POLAND – Whenever the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox square-off, Pat Beausang covers the wooden rocker on her porch in Yankee-print fabric, plops a Yankee bear in the seat, puts an old World Series champs sign by the front door and hangs out a big ol’ Yankees flag.
It’s a splashy show of team pride.
She thinks it also tweaks the neighbors. They’re Sox fans.
Up here, it seems, all the world’s a Sox fan.
Beausang grew up in western Massachusetts in a staunchly Red Sox family. Somehow, around age 3, she got hooked on the Yankees with her grandmother. They listened to games on the radio and took all the lumps that come with being the only two people to root for the other team.
“I’m just totally obsessed with the Yankees. I’m not a baseball fan, I’m a Yankees fan,” Beausang, 59, said. “They’re exciting, they’re good. They’re just my boys.”
Two years ago she toured Yankee Stadium.
“It was just so wonderful being down in the dugout. I was like, how many famous Yankee butts have sat exactly where I’m sitting?”
Her favorite games are when her team plays the Sox. They’ll match up 19 times this year.
Family and friends call to taunt when Boston’s on top. When the Yanks pull ahead, she’s busy gloating.
Beausang’s made something of a Yankees shrine in her home office, filling the room with autographed pictures, pennants, pins, baseball cards, cups, golf tees, lighters, Barbie dressed as a Yankee and even a bag of New York Yankees peanuts.
She was a teenager when she had her closest Yankees’ encounter.
In 1961, her family went to Boston to watch the bitter rivals and stayed at the Statler Hilton Hotel – by chance, the same place as the Yankees.
“There was a sign up at the elevator, Do not ride the elevator with the Yankees.’ My brother and I were standing there when Roland Sheldon got in and said, C’mon.’ We said, We can’t ride with you.’ He said, Oh, don’t be silly.'”
So they hopped in.
She walked around the hotel with a pink pen, pink pad of paper and a stack of photos collecting signatures from Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
“They were so pleasant,” she said. “Mickey Mantle said, What are you going to do, take them home and sell them?’ I must have gotten six autographs from him. I just gave them away.”