especially when unnecessary. As it is…I’ve only ever visited Boston once…and I certainly didn’t rebel against the Cubs..they are just my 2nd favorite team…that second bit really annoys mom….no..the fanship for the Red Sox started when I was about seven years old…my mom was watching a Red Sox/ Yankees game with her sister Sherry and Sherry’s husband who was a total Yankees nut. He was also a jerk about it. I was at an age where I really liked sticking it out for the little guy..the under dog..and as far as under dogs went…I picked the Red Sox. I figured, at all of my seven years, that if no one else was going to defend them, I would. My mom was proud of me…sort of… So I learned all I could about them, a true feat in a world before the internet…but gasp! You mean there is a place where books live and you can borrow them for free?! What a world!! LOL I simply fell in love with them. The lore..the true history and the exaggerated…the rivalries…originally to annoy a boorish uncle..heck…I never even met another baseball fan until high school…none of the little girl friends I hung out with understood my mini obsession….they were too much into Anime and the Backstreet Boys. I still say those girls had their priorities off. Baseball was it for me and the Red Sox were my team. As for who I’m supporting right now, I was throwing my lot in with the Twins..as they are one of my sister’s teams, but now…I’m going for the Braves, Giants, and the Rangers…I always have more than one…though, as far who I hope will win the Series…I hope for the Giants..but I honestly think it will be the Rangers. I don’t have to ask who you want to win…but do you think they will actually win against the others? There are some really good teams in the playoffs this year. If it couldn’t be the Yankees then who? Is there anyone else you would willingly support?


  17. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    These stories are all very touching. I can’t tell you how many grandmas I know who are avid baseball fans.

    Lauren, I wrote you a note before and MLB “disappeared it.” So don’t apologize for the double post – it’s this crazy site!

    I’m glad you are reading Jane’s blog. We She Fans (and the guys who are smart enough to respect us!) need to stick together! I have no problem with baseball fans who root for another team. It’s people who don’t really love baseball, but are just pretending to root, or obnoxious fans of any team (like your uncle!). My family were always Yankee fans, but I always think I liked them just a little more because (this will tell you that I am old!) I started really watching in about 1968. The Yankees were not good, and the Met fans in school always said mean things about them, so I had to stand up for them.

    Your story brought tears to my eyes Corinne!


  18. ftyankeefan@aol.com

    Jane – I just love the article about your mother, and thanks to your videos I can picture her so clearly. She is so endearing and you are so lucky to have her.

    Of course I am in a good mood today because we made it through round one. As for our Yankees, I hope they will be well rested next Friday, but feisty and ready to go. Regardless of who they play, it will be difficult but I am confident that we will prevail!!!!

  19. thomasox

    I opened my Times this morning and your essay was the first thing I read. Beautiful. Bravo!

  20. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Freya. Very kind of you. I AM lucky to have my mother and I guess that’s why I felt inspired to write about her. Yes, we’re all in a good mood. How could we not be? Rested but feisty is exactly the way I want the Yankees to start the next round.

    The very first thing, Thomasox? I’m especially flattered. Thanks for stopping by to let me know.

