When I first introduced myself to the readers of It’s About the Money, someone had suggested that I post some of my old stuff I had written on other sites. Well, luckily for that person, I decided this morning to rework and repost a piece that I wrote last March.
My reasoning for posting it here was that more pairs of eyes would read it and since the readers of IIATMS and TYA like to comment and make their voices heard, they could share their stories in the comments.
So enjoy the trip down memory lane and feel free to leave a comment (or three) below.
As everyone knows, the New York Yankees are the winningest team in baseball history with 27 World Series titles. So if you were born in the late 1930′s, 1940′s, 1950′s and early 1960′s there is a good chance you were born the same year the Yankees won a World Series. (I’m under the assumption that people who were born from 1996-2000 are not reading the site but I could be wrong and if you are, I apologize.)
The long running joke in the Gotsulias household is that I am the lone member of my immediate family born in a year that the Yankees didn’t win a World Series Championship. What’s worse for me? They were stuck playing in Shea Stadium that season due to the renovations happening in the Bronx at the old Stadium.
Were the Yankees terrible the year I was born? Not at all, they finished second in the American League Eastern Division with a record of 89-73.
They actually lost 7-6 to the Minnesota Twins on the day I was born.
In fact, their game started 7:30 p.m. which is the time my mom went into labor with me and my dad was at a bar watching the game when he got the call that I was about to make my – nearly three and a half weeks early – debut into the world.
My dad played softball with a bunch neighborhood guys, including my Uncle Kevin, and they always went to the same bar afterwards so my mom knew exactly where to find him. And fortunately for both of them, the bar also happened to be right next to the hospital.
I was born at 10:50 p.m. on August 26, 1974, so the Yankees had already lost by the time I made my debut but the Yankees started a six-game winning streak the next day – which was tied for their longest of the season. So at least they got their act together once I was born.
Now, the Yankees may not have won the World Series the year I was born but they won their 24th, 25th and 26th Championships when I was 24, 25, and 26-years-old. So me and the rest of the 1974 babies – Derek Jeter included, who may have felt slighted about not being born in World Series winning year, at least have that cool bit of trivia to add to our life stories.
And I shouldn’t really feel too badly about my lack of a title, think about those poor kids of the 1980′s and early 1990′s.
My brother James was born in 1978 which was the Yankees’ second of back-to-back World Series Championships when they returned to their rightful place on top of baseball’s mountain after a long hiatus. He’s the one who really likes mentioning the whole Shea Stadium thing to me. No offense to my Met fan friends but anything having to do with the Mets is amusing and of late, pretty embarrassing. The Yankees lost on the day my brother was born, April 8, 1978, which also happened to be Opening Day, 2-1 to Texas with Goose Gossage giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Both of my parents were also born in Championship years.
My dad, who is the reason I am a Yankee fan in the first place, was born in 1941 so he has both the World Series championship and Joe DiMaggio‘s 56-game hitting streak to work with. The Yankees actually didn’t play on his birthday but they beat Boston the next day (September 20) 8-1.
My mother was born in 1947. The Yankees went 97-57 – remember they only played 154 games back then – and beat the Dodgers in seven games in the World Series. My mom is a New Year’s baby so the Yankees obviously didn’t have a game on her birthday but I looked at my birthdate in 1947 just to see how they fared and wouldn’t you know it? They lost then too! They lost to the St. Louis Browns 4-3 but they were 12 games up in the standings at that point.
Back in October 2010, I attended Game Three of the American League Division Series against the Minnesota Twins with my brother and my cousins Chris and Erik. Both Chris and Erik hadn’t been to the New Yankee Stadium so my brother and I were showing them around.
My cousins were amazed at the sight of the new place and as we were passing the Championship team picture montages along the field level concourse, both Chris and James were bragging about how the Yankees won the World Series the year they were born – Chris was born in 1961. Talk about being born in a great for year for the Yankees. That’s an understatement.
My cousin Erik – like me – isn’t so lucky. Erik was born in 1959. The Yankees made the World Series 13 out of 15 years from 1949 to 1964. The two years they didn’t were 1954 and 1959. They finished in third place the year Erik was born.
The relative with some of the worst luck in regards to their birth year and how the Yankees performed is my cousin Jeanann, who happens to be Chris and Erik’s younger sister. She was born in 1966 and that was a particularly bad year for the Yankees. They finished in last place for the first time since 1912.
My relatives who were born in World Series winning years:
My Aunt Mary, my mom’s older sister, was born in 1943 which was a another banner year for the Yanks. They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals four games to one in that World series.
My Aunt Kathleen and my late Uncle Kevin were born in another good year, 1950. The Yankees won that one in a sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies who wouldn’t win their first World Series for another 30 years.
My Aunt Tina, my dad’s older sister was born in 1939 and the Yankees were really good that year. They finished with a record of 106-45 and swept the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series.
My Uncle George, my dad’s younger brother shares 1947 with my mom and my cousin Terry shares 1961 with my cousin Chris.
My relatives who, like me, were born in “other” years:
My Aunt Dolores, the mother of Chris, Erik and Jeanann was born in 1933, another non-World Series winning year for the Yankees. They finished in second place and they lost on her birthday, August 31, 12-5 to Boston.
My late Uncle Vincent was born in 1931 which was another second place finish for the Yankees. He was born during the winter so I again, took a look at my birthdate in 1931. You guessed, they lost, this time 8-5 to the Chicago White Sox.
My cousin Helen shares 1959 with Erik. My cousins John and Jimmy were born in 1960 and 1964 respectively. The Yankees made the World Series those years but lost both times. Actually, my cousin Jimmy shouldn’t even count because he grew up a Mets fan. And their youngest sibling Alexis was born 1969, a year the Yankees finished in 5th place out of six teams in the newly formed American League Eastern Division.
My poor paternal Grandfather Vincent, was born in 1902 and the Yankees weren’t even the Yankees back then. That year was the last season they were known as the Baltimore Orioles and they finished in last place with a record of 50-88.
Before I end this post, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the most amazing baseball year in my family. The funny thing is, it’s not even Yankee related.
My maternal grandma Angelina was born in 1908, which we all know is the last time the poor Chicago Cubs won the World Series. She was born October 9, 1908, and the World Series started the next day. Grandma is ill right now but still holding on at 104-years-old.
As I was researching and writing this post, I had asked my dad what year my Aunt Tina was born – I wasn’t sure of the exact year but knew it was the late 1930′s. I didn’t even tell him what I was writing about he still answered, “1939. The Yankees won the World Series that year.” Do you see where I get it from?
Thanks as always to Baseball Reference for the records and other information.