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Giving Thanks by Owen Hetherington

Thankful to be a Yankee Fan

Every year at Thanksgiving, like most people, I reminisce about everything I have to be thankful for. Growing up, Thanksgiving for me was just getting one holiday closer to Christmas. As I have gotten older and matured, I’ve come to understand the importance of Thanksgiving and how fortunate I am in my own life.

This past year was tough for a lot of people. Businesses were forced to close their doors that will never open back up again. Jobs were lost that may never be filled again. Over 250,000 deaths have been accounted for in our country since March 14 because of the coronavirus. In one of the toughest years our world has experienced in my lifetime, there’s still a lot we should be thankful for today.

In a year filled with uncertainty and unprecedented times, watching New York Yankees baseball in 2020 was the closest thing to normalcy I had. Although I had my doubts about a shortened 60-game season in July, I couldn’t be anymore thankful for Major League Baseball’s efforts in bringing baseball back this year. I tip my cap to everyone who was involved and for the efforts that were made to keep player safety the top priority this past summer.

Of all the things I am thankful for today, near the top of that list is how thankful I am to be a New York Yankees fan. At a young age, my father introduced me to baseball. I immediately fell in love with the game and quickly attached to my father’s favorite team, the New York Yankees. From that moment on, it was just pure love for the pinstripes. Thank god he wasn’t a Mets fan.

My earliest Yankees baseball memories were in the mid/late 2000’s when I saw the Core Four become Yankees legends. That group, especially Derek Jeter, gave me some great memories growing up. I remember sitting in the car with my father on a drive out to Lake George to visit family, screaming when Derek Jeter hit his 3000th career hit. A few years later, my screams for excitement turned to tears, as the captain tipped his hat to Yankees fans one last time. Being a Yankees fan has provided a lot of personal memories that I will cherish my entire life.

While recent years with the Yankees have not been filled with championship parades, I am still extremely thankful to be a Yankees fan. I honestly can’t think of another team in all of sports where the fans expect to compete for a championship each year, like Yankees fans do. It’s a blessing and a curse all in one but wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Despite what has happened in our world in the past year, Yankees fans have a lot to be thankful for. What at one point was a longshot to play in 2020, I am thankful we witnessed a Yankees season this past summer. We have a lot to look forward to in 2021 as fans and I know we’re closer to another World Series.

Although Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, don’t forget to take the time to think about all the good things in your life this year. I want to take a moment to thank my two brothers, Ian and Collin, for always being there for me when I need them. Also, I want to take the time to thank my mom and dad for everything they have done for me, especially in the past year. They have been there for me through thick and thin and I am beyond blessed to have them in my life. Thank you for always being my biggest supporters and always pushing me to be the best version of myself.

Have a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving!


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