  21. cdriscol@twcny.rr.com

    Jane –
    What a joy to see your column in the Times this morning, and what a great morning it is! Once again, as you did in Confessions of a She-Fan, you have captured and retold my life (except for the dating Ruben Amaro bit). My mother also never watched or showed interest in the games and players that consumed my life while growing up. In 1985 my dad died, and gradually she was drawn in to the family passion. Perhaps it was a way to keep my dad alive, but whatever it was, now she is the ultimate she-fan. She never misses a game, going so far as to make her friends turn on the tv/radio when she is at their homes for lunch or dinner, and to carrying a transistor (yes, transistor) radio to her granddaughter’s Confirmation, with the earphone running inside her sleeve – as I did in grammar school. She keeps a scorecard of most games, and loves to go back and check who hit what, when and where. She too, is much more calm than I, bearing with things like the awful September we just had, without screaming and panicking. Instead, she performs the ancient Italian ritual of the “malocchio,” with oil and water, to rid her boys of the evil eye. I hold her personally responsible for A-Rod’s turnaround in the post season last year. For the past several years, we have given her season’s tickets to the Staten Island Yankees, where she has thrilled to see the young Melky, Cervelli, and Chin Ming Wang play on their way to the big leagues. She places bets with her friends on the subway series (loser buys lunch). Argues the merits of this and that with her 92 year old sister. Now at the age of 82, we are hopefully planning our biggest surprise. She keeps on saying “someday” about the new stadium, so we are trying to arrange a package tour at the stadium over the winter. If we can arrange it, it will truly be a joyful time and fitting reward for her devotion – and for having a hand in raising a whole famiy of fans. Thanks again.

  22. Jane Heller

    Corinne, what a wonderful story about your own mother! I’m so glad you shared it. I encourage you to write to the sports editor at the Times and tell them about your mom and how my article was somewhat similar to what you’ve experienced. Maybe they’ll print your letter in next Sunday’s edition. I do hope you manage to arrange the big surprise trip to the Stadium. That would be amazing for her – and for your family.

  23. Jane Heller

    Haha, Jeff! I promise to post pics like the above if the Yankees win the ALCS and World Series. So now the ball is in your court. Feel free to write glowingly about the team you hate!

  24. jes14850@gmail.com

    Dear Jane, great story about your mom–I am so glad that she, like me, came to enjoy being a Yankee fan late in life. I will never forget her comment about Mo spitting–she said, “Oh, his spit’s different”. I think of that every time I see Mo on the mound and it still makes me laugh out loud.

  25. Jane Heller

    Really glad you enjoyed it, jes14850, and thanks for taking the time to let me know. So you found your fandom late in life too? Very interesting. I’m sensing a trend here today. I feel the same way you do about my mother and that comment about Mo’s spit. It just cracks me up whenever I see him on the mound doing his thing!

  26. etoubman@yahoo.com

    Jane- Congratulations on your wonderful article. My brother and I went to the game last night. It was awesome (although we sure missed my dad-btw he always butchered everyone’s name too). I was bragging about your blog on the train ride to the stadium and then lo and behold your amazing article shows up in the Times this morning. I told him he HAD to read it! (being a former newspaper editor and all). I told him that you were like family and that I knew he would love it! It was truly wonderful and after seeing the “she cams” of your mom, every time you quoted her, I could hear her voice, “well, dear…” O.K. so, I am going to try to remain calm like your mom;I think that’s a good strategy. Remember it’s only baseball and they are trying the hardest. OMG! 🙂

  27. Jane Heller

    You were at the game, Ellen? Lucky you! Thanks for bringing us such good luck and thanks for taking the time to read the article in the Times. I love that we’re like family and that you pictured my mom while you were reading the piece. She was so excited when she got up this morning and read it herself! We should all try to stay as calm as she does during the games, but at this point I think it’s a losing battle for me. 🙂

  28. raysrenegade

    How weird is it that someone within your comments (Melissa) made a comment directed at me? Guess they know I read your passages religiously, or maybe I am doing advance blog scouting for the Rays.
    Loved the goggles. I personally use the inexpensive swimming version since I have never been snowskiing, and in Florida would use them in salt water.
    Guess you can either root for us on Tuesday, but if you root for the Texas ones, I will tell Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Longo. (lol) Or I will release that Hughes stalker from her chair….maybe.
    Seriously, a beautiful homage to the First She-Fan. You not only did your Mother proud with that passage, you reminded others just how special that lady true is….in all our lives.

