Dan's Dugout: Brian Cashman Once Hated the Yankees !! • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Brian Cashman Once Hated the Yankees !!


NEW YORK – Brian Cashman once hated the Yankees.

Say what?

A rabid Dodger fan while growing up on a horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky, Cashman changed his allegiance after joining the Yanks as an intern in 1986. He has been general manager since 1998, when he was hired at the tender age of 30 (younger than many of his players).

“I grew up as a Yankee-hater,” he revealed Thursday at the launch luncheon of a new company called New York Sports Tours. “But that was before I was bought and paid for by the Yankees.”

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been with the team since he was a 19-year-old intern in 1986

Alluding to himself, Cashman said “George Steinbrenner brought in a lot of good free agents.”

Cashman sat at Steinbrenner’s side for many historic moments in the Bronx.

“He elevated that franchise,” Cashman said of the late team owner. “He created the YES Network, built a new ballpark, and presided over epic successes in the World Series. And he did it all under great scrutiny in the game’s largest market.

“I had a front-row seat to many of the greatest moments in Yankees history.”

He cited perfect games by David Wells and David Cone and a no-hitter by Jim Abbott, a lefthanded pitcher with no right hand. Plus all the excitement of postseason competition.

The Yankees have won seven pennants and five world championships during Cashman’s 32-year tenure with the club. It has won the Fall Classic 27 times, far more than any other team.

But baseball wasn’t always Cashman’s calling.

“I grew up in a harness-racing family,” he told reporter at the New York Sports Tours media event Thursday. “I remember mucking stalls in the oppressive heat of August.

“Harness racing was my dad’s passion. And I remember the days when Yonkers Raceway drew as many people as the Yankees did.”

Brian Cashman’s grew up on a horse farm in Kentucky

By the time Cashman got to college in the nation’s capital, he wanted to play professional baseball. But he had neither the size nor the skills to succeed.

He did major in history, however, and wound up with a major-league team that continues to rewrite the history of the game.

New York Sports Tours also banks heavily on history.

“It’s a history lesson – about how we got here,” Cashman told the media at Keens Chop House Thursday. “The show Hamilton was put into a platform that people can’t forget. It’s the same thing with New York Sports Tours.”

The GM revealed that the tour passes a brick building where Joe DiMaggio once lived and a special Bronx River Parkway entrance designed especially for Babe Ruth so that he could drive more quickly from his favorite Westchester golf course to Yankee Stadium.

The company, which officially launches July 8, will run three-hour tours daily (more often on weekends) in luxury 10-person limos from Grand Central Station. Participants will pay $150 a head with the option of an extra hour that features dinner with a sports celebrity ($50 more).

Founder Jordan Sprechman, a sports book author who has been official scorer for both the Yankees and Mets, also spoke at the kickoff luncheon, along with New York sports legends John Starks (basketball), Shep Messing (soccer), and Mary Carillo (tennis).

“We’ve created a museum on wheels,” said Sprechman of his tour. “We want to give life to sports history.”

Shep Messing was a standout with the New York Cosmos

All of the participants in the post-lunch panel Thursday said they came back from the practice runs to say the tour will provide participants with considerable information they didn’t know.

“Baseball was invented on 34th Street?” Messing mused. “I didn’t know that.”

Carillo agreed. “I’m a sports junkie,” said Queens native and award-winning sportscaster. “And I grew up thinking I knew everything about New York sports. But that was before I met this group.”

The only guided sports tour that combines live narration, brief documentaries, and touchable artifacts, it is designed to attract both avid and casual sports fans – especially since it shows how sports influenced politics, entertainment, advertising, architecture, language, and civil rights, among other aspects of Americana.

Keens Chop House is a century-old restaurant that has long catered to sports figures. Its displays include pipes used by Ruth and a handwritten note by DiMaggio.

For further information, contact New York Sports Tours, One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 321, New York NY 10020 (Tel. 212-244-1132, www.newyorksports.tours).

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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