11/02/2009 1:55 PM ET
Hairston: Family's first World Series
Yankees utility man is a game away from being champ
This is the first World Series appearance for a member of the Hairston family, even though we have more than 30 years in the big leagues among my grandfather, my father, my brother and me. My dad was in the playoffs with the White Sox in 1983, but they were eliminated by the Orioles.
My family's very excited for me. Both of my parents and my brother, Scott, are here in Philadelphia, so we've had the opprtunity to share the experience. They're enjoying it right along with me.
This has been a long time coming for us. My father had something like 14 years, I have more than 10, Scott has about five or six years. I'm not a math major but I know that's a lot of big league seasons, so this is a special occasion for us.
Growing up, you want to follow your father's footsteps and go into the same profession. My dad happened to be a baseball player, so we were aware growing up that the objective was to reach the World Series. I remember watching some of those great World Series, like '91 with Kirby Puckett and Jack Morris being the heroes for the Twins.
All of those years as a kid you watch all of these great players in the World Series every fall. It just makes you want to be a part of it. Then, when you finally get to the big leagues, first, you want to establish yourself, of course, but, once you've done that, you want to get to the big dance -- the World Series.
My father never expressed frustration about not going to the World Series, but, obviously, baseball was still being played when he came home. So, we'd sit down and watch the games together as a family. I remember asking a lot of questions, like, "Dad, did you ever face this pitcher?"
It seemed cool. Baseball gets magnified at this time of year. It always seemed like the whole world was watching. It's the biggest stage, so I always wanted to be here.
Now that I'm here, it's exciting, it's intense, it's electric. You've got New York and Philadelphia, two great sports towns. I'm soaking it in and having fun.
Obviously, you want to focus on the task at hand -- winning the World Series. You don't want to be just happy to be here. With this team, that's easy to do because we are focused. I'm trying to focus and enjoy at the same time.
Playing in a World Series by itself is a big deal, but playing it in New York as a Yankee is more special. The fans are unbelievable. To get a chance to start a game at Yankee Stadium and then go 1-for-3, that was incredible.
I'm not ready to call that the highlight of my career, though. Hopefully, the highlight of my career will be winning a World Series ring.
Jerry Hairston, who is playing in his 12th big league season, was acquired by the Yankees from the Reds on Aug. 1 and has filled a valuable utility role for the AL pennant winners. His grandfather, Sam, and his father, Jerry, were also Major Leaguers. His brother, Scott, is now with the A's.