You are the best. That’s what I was offered by my parents, aunts, and uncles every time they separated. And that’s what made me cry driving away from the Yankees win Tuesday night.
I’ve been thinking about Jose Trevino, thinking about the singles walk-off in the 11th inning for a 7-6 victory, thinking about the unbridled excitement that shots through his body while making contact and watching the ball rip through the infield for a single.
I’ve been thinking about how when Isiah Kiner-Falefa crossed the front of the plate to seal the win, Trevino looked up into the night sky above Yankee Stadium and shouted.
“Papi! Papi! Papi! ”
No one heard. All too loud: A stunned fan, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” screams into the speaker, his friends quickly approaching him in wild celebration.
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Trevino called his father, the late Joe Trevino, or “Bugé” (pronounced Boogie), as his friends called him.
“I heard he likes to dance,” Jose Trevino said.
It has been almost nine years since Trevino’s father died. But Joe Trevino – an Air Force veteran, youth baseball coach, doting father – was the first in his son’s mind at his greatest professional moment.
Driving home on Parkway South, somewhere around Elmwood Park, I replayed Trevino’s day in my head. I immediately tore it up.
Tuesday will be Trevino’s father’s 69th birthday. Jose has woken up and is drinking coffee from his father’s favorite cup.
Imagine a moment for Trevino.
The coffee cup was the part of his father that was still in his hand, that could still be touched, could still be seen. He traveled with them all from his home in Corpus Christi, Texas, to New York City.
The smell of coffee inside the cup might have made him think about his father. At the moment, perhaps he can still feel connected, in a physical sense, with Joe Trevino.
His son probably couldn’t have imagined that it would be any better than that.
Except maybe because, when he was a kid, he had been walking in the Bronx with his father watching. It’s because his father would toss baseballs to him in the background, tell him to dream about it and swing.
“He definitely got me in this scenario,” Trevino said. “He certainly said: the ninth inning, down one, you need a base-hit here to tie a game or win a game at Yankee Stadium.”
Look, Joe Trevino loves the Yankees.
“He would have said,‘ I prepared you to be a Yankee, ’” Jose Trevino said. “Always.”
The tragedy befell Joe Trevino when his son was still in junior high at Oral Roberts University. He couldn’t see the Rangers planning his son. He couldn’t see his son’s MLB debut. Think about the hug he’ll share with Joe Trevino to see his son Yankee Stadium win Tuesday.
It made me think about the hug I gave my mom, Maureen, dad, Tom, and sister, Briana, each of us leaving each other.
We are all getting older. It’s a cliché, but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Some people leave in “I love you”When they parted ways with their close ones. We have ours “You are the best.“I’m not sure how to start or exactly why we do it, but I think this is because it’s not just a way to say how much we mean to each other at the moment, but how we think about each other when we’re separated.
Driving myself down a dark road, Jose Trevino’s appreciation for his father made me think about the time I spent with my own family, and this made me feel grateful again.
So, if you’re tired of Trevino’s story, you’re not the only one. Although there is no crying in baseball.
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Brendan Kuty can reach in firstname.lastname@example.org.