Monday, February 18, 2008

This Thing Is Permanent.


Well, I finally did it. I've been talking about it for years, but I finally did it.

I first had the idea for this tattoo back when I was in LA for a week in May of 2005. For the briefest of moments, I consider a move to LA (that passed once I realized that such a move required me to learn how to drive). I conceived this idea shortly after, and even after deciding that I didn't want to leave New York, the tattoo idea stayed with me.


At the heart of this is baseball, that's obvious. But the "NY" is more than that. First appearing on a medal struck by Tiffany & Co. in 1877, and issued to the first NYC Police Officer shot in the line of duty. The Yankees adopted the logo in 1909. Since then, the logo just evokes New York City (hell, even the Mets wear a variation), and reminds me of the hometown I don't plan on leaving anytime soon.

Baseball is like a religion in my family (hell, with the exception of my Mother, my family has spent more time in Yankee Stadium over the last 5 years than in any church). Even when I drifted from it a little, it was always something I could talk to my father about. As I've said many, many times before, my father loves baseball. He loves the game, he loves the history, he loves everything about it.


Number 7, Mickey Charles Mantle, played center-field for 18 seasons for the New York Yankees, winning seven world championships and hitting 536 home runs along the way.


My father worshipped Mickey Mantle growing up. He once told me that when he was a boy, he wished ill on people who badmouthed Mantle. While Mickey had a dark side that eventually became public knowledge, for over a decade, he was the ideal of what a child's hero should be. Whenever I hear anything about The Mick, I always think of my dad.


Number 23, Donald Arthur Mattingly, played first base for the New York Yankees for 12 seasons. "Donnie Baseball" was my childhood hero. I was there in the crowd, crying, the day the 1994 strike cut short Mattingly's first chance at a possible World Series title, and there is still a hole in my parent's basement ceiling from where I threw a shoe after Mattingly's last game.


Number 2, Derek Sanderson Jeter, is the current shortstop and Captain of the Yankees. One of the most popular players in baseball today, Derek won the 1996 Rookie of the Year, and led the Yankees to their first world title in 19 years, and to another 3 more in the next 4 years.


My little sister worships Derek Jeter. I don't remember when it happened, but by 1998, Derek Jeter eclipsed Leonardo DiCaprio in her mind, and since then, Derek's been the king of her world. I remember when he busted his shoulder on Opening Day 2003, I don't think I've ever seen a little girl cry that much.

So that's my tattoo. It's on my arm. It's here for good. It's my first, probably not my last.

I'm happy with it. The fine work was done by Gene Coffey at Tattoo Culture in Williamsburg, and I'd recommend him to anyone.