We were on vacation for July fourth, 1983.
We were a family on a journey to the wilds
Of the Bronx, venturing forth from Rockland,
A picture book family: mother, father, daughter, son.
We were there to celebrate being together, being
Part of a large, boisterous, enthusiastic crowd
On our national day of birth … and by coincidence,
The birthday of the Yankee owner, George Steinbrenner.
And all we wanted was to celebrate this sunny day.
We didn’t know how the Yankees’ starting pitcher,
Dave Righetti (before he became a closer), was wearing
Not just his pinstripes but also anger, growling perhaps
About his omission from the All-Star game set to be held
Two days later … on his mother’s birthday. He had a 9 – 3 record
But that wasn’t good enough … except for motivation on that day!
We took our seats in the right-field stands and started
To enjoy the day, the rush of the journey through the crowd
Over as we sat in the hard less-than-comfortable chairs
And gazed and breathed in the electric atmosphere.
Even those who didn’t really follow baseball felt a camaraderie
With those nearby. As inning followed inning, the buzz intensity increased
And when Kemp made a great catch in the right field corner
(One we couldn’t see from where we sat … but which we knew had been
Successful, as related by the cheering crowd-relief),
The tension began to build with every pitch Dave made.
There were restrained whispers of the developing gem of a no-hitter.
When it was over, when Boggs swung and missed and all the Yanks
Charged the pitcher’s mound where an exhausted Righetti stood waiting,
We all knew that we had shared a moment that we could use years later
To measure our family closeness, our desire to remember
What was great about that day,
What was great about our family
Cheering and sharing special moments
And the love we had among us.