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canyon of heroes

Five Observations From Today’s Yankees Parade

We would have done a slideshow of our day, but pretty much all the photos we took looked like this one, but with different players. On this float, by the way: Jay-Z, Francisco Cervelli, and A-Rod, who’s throwing up the Roc-A-Fella diamond on the right.

1. The player floats were really spread out, especially at the beginning of the parade. As a result, the crowd wasn't particularly loud for long stretches, at least where we were standing on Broadway near John Street. Of course, this all changed at the sight of any recognizable face, or anytime a camera was pointed toward the sidewalk. The crowd got loudest for Derek Jeter (naturally), with Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher, and Mariano Rivera getting pretty good ovations too. And poor Johnny Damon: He barely got noticed when he rode by, because he was at the back of the float that also included Swisher, who was pumping his fist, taking photos with his phone, and generally whooping it up for the crowd.

2. Shredding a phone book and throwing the scraps out the window is a pretty effective way to make modern-day ticker tape in huge quantities. The best line we heard all day came as someone was throwing an inordinate amount of paper into the Canyon of Heroes: "That's a lot of shredded paper. He must have something to hide." At least, it was funny until we realized that we weren't all that far from Wall Street, and it was probably true.

3. It's always interesting to see politicians in these parades, and how people react to them. (One of our favorite memories of the Giants Super Bowl parade was seeing Chuck Schumer — riding in a convertible with then-governor Spitzer — giddily cheering and waving his Giants hat, seemingly as happy as any player.) This time around, at least a few people chanted "You suck" as Governor Paterson passed by. Rudy Giuliani got a nice cheer. No one seemed to notice Ed Koch, who was waving to the crowd but leaning so far back in his car that you could barely see him. And Mayor Bloomberg got one of the loudest ovations of the day — though that probably had something to do with the championship trophy riding on the float with him.

4. A-Rod was joined on his float by Jay-Z (and Francisco Cervilli), while Derek Jeter was joined by his parents (and Minka Kelly). Francisco Cervelli might just be the least famous person in that group.

5. The coolest moment of the parade might have been Yogi Berra leading it off in an awesome old-timey car. Lots of other Yankee characters had their own rides: Freddy Sez, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, Reggie Jackson, and ... John Flaherty. Because when you think of legendary Yankee catchers, you think of Yogi Berra and John Flaherty.

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Photo: Joe DeLessio