"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



This one is for Todd. Of course, the Yankees won it for themselves. We’re just fortunate to be along for the ride. But for us here at the Banter, this is for one of our own, Todd Drew, who was as rabid a Yankees fan as you are ever likely to meet. Todd passed away earlier this year, left this world far too soon. But he touched many lives and it was hard not to think of him as the season unfolded.

It is bittersweet that he’s not here in the flesh, but he sure is here in spirit. He’s part of the celebration.

The beauty part is that I’d be writing the same thing had the Yankees lost to the Phillies because for Todd, it was about the game. It was about showing up and rooting and staying until the final pitch, no matter the score, no matter the weather.


Todd was a true fan. He loved his team beyond the boxscore. He admired the craft of hitting, fielding, pitching, and managing. He was drawn to the personal stories in the locker room. He loved the numbers too. Beyond that, he relished how sport can connect a community, a city. That’s what he was about, and that’s what we’re about at Bronx Banter.

This morning, I received an e-mail from longtime reader Scott Smith, who is a Red Sox fan. He wrote about not knowing what to do with himself after the Red Sox won the Serious:

I was waiting for the other shoe that never dropped…How do you celebrate that? But then later I realized that I was carrying around this tiny warm ember that I could take out and wrap my hands around whenever I wanted. And that’s a nice thing to have, especially in a NYC winter…

For many of us here at the Banter, Todd is the warm ember that we can wrap our hands around whenever we want. Forever.

Champagne, high fives and hugs.

This one is for you, my brother!

*Emmis is Yiddish for “the truth.”

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1 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:13 am

Hah, this time I read your post before mascara application.

That was tender and moving, Alex. I think we can all feel Todd.


2 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:23 am

I'm not always sure how much I believe in these things, but I think the Yanks had an angel on their shoulder this whole year....even if they don't realize it.

3 tommyl   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:27 am

Well said Alex. Let's also not forget the incredible work Todd did in his "day job" helping out those less fortunate in his community. Its odd, I've never met any of you, and I am still happy to call all of you my friends.

4 Raf   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:27 am

*Emmis is Yiddish for “the truth.”

Does it drink from a thermos?

5 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:29 am

3) Most definitely. You are SO right.

6 mehmattski   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:43 am

It's like one big long hug fest at the Banter.

e-high five!

7 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:44 am

Posts like this, and the widespread Banter remembering of Todd Drew, along with others posting of losses and the response to that make me realize - yet again - how complex the idea of 'relationships' has become in a cyberworld.

People we never meet, sometimes people we only know online behind a handle become personalities, become important, can be lost and missed. A 'place' like the Banter becomes a corner bar, and often better for talk and laughter than any real bar on the corner.

I've often felt that we most miss the people we've lost at times of great happiness - because we want to share it with them. I feel that way now with my own father, the man who made me a Yankee fan, and I feel it here at the Banter about the losses to this community. There are some people not with us who would have been very happy this morning.

8 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:16 pm

I reread the lot of Todd's Shadow Games last night as I (finally) settled down to go to sleep. Then I reread the last handful of posts on Yankees for Justice--stirring my emotions.

One of my closest friends lost his grandfather this year, a hardcore Yankee fan who stayed devoted till the end (despite said friend being a rabid Met fan and Yankee-hater). The same is true for thelarmis, Bobtaco, and myself--all grandpas, all Yankee fans. In my PopPop's case, he wasn't lucid these past few years, so he wasn't raving about the big signings, et al. But I know he still cared.

Yet through all that; wih utmost consideration toward all those notable and deserving remembered fans; this one seems more for Todd Drew than above all else.

His last post on the Banter, Baseball and Me, is so poignant and vivid. Even on his blog, as he linked to this post, he chose the clever title "Off-Season Surgery".

All the best to his family--And that's us, too, I suppose--let's smile a little bigger today for Todd.

9 underdog   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:16 pm

Congrats guys! The Yankees couldn't have done it without you. Well, they could have ;-) but I'm sure they appreciate the support.

Touching story above, too; how bittersweet that win must be for his family but hope he got to feel it wherever he may be.

Congrats again. And thanks for putting the smack down on the Phillies.

