I began following them when I was no older than 4 or 5. My father had been a big fan when he was a kid and part of the thrill was that we were able to enjoy rooting for them and sometimes even going to games together. My favorite player was Micky Mantle, who seemed to be everyone’s favorite player in the early 60s (except for the Giants fans who worshipped his contemporary, Willie Mays). But is was not only the individual players that made me love the Yankees, it was their aura of invincibility. Their brand! They had and have the New York swagger, that feeling that they are at the center of the world and they know it. Even their uniforms were pinstripes! How cool. They looked great and it was all about taking care of business. Their logo was cool and crisp. They were a real brand and seemed to grasp this fact earlier and more clearly than many of the other teams. They stood for power, success and style. They also were the team that the rest of the world hated. I always attributed that to jealousy and in recent years the hatred was fueled even more by the economic inequities in the free-agent era. The Yankees, because they are part of the biggest media market in the country has a far bigger revenue base than any other team. And with ownership like the Steinbrenner family, they have always been willing to plow that revenue back into improving the team, by outbidding other teams for the biggest stars. Not everyone loves the Yankees, to be sure, but everyone has a strong opinion about them. The brand awareness is probably 100%. And the most gratifying aspect about my lifelong love of the Yankees is that my wife and three children share our passion for the team. Just like my father and I did back in the 60s.