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Deciding Allegiances: Our Family’s Yankees/Red Sox Rivalry

Last week, I shared with you our big decision about redshirting. A friend emailed me afterwards and said, I think you forgot about the biggest decision you have made in your marriage so far. She was completely right…and so…we go to the biggest decision for our family to date…


I remember the priest saying to my husband and I on our wedding day that all marriages need compromise – there had to be give and take, and sometimes, you had to give in, but your marriage would be better for it. I remember we looked at each other, lovingly and smiled, because we knew that there was one area of our lives that we were going to completely ignore him – our untouchable, non-compromising beliefs in baseball.


You see my husband was born a Red Sox fan. A diehard fan who listened to games on the radio when his sisters overruled him about watching on TV, who saved up his money to attend games when he could, and who could name every Sox player who ever played.


This girl, on the other hand, was born a Yankee Fan. Quoted in the New York Post bashing the Alex Rodriguez trade (I still say “I told you so” on that one), convincing my older brother to take me to games on summer nights, and “that girl” who would easily list the entire line up to a jerky guy at the bar who said girls weren’t “real” baseball fans.


Over the years of dating and engagement, we went to as many games between the two teams as possible both at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. We were even at Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS when the Red Sox beat the Yankees. Neither of us can ever hear Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” the same way again (as my boyfriend at the time wanted to sit in the stands after the game watching the celebration and basking in Red Sox glory, much to my utter dismay). In one of the most annoying days of my life, we went to the 2004 Ticker Tape Parade together (I wore my Yankee Shirt under my jacket – take that Sox fans).


When we lived in Hoboken, NJ, we walked down by the waterfront to see the New York City Skyline every Saturday and Sunday morning and had our coffee. We always had hats on of our respective teams, and people would always make jokes about our affiliations. Someone would always bring up the question…” how are you going to raise your kids???”  We laughed about it during those easy early morning conversations, because kids seemed a million years away before our wedding day.  But on our wedding day, we knew that at some point in the near future we were going to have to make a decision about our children’s allegiances – and it could not be a compromise.


We made the serious decision how any logical and level-headed couple would. We were enjoying just a couple too many tasty drinks in a bar, watching spring training baseball, and I said I believed Joe Girardi was going to take the Yankees to the World Series. My new husband thought I was crazy, and decided THIS would be the bet. Whichever team made it further in the season would “win” and our child would be the fan of that team.


A month later, I found out I was pregnant. The bet became very real at that point, and I never watched baseball so intently in my life – but, Joe Girardi and his Yankees severely disappointed me, and I lost my first child to the Red Sox. It was a rough time in our house when the paraphernalia showed up, and even harder to take my son to Fenway, and hear him cheer “Go Red Sox”. We always said that the child would be entitled to choose the team they would root for at the age of 5, but honestly, I knew he was lost for good.


When I was pregnant with my daughter, people asked the same question – what would her team be? My husband would never “give up” the opportunity to have another Red Sox fan, but no bet or compromise could make either of us happy.  My daughter made it through her first baseball season without an affiliation because we could not decide on the right bet. When we came to February of this past year, the perfect bet fell on at our footsteps (or TV screens). The Patriots and Giants were going to the Superbowl. My husband and son, as Patriots fans, put all of their faith in Tom Brady, and I believed in Eli Manning and my Giants. I knew he had it in him to beat the Patriots twice.


I have never watched the Superbowl more intently (I am more of a commercial girl)…but at the end of the game, I had won. My little girl was going to be a Yankee Fan.


Our house now has an even split of 2 Red Sox Fans and 2 Yankee Fans.


I like to think that neither of us compromised, but we found the perfect balance for our marriage regardless.

Veronica - July 31, 2012 - 9:21 pm

I never get tired of hearing this story! One of my favorites, fellow Yankee fan!!! I got lucky, both of my kids get to be Yankee fans!

Chad Pio - July 31, 2012 - 9:23 pm

Incredible article. “Mom” is a writer after my own heart. Luckily my two kids never even thought of cheering for those red rivals from St. Louis. We’re a Cubs family through and through. But I have many friends who weren’t as fortunate…

admin - July 31, 2012 - 10:22 pm

Chad, thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate your support!

Anne - August 1, 2012 - 12:04 am

Hi! Started reading your blog via Musing mama. Anyway, I’m from Los Angeles, my husband from NY. I never really followed a team except MAYBE the 1988 Dodgers when they won, but that was just a bandwagon effort on my part. Husband is a die hard Yankee fan. I pretty much converted to being a Yankee’s fan the moment we started dating, as well as a NY Giants fan. We got engaged during a trip to NY in Central Park, and after the engagement I went to my first ever game at Yankee Stadium. My oldest son was born the week that the Yankees won the Series in 2009, and we were actually watching the game at the NICU parents room with a Phillies fan. AND then, the ultimate…We named our 2nd boy Gehrig. So you can say, I have fully converted to being a Yankee. :) And obviously our kids are being raised Yankees too!
And wow to the two of you being Yankees VS Red Sox! How do you keep the peace when they play each other?
Thanks for the post very entertaining.

admin - August 1, 2012 - 9:25 pm

Anne, thank you so much for following! Love your story. I don’t see us naming anyone after yankee players here unfortunately. :( My husband did try for Brady if we had a boy 2nd, which was a resounding NO from this Giants fan.
We don’t keep the peace at all when we play each other…we say that is the only thing we fight about. *wink wink*!

Lauren - August 2, 2012 - 8:02 am

I love hearing this story as well! This decision was easy in our house as my Husband and I are both Red Sox Fans. Although my Brother brought our son to a Mets game this summer and now whenever he sees the Met’s on Sports Center he will chant, “Let’s go Met’s.” We will see if he stays a Red Sox fan in the future…

[…] Books when we received Hello Wally!, one of the books from their Red Sox collection .  Based on my recent post about the baseball rivalry in our house, I am sure you can understand when it pained me that this book quickly became my son’s favorite […]

ALR - August 14, 2012 - 1:19 pm

So glad that you made the right bet the second time around! The baseball decision was not difficult in our house, as we are both Yankees fans. Living in Colorado though, the Rockies have grown on us as a National League team and may ultimately be the choice by our children. It is the football rivalry in our house though that is big — Broncos vs. Raiders! Unfortunately, I am the lone Raiders fan in the family and the Peyton Manning arrival as the new QB has only served to increase their loyalty as we live in Broncos Country.

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