It has only been three years since ticker tape rained down on The Canyon of Heroes and cheering sports fans packed the famed parade route, but for New York’s big four sports teams, like the New York Yankees, Mets and Giants, it has been nearly a decade since they’ve had the honor.
The New York Rangers’ surprising run to the Eastern Conference Final had given sports fans hope that the championship drought would finally come to an end in 2022. Thanks to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the city’s championship hopes now rest on the shoulders of the New York Yankees and New York Mets, both of whom are off to incredible starts.
Yes, NYCFC won an MLS title last season, but New York remains a city that loves its baseball, basketball, football and hockey teams. And nothing would be more fitting in a baseball-mad town like New York City that its baseball teams would end the drought.
Sure the Brooklyn Nets were the odds-end favorite to finally win a title this year among the New York teams, but that quickly fell apart as injuries and COVID marred the Nets’ season. Coupled of course with Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get the vaccine, which forced him to miss a large chunk of the season.
The Rangers shocked the hockey world with their run to the conference final, but ultimately suffered the same fate as the New York Islanders did against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions. All the while, the Bronx Bombers and Metropolitans were up to something special.
A little over a month away from the MLB All-Star break the Yankees and Mets own the two best records in baseball going into their respective games on Tuesday night. The two teams also became the first to reach 40 wins this season and it marked the first time since 1955 when the Brooklyn Dodgers were still around that it has happened in New York baseball.
Now the hope is that the early season success will translate to something special down the road. The Yankees have seemed like world-beaters through their first 60 games of the season.
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The Bombers have lived up to the moniker with the team hitting a league-best 98 home runs — Aaron Judge leads all players wit 24 as well — and a team ERA of 2.85 among the pitching staff. The Yankees starters have been dominant in outings and the New York offense has come alive.
Across town in Queens, the Mets aren’t doing too shabby either.
They lead all of Major League Baseball in RBIs (301), hits (559) and team batting average (.265). And their pitching staff has managed to hold its own while dealing with injuries to both Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
The Mets are third in the league in total strikeouts.
All of this has allowed New York baseball fans to imagine the possibility of exciting and meaningful baseball being played in the fall in both boroughs and the chance for a ticker-tape parade of epic proportion to occur. But even those dreams, come with a dose of reality that has far too often been the case for New York’s big four teams.
Rangers fans know the feeling all too well right now and Islanders fans can attest to having their hearts broken in back-to-back seasons. Nobody needs to remind Mets fans just what ca happen to those championship dreams that seem possible in May and June and then fall apart in July.
Both teams are going to start to feel the heat a bit more as the summer months approach. The Yankees already have a sizable test ahead of them with the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros all on the docket coming up.
The Mets don’t have an easy schedule ahead either, with the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field this week and a trip to Houston next week.
New York’s ball clubs will start to really prove whether or not they can finally do what city sports fans have been waiting for.