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I pledge allegiance to my lime green Yankees jacket

By “Mrs. Singy”
Suzanne Molino Singleton

lime.jpgNew York Yankees merchandise doesn’t consist of only blue and white pinstripes, as shopping fans know. Some creative genius along the design line had fun with color – maybe to appeal to us ladies – and produced hats, T-shirts, and jackets of all hues.

My hat rack holds NYY caps in lime green … shocking pink … pastel pink … yellow … red … and the traditional dark blue. Ken once gave me for Christmas a big puffy Yankees jacket in bright lime green. In the winter, I wear it to the gym and to power walk the neighborhood, and you can bet the neighbors see me coming … no reflectors needed.

Yet comments about the vivid color aren’t the only ones flung my way. Because I’m a Baltimore girl wearing a NY team logo (and worse, a rivalry of the Orioles), freedom of speech comes into play as friends have their say about my precious Yankees merchandise.

“Take off that jacket while you’re around me,” or “I’d like to burn that T-shirt,” and other smarty-pants remarks are uttered to me and the kids. They say the NYY cap is hurting their eyes or making them gag. Funny them.

My standard reply is, “Hey you, quiet, the Yankees feed my kids and pay tuition” (and buy me shoes, but I leave out that part).

It’s a bit of a quandary, being that I’m a lifelong Baltimorean, once a die-hard Orioles fan. But like baseball players are traded team to team, the kids and I played a little switcharoo in our baseball team allegiance when Ken began to call Yankees games on MSG Network 13 years back, then for the YES Network seven years ago.

Actually we’ve discovered it’s not too tough being Yankees fans – it’s rather fun. We love riding the train from Baltimore to the city, and it’s quite exciting to watch them make it to the World Series so often. We love the enthusiasm in the stands, and Yankees fans are everywhere! (We do spend more money eating stadium junk food but hey, the tickets are comps, so who can whine?) And we can’t wait to feast our eyes on the new stadium, especially now that Oriole Park is old comparatively, as the rest of America builds new ballparks.

At first I thought we could be fans of the Yankees and the Orioles, yet when the O’s hosted the Yankees I was traumatized … which team to root for? Whose T-shirt should I wear? And if the Orioles aren’t going to hawk colorful merchandise like the Yankees, forget them. A few seasons I sat in the stands quietly, wore street clothes, and rooted for neither team. It was torture.

And if you think his wife gets teased, you should hear Baltimoreans comment to Ken about announcing for the Yankees, the poor dear. O’s fans think he should have black and orange running through his veins – and he forever will be an Oriole and extremely proud of his World Series ring. Yet his career now is with the Yankees, which he enjoys immensely.

What many don’t realize is that Ken is from Mount Vernon, New York (always his out in that conversation) so technically he’s allowed to stand so close to the pinstripes. (Useless piece of trivia – the Singletons lived in a house once owned by the family of former Brooklyn Dodger Ralph Branca.)

Let Baltimore fans tease us all they want … we’re wearing our Yankees merchandise and that’s that. And I will continue to pledge allegiance to my lime green Yankees jacket … that is, until Ken comes home with a different color.

Suzanne Molino Singleton is a Baltimore-based writer and columnist, and spouse of YES Network announcer Ken Singleton. She is the creator of a weekly women’s inspirational e-column, www.SNIPPETSinspiration.com, and a columnist on www.smartwomanonline.com.

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