It seems like most baseball fans grow up as diehard fans or bitter haters of the Yankees. That’s the kind of bandwagon you’re either on or throwing rocks at.
It just so happens that the newest Yankee, New York first-round draft pick (33rd overall) Ian Clarkin, was thoroughly in the latter camp. As Clarkin told MLB.com, he grew up a Yankee hater and was overjoyed when the team lost the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Luis Gonzalez‘s bloop single off Mariano Rivera.
“I could not stand the Yankees,” Clarkin said. “I was actually in tears, I was so happy.”
The left-hander has low-90s heat and a curveball that’s received comparisons to the same pitch from Clayton Kershaw. His draft slot reflects the fact that scouts didn’t think he was as advanced as Red Sox first-round pick Trey Ball, for instance, but he was viewed as one of the top high school players in the country, striking out 133 batters in just 73 1/3 innings.
Now that Clarkin is a Yankee, however, perhaps predictably he’s changed his tune about the team.
“Now I do love them, and my dad’s going to have to learn to love them, too,” Clarkin said. “They’re the most historic organization, and I am looking forward to it. There’s proof in the pudding, and I’m excited for it.”
For Clarkin’s sake, the transition should be a little bit easier for him than, say, someone living in Boston. Clarkin is from California. Granted, the Yankees did beat the Padres in the 1998 World Series, but there’s no natural rivalry, and they’re just a little more laid back in San Diego.
Photo via Facebook/Ian Clarkin