Real name: Mark Lamster
Year of birth: 1969
Home town: New York, NY
Now residing: Brooklyn, NY
Fondest baseball memory: Celebrating the 1996 World Series victory with my future wife, old friends, and hundreds of other diehard fans on the corner of Third Avenue and 87th Street, outside the bar where the Yankee players had gathered post-game.
Comment: Read my book, Spalding’s World Tour, an Editor’s Choice selection of the New York Times Book Review.
Real name: Andy
Year of birth: 1968
Home town: Newton, MA
Now residing: Brooklyn, NY, with wife Nicole, son Isaac (3), and daughter Alice (.7)
Favorite player at age 10: Pudge Fisk
Fondest baseball memory: Two of them, in fact, stand out (there are probably 20 that I could mention, and there are many that I hesitate to omit but will for succinctness). The first will probably surprise, and I fear it might reinforce the stereotype of Sox fans as masochists and happier when losing, but that’s not the case (I want nothing less than for the Sox to lose). Freshman year, October, Sox blow Game Six to the Mets, I can’t explain how vivid is that memory of lying on my bed in my tiny dorm room with a cold towel over my head while bawling my eyes out, even to this day nearly 21 years later. It was a formative moment in my Soxfan existence. Second moment is the exact opposite, and somewhat predictable: Keith Foulke tossing the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz as I sit in darkness in my apartment with my newborn son, just 2 weeks old, sleeping next to me. I was also, for the record, bawling my eyes out.
Comment: I share the two most prevalent traits of my parents’ Soxfandom: my Mom’s more-than-intermittent hysteria (I get this in-game for the most part), my Dad’s quiet stoicism and belief in regressions to the mean, empiricism, and smart baseball. This is typically more on display before and after games.
Real name: Paul
Year of birth: 1982
Home town: New Haven, Conn.
Now residing: West Texas
Favorite player at age 10: Wade Boggs
Favorite baseball memory: Excepting the final eight games of the 2004 postseason, probably Sept. 6, 1997, when my dad took me to Fenway as he did about once every year. The seats were right behind home plate, the Sox won 10-2, and both Mo Vaughn and Nomar Garciaparra hit home runs. Tim Wakefield, the only member of the Sox still on the team who appeared in that game, got the win.
Comment: I have a wonderful and beautiful wife who doesn’t quite understand my obsession with baseball — but has been there through it since her traumatic induction during Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. We’ve been married since 2004 and our family to this point consists of two children: our cat Manny, age 2, and our dog Poppy (spelled like the lower, pronounced like the baseball god!), age 6 months. In real life, I’m a newspaper reporter, which is more fun than someone should be allowed to have at their job.
Real name: Nick (last name I can’t even pronounce)
Year of birth: 1977
Home town: New York City (Washington Heights)
Favorite player at age 10: Willie Randolph
Fondest baseball memory:There are so many, but I’ll go with the Aaron Boone home run. That was pretty good. That night I ended up hitting the streets to celebrate. I was living in Hamilton Heights at the time, which is a pro-Yankee neighborhood. The blocks were filled with people drinking and celebrating. I joined them. There were a lot of hugs, some dousings, just general happiness. Oh to regain that moment!
Comment: I am finishing up my master’s to become an elementary school teacher. I have been engaged now almost two years with the lovely Mandy-urban planner of the future- and we plan on getting married sometime this or next decade. We have been together for 9 years. She has no idea who Ron Villone is, but does know who Mariano Rivera is (go figure!). I am the middle brother of three. My older brother used to beat me up a lot. I used to beat my younger brother up a lot. My parents are hilarious space aliens who were put on this planet to communicate with each other and only each other. He is a theater professor. She is a librarian. We are a very dramatic and book-based family.
Real name: Michael Chan
What the heck is an attackgerbil? It’s an affectionate nod to Don Zimmer
email: michael at michaelchan dot org
Web site: michaelchan.org
Year of birth: 1969
Home town: Scottsville, NY
Now residing: Portland, OR
Favorite player at age 10: Willie Randolph
Fondest baseball memory: Donnie Baseball battling Dave Winfield for the batting title in ’84, but the harshest memory was in 1981, listening on the AM radio in bed with the covers over my head when Watson flew out to end the series. The next day, I stayed in bed, feeling truly sick. My mom asked me, "Are you really sick or are you just upset that the Yankees lost?" I replied, "What’s the difference?" Mom let me stay home that day. Thanks, Mom.
Comment: I grew up in a part of New York where one could easily end up an Orioles fan, but got hooked on the Yankees when I was five years old. I am father to a beautiful son, devoted partner to a fine lady, and dutiful servant to a large canine. I work with computers for a living when not writing/sweating on baseball or riding/sweating on bicycles/pianos/the links/skis.
John YF (Trisk)
Real name: John
Year of birth: 1975
Home town: Passaic County, New Jersey
Now residing: Bergen County, New Jersey
Favorite player at age 10: Donald Arthur Mattingly
Fondest baseball memory: As a fan, being at Game #7 of the ALCS in 2003. I had been there for other playoff/World Series games, but never had I seen the stadium that electric.
Comment: I grew up and still currently live in Northern New Jersey. The best part of living in North Jersey is it’s proximity to Yankee Stadium and recognizing all the local spots on The Sopranos. I went to Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut where I majored in History. That is where I learned how to deal with Bostonians. I have been married to my wonderful wife since 2004. We have 1 son and another child on the way. We are also owned by a 3 year old English Bulldog named Shrek. As most of you know, I am also a high school baseball coach. I have had the privilege of doing so since I was 21 and I have loved every minute of it.
Real name: Shamil
Year of birth: 1972
Hometown: North Haledon, NJ
Now residing: Manhattan, NY with wife and 2 daugthers (21 months & 2 months – sleep is scarce…)
Favorite player at age 10: Bucky Dent. No good reason like a key HR in a Fenway game for instance…I just liked his name. Sadly, he was traded when I was 10.
Fondest baseball memory: Passing up adrenaline-pumping late-inning action, my highlight was something that didn’t happen. On Sunday, September 20th, 1998 sitting in mediocre seats at Camden Yards I happen to be the first person in our section to notice Cal Ripken’s name not listed in the starting line-ups when they were posted. A buzz started to go up from the crowd once the game started and built to a lasting ovation when the image of Ripken – sitting in the dugout – was flashed on the big screen after the first out was recorded. Jeter stepped out of the batter’s box, the Yankees came out of the dugout and they all joined in the ovation. After the game was official and just before the 6th inning, Ripken came out and walked the outfield, shaking fan’s hands. Being a Lou Gehrig lover (hence the IronHorse tag), I admired the record Ripken had just set and the unassuming, unannounced manner in which he brought the streak to an end. Living in DC then, I had just wanted to catch the season’s last Yankee game at Camden Yards, but was rewarded with a lot more.
Comment: I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last 3 days and…oh, sorry… that’s been taken. I love sports but increasingly find myself following only the baseball season closely (and occasionally other sports’ post-seasons or any golf tournament feauring Tiger Woods). Work takes me overseas about 1/3 of the year and beyond connecting with family, nothing brings me home more when I am in faraway lands than listening to the mlb.com radio feed of Yankee games, even if it is John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Oh yeah…I am having trouble adjusting to a world in which the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry actually swings back and forth. There. I said it.