Now can you let my team win one, one of these decades, before your next? ;-)


10 Biscuit Pants   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:23 pm

The Yankees have often been thought of as a "corporate" team. It was said rooting for them was like rooting for General Motors. But reading Todd's Yankees for Justice and his simple yet eloquent Shadow Games pieces sweeps that concept into the dustbin. It takes every kinda people to be Yankee fans, as the Banter shows.

I don't often comment on these pages partly because I never seem to be able to write as pithily (?) as so many other banterers. But for this fan stuck in RSN, I turn to the Banter everyday to "lurk" and to suck up the fandom from all of you. Thank you Alex, Cliff and the rest.

And thank you Todd.

Go Yanks!!!!

11 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:33 pm

Marsha is in town. She was at the game last night! And she's going to the parade tomorrow!

12 wcyankee   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:40 pm

I never got to "know" Todd, but I knew how important he was to this place. And while I may the newest of new Banterites, especially in regards to posting, I felt proud to be a part of the group that was wanting this game, this championship not only for ourselves and the Yankees, but for Todd as well. I can only say, I wish I knew him.

13 Shaun P.   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:52 pm

[11] As it should have been. That is wonderful news!

If anyone hasn't heard it, LoHud has some great audio from Jeter, A-Rod, and Cashman - sometimes hard to hear but very nice stuff. Especially from our friend the Centaur - he sounded excited, honest, at peace, and relieved. I can only imagine.

Any picture gallery recommendations?

14 rbj   ~  Nov 5, 2009 1:16 pm

[6] e-High Five!

Cheers Todd, I'll raise a pint to you tonight.

Ah, the warm afterglow of a World Series Championship!

15 thelarmis   ~  Nov 5, 2009 2:50 pm

[13] there's a ridiculous amount of photos here. not the greatest in the world, but certainly plentiful!


[11] i'm glad marcia was there!!! : )

[9] thanks man! the other day, i posted you're the best non-yankees fan to post here!!!

[4] thelarmis drinks the truth from a thermos, on themis!

[3] i've met a few of the folks here at the banter and every single time, it's been a wonderful occurrence and the friendships have been forged even deeper. i hope to meet more of you, in the coming years!

[8] Todd checked in with me EVERY DAY, to see how my grandpa was doing. even moreso, when i was up in NY to visit him. i had NO idea Todd was sick. it completely blindsided - and crushed - me.

i still have plans to compose a piece of music in honor of him and will entitle it "Shadow Games". in fact, i already have a very little bit of it started and ideas to finish it up. who knows if i'll ever do it, but all this stuff starts with an idea and those embers have been stoked.

16 Scott Thomas   ~  Nov 5, 2009 3:31 pm

Thank you, Alex. Though not a die hard Yankee fan as Todd was, he was always able to talk about anything. Even about my Montreal Canadiens who can't seem to get back on track so they can challenge the Yankees for most professional sport World Championships. But if there's one thing he did teach me, it was there's always hope and to enjoy the game and life for what it is.

Todd's Uncle Scott

17 dlaik1   ~  Nov 5, 2009 6:19 pm

Alex, I was thinking of you and Todd while watching. I also couldnt help but think of my good friend Dan Traum who passed away a few days before opening day. The day after he died, his season tickets arrived in the mail. The first he had ever bought.

We created an online auction to sell the tickets for a scholarship fund for Dan and you were kind enough to give it a plug here on the Banter. We raised a ton of money that will help students for years to come

I am sure that every team that wins has stories like this but when it happens to you and your friends it really hits home. Sports have that rare ability to make the actions of strangers feel like they are being played out for you and only you. Maybe its just a natural selfishness that makes us feel that way but right about now it feels pretty damn good.

Congrats to the Yankees, the Banter family and for those no longer here for a great season...

18 Evil Empire   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:17 pm

[0] word

19 lennyherold   ~  Nov 6, 2009 8:05 pm

Alex - just curious, where were Todd's seats in the old Stadium? I'd never seen a picture of him before, but he looks a lot like a guy who sat in the row in front of me. This fellow was at every game - often alone - and always kept score.

This was in Tier 3. I was in row M.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver