As the New York Yankees close the book on their 2017 season, it’s time to look back on the season that was. There was joy, there were trials, and there was an incredible postseason run that saw the Yankees one win away from the World Series.
As I reflect on the 2017 one last time, here are my five favorite moments this season in no particular order.
Todd Frazier possibly came to the Yankees as a rental, but he left a lasting imprint with the ‘Thumbs Down’ campaign. During the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays series at Citi Field, a New York Mets fan gave a thumbs down sign after Frazier hit a three-run homer. Initially, Frazier didn’t see the fan make the thumbs down gesture, but when his friends brought it to his attention, he decided to run with it. The following night, Frazier hit a RBI single, and gave the thumbs down gesture to his teammates.
The thumbs down sign became the Yankees rally cry, and for the remainder of the season, the Yankees turned the normally negative expression into something positive. No one knows if Frazier will return next season. But if he doesn’t, we must thank him for injecting some life into an already youthful team.
The Toe-night Show
The “Thumbs Down” movement wasn’t the only thing the Yankees did that was memorable. Didi Gregorius and Ronald Torreyes came up with the idea for “The Toe-night Show” after Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner hit respective home runs in a late September game. After they both came to the dugout, Gregorius, Torreyes, and Starlin Castro showed up and did a mock press conference. It even came with a mock video camera and a microphone.
I want to credit the ‘Thumbs Down’ and ‘The Toe-night Show’ for making the Yankees an extremely fun ballclub.
Brett Gardner steals a win from the Cubs
For at least another week, the Chicago Cubs are still the most recent World Series champions. So it was exciting for the Yankees to take a trip to Wrigley Field for a three game series in early May. The problem was the Yankees were about to lose the game on May 5. They were down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, and with two men on, Brett Gardner was at the plate. On a 2-2 pitch, Gardner drove it to right-center, and as he circled around the basepaths, he was drooling from excitement.
That three-run home run would end up being the deciding factor as the Yankees defeated the Cubs 3-2. Not only was it satisfying that the Yankees stole a win from the Cubs, but it was Gardner of all people that propelled them to victory.
Yankees come back from 9-1 deficit vs. Orioles
On April 29, many people started to believe this current Yankees team was special when they overcame a 9-1 deficit against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. And after defeating the Orioles 14-11 in a wild game, the Yankees excited the crowd, stunned the Orioles and turned the doubters into believers.
This was the moment I realized the Yankees could have the makings of a brand new dynasty.
August 24th brawl against Tigers
Baseball fights don’t happen very often, so when they do, it’s extremely special. Not only were the Yankees in the thick of a playoff race on August 24, but they were in the middle of a brawl. Austin Romine and Miguel Cabrera got into a fight that could have rivaled the Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox in 2004.
Tempers continued to fly for the remainder of the game, with the benches clearing two more times. Even though the Yankees lost the game, it was still memorable. Romine earned everyone’s respect, David Robertson became an internet sensation, and Brett Gardner got mad on his birthday.
Good times. Good, good times.