Mayor's WINS Address
Hear the Mayor's Message
As you probably know, New York City is the world capital of baseball. In fact, the rules calling for a diamond-shaped infield with bases 90 feet apart and a pitcher in the center of the diamond were called the "New York game" because they were issued in 1846 by the New York Knickerbocker Club. That's the model of the game that evolved into baseball as we know it today.
This city has made a particularly deep mark on the game since the formation of modern Major League Baseball. Our teams have featured all-time greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and so many others. And we haven't just had spectacular individual talent; we've seen brilliant team play.
That's why New York's major league baseball teams have won 33 championships between them-far more than any other city in the United States, and twice as many as Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta have won combined. And of course, last year the New York Yankees had the best season a baseball team has ever had on the way to becoming world champions.
So it's fitting that this year, to bolster our baseball heritage even more, we've got two teams in the thick of the playoff hunt. The Mets are playing great baseball, and the Yankees are playing equally great baseball. They are just about tied right now for the best record in baseball.
I don't want to jinx this, but we might be on our way to a subway series this year, 43 years after the last time two New York teams faced off, when the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers. That was the series in which Don Larsen pitched his perfect game.
I can't imagine anything that would be more exciting for fans across New York City than a subway series. There's always been a rivalry between the Mets and the Yankees, but they've never been in the playoffs together, much less in the World Series together. So, right now there's never been a season like this one, in which both teams have been so consistently competitive. The intensification of the rivalry-and the simultaneous march to the post-season in both the American and the National Leagues-is great for the City of New York.
Keeping with this week's baseball theme, I want to congratulate Mark McGwire on reaching the 500th home run mark, and also congratulate Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, and Cal Ripken, Jr. as they either hit or approached 3,000 hits. And finally, I hope everyone knows that this Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Yankee great Thurman Munson. He was a tremendous player, and his sudden loss was a terrible shock to baseball fans throughout the city and the world, and we miss him very much. From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
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