new york yankees

America’s Pastime

Page 1 of “America’s Pastime” from the 9-11: Volume 2 collection.

We open on a bar on the night of October 27, 2001.  A Red Sox bar, specifically, based on the Boston pennant on the wall above what I believe is a framed Pedro Martinez jersey (although the jersey is #47 and Martinez wore #45, but anyway …), and the big guy in a Red Sox jacket nursing a beer and watching Game 1 of the World Series.  A moment later, his friend walks in and the big guy, Tommy, notices that his friend, Jimmy, is wearing a Yankees hat (more specifically, he asks, “Who crapped on yer head?”).  Jimmy explains that after all New York has been through, it seemed that rooting for the Yankees was the right thing to do, for both New York and for America.  Tommy reminds him that they’re from Boston and that despite what happened, they do not, under any circumstances, root for the Yankees.  He runs down the list of what their team from Boston–“The Birthplace of America” as he calls it–have been through: Buckner, Mo Vaughn leaving, Clemens pitching for New York, Yankees’ fans cockiness, Derek Jeter, and tells Jimmy, “What happened on 9/11–you can’t let if affect you that way, Jimmy, ’cause that’s what they want.  I’m tellin’ you–if you root for the #@$!! Yankees … the terrorists win.”

Jimmy thinks for a moment, puts his hat down on the bar and says “Go D-Backs.”

That’s the gist of a two-page story entitled “America’s Pastime” written by Brian Azarello and drawn by Eduardo Risso that was published in 9-11 Volume 2, a DC Comics-released collection of short pieces that were done as a reflection on the events of September 11, 2001.  Along with the first volume, which was produced and published by several “indie” comics companies, the profits of the sales of this book went to the 9/11 victims funds, and featured many pieces that were done by both minor and major comics creators and for the most part used ordinary heroes in their stories (although there were a few super-hero-related stories in the DC one).

I briefly mentioned this particular piece last year when I wrote about “This Too Shall Pass,” the Marv Wolfman-penned story that starred Raven of the New Titans, and did say that it is one of my favorite pieces in the book because Azzarello’s script gives us a little bit of levity in a volume that can often get heavy-handed.  But looking at it a little more closely this year as I reread this and other pieces, I wanted to write about it because it made me think of one of the very first posts on my very first blog (which was called “Inane Crap”).  Dated October 24, 2001, it was called “I Guess I Hate New York” and is more or less a rant that is similar to the one in Azzarello and Risso’s story, as I expressed my frustration with the idea that suddenly the Yankees were America’s team and that rooting for them to win the World Series was somehow the “right” thing to do: (more…)