TAMPA BAY, FL – The Yankees made their way into Tampa Bay this weekend to show the Rays they are truly the Beast of the East. Appearing at all four games inside Tropicana Field will be Yankees superfan Gary von Stange. Gary has been a resident of St. Petersburg for three years, having moved here from New York City. The 65-year-old Senior. Counsel has attended every game the Yankees have played at the Trop since then.
He proudly states that he’s been to 53 straight home openers up in the Bronx. He shares the one he remembers the most, “It was April 10, 1998. The Yankees beat the Oakland A’s 17-13. It was my son Alex’s first game. He was 3 ½ months old watching David Cone pitch to Rickey.”
A lot of Hall of Famers have donned the pinstripes in that half century, but von Stange’s all time favorite is number 15, Thurman Munson. He’s carried a photo of The Captain in his wallet since that tragic day. He even named his dog Thurman.
Other ballparks he’s visited to watch his beloved Yankees are the one in Boston. von Stange will show up in his Yankee jersey, proudly taking his taunts from the home team’s fans. He pleads the fifth when asked how he’s handled the rowdy fans at Fenway Park.
Gary will be attending the four-game set this Memorial Day Weekend with his girlfriend Shelly Bramm, who happens to be a Rays fan. They keep their alliance to their teams civilized, as he shares a story of Shelly’s passion of candles, “One day she had her Rays cap on a tall candle. I moved her cap to a shorter candle and placed my Yankees cap on the higher one,” he continues, “I went out to the store and when I came back her cap was back on the higher candle, with mine moved to the lower one.”
During his lunch break, from the Johnson Pope Law Firm where he’s employed, von Stange makes his way into downtown St. Pete’s Suncoast Fitness Gym. He maintains his ruggedness by pressing a couple of 85 lbs dumbbells across his chest. For the few bold fans who had a few extra beers, don’t say I didn’t warn you about his daily regimen.
He’ll be wearing his Yankees pinstripes at the Trop rooting for his “Damn Yankees,” and will have to deal with Shelly if his Yankes don’t take three out of four.
That’s it for me. Leave your thoughts below and come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber.
P.s… Here are the answers to yesterday’s Sports IQ Quiz:
127 feet, 3 3/8 inches