From the Barre Times -
For Will Forest, the famous pinstripes of the New York Yankees have been ingrained in him almost from Day One.
Soon after he was born 50 years ago last April, his grandfather, a lifelong Yankees fan, stood over his daughter and her newborn, and welcomed his grandson into the world with a blessing of fresh allegiance by passing the Yankees’ torch to another generation of fandom.
But now, partly in protest and partly as a fundraiser for a charity that rescues animals from Mexico, Forest is putting a price on five decades of team loyalty.
More accurately, bidders on eBay — the widely popular online auction house — are calculating what they deem to be a fair price for Forest’s devotion, and to which team Forest now will be placing his allegiance.
“Anyone who has known me for a while knows this is a big thing,” said Forest, who grew up in Wayne, N.J.
Less than a week after Yankee’s management made Manager Joe Torre a one-year offer to return to work – which Torre declined – Forest had had enough.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said of the loss of Torre that sent many Yankees’ fans into a tailspin last week, days after the team was ousted from the playoffs. “I just couldn’t imagine what (the Yankees’ front office) was thinking.”
Soon after he posted the item, word of his baseball treason hit online chat rooms. He called to warn some of his closer friends — many of them Red Sox fans — as well as his baseball-loving son, Spencer, 20, who lives in Montreal. (Forest has two other sons: a 23-year-old who lives in New York, and a 7-year-old here in Montpelier.)
All of the money raised in the auction will go to Compassion Without Borders, a California-based organization that rescues dogs and other distressed animals from Mexico.
“I am not getting a penny from this,” Forest said, adding that he would be shipping the winner his beloved 20-year-old Yankees’ jacket, as well.
The winner picks the team he will be loyal to from here on out –”even the — gulp — Red Sox or Mets” he says – and the winner “can check in with me any time and ask me where my new team is in the standings, starting rotation, what the next week’s schedule is. I’m a man of my word and this will be my team.”
So what do the Yankees think of Forest’s statement?
On Monday afternoon, the Yankees’ front office had not heard about nor seen the eBay listing. But after reviewing it, Jason Zillo, head of media relations for the Yankees, said the team had no comment.
At least he’s doing it for a good cause. This is an interesting topic. Back in December of last year, I shared a story about someone who I know – who became a Mets fan when the Yankees traded Bobby Murcer. I can’t think of anything, that has a reasonable chance of happening, that would make me turn my back on rooting for the Yankees.
Sure, if I found out that the Yankees had sent me a dozen cup cakes that were spiked with Ex-Lax, or, if the Yankees decided to ban bald men from attending games at the Stadium, that might tick me off enough to say good-bye. But, I doubt those things are going to happen.
What about you? Is there a line, if the Yankees crossed it, where you say “Bye!” to the team?