Name that Yankee

Posted on 08. Nov, 2009 by in Rebecca Leung

Know your subject.

Clearly, as news-gatherers we ought to know our subjects.

I have to admit that I was wrong to disregard the advice as too simple (much as I am wrong to ignore the advice against unadorned prose).

Standing in the Canyon of Heroes on Friday morning with a borrowed camera, I did not know whom to photograph. There they were, just feet away from my eager lens: the New York Yankees, legendary winners and heroes of the moment.

I had the good fortune to be standing, amongst firefighters and cops, on the parade route, just in front of the floats.

Many large men some were getting on floats and the crowd cheered and yelled names. I could not make out which large men were meant.

My collaborator, Ines Bebea, gave instructions on whom to target. She shouted in my ear: “the fellow in the black jacket” or “the big guy who is waving to the crowd.” Despite these pointers it was difficult to know who was a yank and who a hanger-on.

At one point a man who was unable to see above the crowd asked me who he was missing. Given the spirit of jubilation felt by all those around me, I knew that I had to answer carefully. I mumbled something like: “no one that I can see, buddy,” but the fellow was unable to hear me. I had to repeat the sentence twice before he nodded. My ignorance was rewarded by the icy stare of a rather burly firefighter. He let me know that we were touching distance away from Mariano Rivera, pitcher.

Luckily I was able to rely on my colleagues and the Yankee official website for identification. Otherwise this slideshow would be much longer and – for fans of the New York Yankees – much less interesting.

Lesson learned: it pays to know your subjects.

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