Tagged: Bill Connell

Ringing in the New Year with “Surf Dog” and @amandarykoff

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Before the holiday weekend was over, I figured it was my solemn duty to pay a visit to Bill Connell and let him know he won the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video – as voted on by readers of this blog.
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It was a beautiful afternoon here in Santa Barbara, so he had a long line of customers for his hot dogs. But he managed not only to give my husband a complimentary “jumbo jumbo dog,” but to let me shoot his acceptance speech and get his thoughts about the 2010 Yankees. Here he is – unplugged and unhinged.
As you can see, Bill got a nice haul of Yankees merchandise for Christmas. I wonder if his prediction about Vazquez will be as accurate as his prediction of the Yankees winning the World Series in six games. After I turned off the tape, he invited me to go with him to the Santa Anita race track next week. Do I dare? Something tells me the experience wouldn’t be dull.
But wait…there’s more. Just as I was closing out the holiday weekend, I had a visit from Amanda Rykoff, a California born/New York based Yankee fan and sports junkie whose blog is definitely worth checking out. I “met” Amanda on Twitter during baseball season. When she said she was coming to Santa Barbara to see her two-month-old nephew, I asked her to stop by and say hi. We had a great time sitting outside on my deck, talking about life and the Yankees. I was skeptical about Twitter when everybody kept telling me to sign up last year, but thanks to people like Amanda I’m a believer. Here she is waxing poetic about football and the Yanks via the She-Fan Cam.
The New Year is off to an excellent start!

World Series Game 4: Damon Phlummoxes Phillies

Johnny Damon couldn’t throw me out, and I’m as klutzy as it gets.
But he can still hit, steal and play heads up baseball. Not only was he 3-for-5 in tonight’s stunning 7-4 victory over the Phillies, but he had a nine-pitch at-bat in the top of the 9th against Lidge that resulted in a two-out single….
….and then he stole second AND third when nobody was covering.
Could the Yankees find a way to bring him home? Uh-huh. Tex was hit by a pitch, and A-Rod lined a double to left to lift the Bombers to a 5-4 lead in what was another wild, seesaw, come-from-behind battle. Jorge’s two-RBI single decided the game offensively, and Mo took care of the Phillies in the bottom of the frame for his 39th postseason save. Of all the games in this series, this one nearly put me in restraints.
It was nerve-wracking, to say the least, but it had enough twists and turns to keep any fan riveted. For me the other key moments included:
CC’s gritty performance (short rest or no short rest).
Jeter’s two singles.
Swisher’s leadoff walk in the fifth.
Melky’s infield hit (hope his hamstring is OK).
Cano’s hit (finally).
Marte’s emergence as our premier lefty reliever.
Joba’s strikeouts of Werth and Ibanez.
Joba’s fat pitch to Louise Feliz.
A-Rod’s third plunking in two games.
That last item requires that I ask: Why would the umpires warn both benches when the Yankees hit nobody? I know. They wanted to keep things under control just in case.
The main thing is that the Yankees are now up 3-1 in the series, which means that my lucky pizza worked again tonight. Here’s what it looked like before I ate it.
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Here’s what I looked like after I ate it.
Talk about taking one for the team. I’ll be downing another pie tomorrow night. My other lucky ritual will be to pay another visit to Bill, also known in these parts as “Surf Dog.” I stopped by his hot dog cart this afternoon before the game to see if he had any words of wisdom. Here’s what he had to say. He was right on the money until he got to Joba and that last fastball.

She-Fan and Amber Go Trick or Treating

It’s Halloween and it’s scary out there.
It’s especially scary if you’re the Yankees and you’re in Philadelphia looking at costumes like this.
But not everyone is dressed like a monster. I met up with Amber Sabathia, and – surprise! – we both had the same idea for Halloween. Take a look.
Back in California, I went in search of Bill, the guy who owns the Surf Dog concession at the beach. Last time he gave me a free hot dog, along with his thoughts about the Yankees. This time he presented me with my very own Surf Dog shirt. I do love swag, but what I love even more is a Yankee fan willing to let his freak flag fly, so to speak. Here’s Bill hoisting the pinstripes.

Missing The Empire State

I’ll focus on Yankees-Phillies in my next post, complete with an exclusive “She-Fan Scouting Report,” but today I was feeling mopey. People kept asking me if I was going to the World Series and I kept having to say no. Even my best friend from high school, a Red Sox fan, called to say, “So are you flying to New York?” I told her I was staying in California. I was so ashamed.
If I hadn’t been so busy with work, I might have hopped on a plane so that I could be in attendance for at least one game. But I didn’t make any plans, so now I’ll just have to watch on TV and deal with it. Still, it’s times like this when New York seems far away and I miss it. I miss my family. I miss New York accents. I miss people walking fast and elbowing each other out of the way. And here’s what else I miss:
* Fall foliage in Central Park.
* Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant.
* Cheesecake.
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* The subway.
And I miss everything having to do with Yankee Stadium:
* Freddy.
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* Frank Sinatra.
* The fact that they’ve already painted the field with this.
* The fans….
  Big ones…
  Small ones…
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  And “artistic” ones.
I was so down in the dumps this afternoon, wishing there were other Yankee fans in Santa Barbara, that I left my desk and went for a beach walk. It was a gorgeous day, and this was my view as I did my five miles.
Nothing to complain about, right? I was starting to perk up until my Yankees cap began to attract some unfavorable attention. You could tell people wanted to shake their fists at me and demand, “Why aren’t you a Dodgers or Angels fan? What’s wrong with you?”
And then a mirage….or so it seemed.
No, it wasn’t a hot dog concession in the Bronx, but close. It was the Surf Dog cart owned for 16 years by Bill Connell – a local celebrity for having won a major case against the state of California last week.
A 55-year-old disabled veteran, Bill fought for an exemption for street peddlers like himself who wer
e being forced to pay sales tax on their wares. It was a victory for disabled vets and it made him a hero. And – just my luck – Bill turned out to be a huge Yankee fan. When I told him I was a fan too, he not only handed me a free hot dog but let me interview him on the She-Fan Cam – a happy ending to my day.