Originally posted Aug. 6, 2017. In honor of Joe Girardi getting the manager’s job in Philadelphia, the story of an encounter outside the Yankees’ clubhouse.
“What do you remember about going to Yankee Stadium with Ralphie?” my father-in-law asked, referring to his uncle.
I remember it was the first time I had met Ralphie, and that we piled into his van somewhere near West Hartford, Connecticut, to drive to the stadium.
I don’t remember anything about the game, but there’s one thing about the trip I definitely remember.
Between the combination of the game being in the old Yankee Stadium and Joe Girardi being the Yankees’ manager, it must have been 2008, the last year for the stadium and Girardi’s first year.
Our seats were in the upper deck, and we had gotten permission to take the freight elevator. As it turned out, the elevator was between the family lounge and the back door of the Yankee clubhouse.
Which is where several of us were standing when the clubhouse door opened and Girardi came out.
Although he now admits he may have been too hard on Jorge Posada — saying he, not Derek Jeter, was the leader of those great Yankee teams of the late 1990s — my father-in-law was a big Girardi fan back in the day.
So when it came to his attention that Girardi was right there, in an undershirt uniform pants (I might have said something), he walked right up to him, shook his hand and said, “Joe, I’m your best fan.”
We were not escorted away by security; the elevator opened and we went to our seats.
“I’ve told that story a bunch of times,” I said.
“To who?” my father-in-law replied.
“Because it’s a cool story!”