    Rays Renegade


  29. Jane Heller

    Renegade, you must have missed a few posts here. People make comments directly to you a lot. Haven’t your ears been burning? Everybody was saying how gracious you are and (Rays fan aside) how much they love you! Congrats on the big win today. You must be totally stoked for Tuesday. Seems like the momentum is on your side now. Really glad you liked the piece on my mom. She’s like the blog’s mom now, right?

  30. raysrenegade

    I usually do not glance down the comments ( I am sorry) and probably missed more than a few comments directed at me.
    My Father always told me to not make enemies, evem with those who you might fight with in the future. Combine that with the fact I love your writing, and you as a person, and I can’t be disrespectful or nasty to you.
    Nowa beer-crazed fan with a # 2 jersey with “Jeter” emblazoned on his back telling me it is a “game used jersey”..They are dead meat (lol).
    BTW, MLB and the Rays just announced they are opening 5,000 of those seats up for sale today (I had nothing to do with it…I swear).

    Rays Renegade


  31. Jane Heller

    You haven’t been reading the comments, Renegade? For shame! Well, now you know that you miss good stuff when you don’t! Great news about MLB releasing those seats at the Trop. Looks like somebody was reading your blog, which only goes to prove your influence and wide readership.

  32. kaiserthegreat

    Congrats on another round of AL Championship! Great article. Hard not to get angry, especially the closer you get. But mom’s right, at this level, who isn’t trying their best? I’m sure every player on these playoff teams want it more than even we do. But in the end…there can be only one!

  33. umpireplb

    This is a wonderful account of how baseball binds the women in a family together as securely as it does fathers and sons, just as it did my own mother and me in the decade before her death in 1994. Thank you, Jane, and congratulations on being published in the New York Times!

  34. Jane Heller

    Mom is always right, kaiser. The players are trying as hard as they can and as fans we have to accept that – even as we scream and yell at the TV. LOL.

    You’re very welcome, umpireplb. It’s very heartening to hear that you related to my story about my mother, given your own relationship with yours. Baseball does bind us, just as it has bound fathers and sons for centuries. I thought it was time everybody knew that! As for being published in the Times, it was my first article for them in 2007 that led to my “Confessions” book and this blog, so I owe them a lot.

  35. bklyntrolleyblogger

    I tweeted you ’bout the article…A great Sunday read. The shower celebrations qualify on my very select list of things “I wish I had thought of that”! Good Job!

  36. angelsgirl012

    Congrats on advancing!!! The Yanks are in full force! Very intimidating! Yes it’s been awhile lol I hope you are doing well! Thought i’d celebrate my “coming out of blog break” with a blog post so it’d be awesome if you checked it out!

    Best of luck against the Rays/rangers!


  37. crzblue2

    Well, I am glad I picked up reading where I left off last. I love the article Jane and like somone already mentioned, I could picture your mom while reading the article thanks to the videos. That was a wonderful read.
    Love the picture in the shower with all the green. The green reminded me of an old movie I recently saw for the first time with Shirley Maclaine where she likes to wear green.

  38. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Emma. My mom has no idea that so many people “know” her from the videos. She still can’t figure out what a blog is. LOL. “Where do those videos go?” she asks after I shoot one. Oh well. Yes, I did have a lot of green in that pic, didn’t I. I hardly ever wear that raincoat because, as you know, it hardly ever rains in California!

  39. Jane Heller

    Thanks for the kind words, twnzfan. I agree that baseball has a way of bringing families together better than any other sport. How wonderful that your mother watches the games and you have her right nearby to celebrate/commiserate with. We’re both very lucky.

  40. twnzfan

    What a beautiful blog! While the pain of my Twins being swept out of the Play-offs once more by the Yankees, I am reminded that there are true fans supporting both of the teams in any series. I don’t know if there is another sport that brings family members together as baseball does. Perhaps it’s the length of the games or the slower pace that leaves time for talk in between pitches, but it spans the generations. My 81 year old mother lives in a little attached apartment, and when I am watching a game with my teen-age son in our living room, I can hear it in stereo from her place. Great memories!

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