The long road that was the Yankees 2009 season is now in the
record books. The New York Yankees have just defeated the Philadelphia Phillies
in Game 6 of the World Series.
THE NEW YORK YANKEES ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS.
To truly appreciate what this night means, I have to look
all the way back to the first day of spring training. It’s been a journey where
the Yankees were doubted in the spring, counted out in April, matured in the
first half of the season, took off after the All-Star break and became
unbeatable sometime in before the postseason.
It’s hard for me to believe that I arrived in Tampa for
media day nearly nine months ago, but then again, I feel like this postseason
has been going on for a life time. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
The last month has provided so many moments that I will
cherish for the rest of my life. The heroics of Alex Rodriguez in each series –
but especially his game-tying home runs against the Twins and Angels and his
ninth inning double in Game 4 of the World Series – were pure magic.
The pitching performances of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett
place them in Yankees lore, and Andy Pettitte’s performance tonight, in Game 3
of the World Series, and in the first two rounds of the playoffs secure his
place among the greatest Yankees of all-time.
When I think of what Mariano Rivera did this postseason, it
reaffirms the fact that he is the most dominant athlete since Michael Jordan
was in his prime.
And make no mistake about it, this is Derek Jeter’s team.
Besides the four hours each game night when my adrenaline
rushed through my body, I will cherish the memories of the late night trip to Minnesota, the all
night trip to Anaheim and the train ride to Philadelphia. On those red-eyes, I
saw a bond among a group of baseball players that is rare, and it instilled a
belief in me that this was it. I
didn’t know that this was a special time on Opening Day or in August, but I
realized it when I observed the closeness of this Yankees team. Watching a
group of players toss snowballs at each other at the Minneapolis airport showed
camaraderie. Observing the way so many of the players spent time together on
off days proved that the Yankees were in this thing together. And, of course, watching the Yankees come from behind time and time again proved that this group was not going to be denied.
Tonight, I am honored to be a part of the Yankees front
office and thankful to the organization for putting me on this incredible ride.
Lastly, this experience would not have been nearly as special without the support of my family. Thank you!
–Alfred Santasiere III