Free of obstructed views and fair-weathered opinions
I could have made this post about the tough decisions the Yankees have to make during the winter. I could have made this post about the NBA lockout and where canceling games leaves the owners and the players’ union. But both topics pale in comparison to the revelation I had late last night: a big part of my Yankees fanhood will be gone.
Vinny Milano, otherwise known as Bald Vinny, has been a staple in the right-field bleachers for the last 14 seasons. His dedication to the Yankees franchise and, subsequently, his business is and always will be unmatched. The passion he and the Bleacher Creatures instilled in fellow Yankee fans made their Stadium experience worthwhile, win or lose. Everything that Vinny has brought to the Yankees and Yankee Stadium makes it that much tougher to handle him not returning to section 203 for the 2012 season. He explains his difficult decision in his latest blog post:
The biggest reason for me to not return is the lack of stability my chosen career path affords. When this business began, I was single and living alone. These days I have an amazing wife by my side and two of the most beautiful children one could lay eyes on. It is simply impractical for me to continue under my current set of circumstances. I can not rely on the weather to cooperate or for the Yankees to win in order to bring home a paycheck. That was acceptable in the past, but my priorities have changed. I need to take care of my family.
On the one hand, it’s like a death in the family. I never had the opportunity to sit in section 39/203 with Vinny (always one section off), but every time I sat in the RF bleachers I felt like I was a Creature. Thanks to the power of Twitter and my employment at the Stadium, I had the privilege of meeting him last season and enjoyed him stopping by section 120 during rain delays. On the other hand, I completely understand how much of a grind the last year has been. Between the shitty weather, the terrible state of the economy and the lack of effort by the Yankees to help Vinny market his brand, 2011 turned into a trying year for him. Add in the fact that he’s got a family to support and he almost has no choice but to step away from his season tickets. No matter which path Vinny’s business takes him, I plan to support him 100%.
Cheers to you, Vinny. Thank you for making the last 14 seasons very enjoyable for the die-hard Yankee fan. The fan experience will not be the same without you.