A Classic Rivalry Renewed

Ask any Yankees’ fan over the age of 30 which team they dislike the most after Boston and I would bet the answer you hear most often is Baltimore. It’s been 15 years since this rivalry mattered and Baltimore’s home park has become Yankee Stadium South, but in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, this was a real rivalry.

I remember as a kid watching Tippy Martinez come in to close out the Yankees and every time he did it the announcers would remind the fans that he had once been a Yankee. (Oh for the days when the local broadcasters could actually criticize the team.) It was a good introduction to the realities of the Steinbrenner era back when George was truly in charge. Jay Buhner may have been immortalized in Seinfeld, but I swear that Tippy came up and shut down the Yankees in more big spots than I care to remember.

I remember the night of May 19th, 1998. I went to Fenway with the guy on the other side of this site and as we were in the habit of doing at the time, went across the street after the game to have some additional adult beverages at Jillians, a bar that at the time had the biggest and best TV I had ever seen. That’s where I first saw this highlight. (Jeter and Girardi look young, but Posada and Pettitte look like babies! I still can’t believe the Yankees actually traded for Benitez and allowed him to wear the pinstripes after that.)

Now a new generation will be introduced to Yankees-Orioles games that matter. Four games with first on the line, it’s going to be a great weekend.