My First Day with the Yankees

My story for “The Moth” about my first day of work as a Yankees bat boy, Opening Day 1992.

Recorded in 2003 before a live audience in New York City.

Matthew McGough – My First Day with the Yankees (right-click to download as mp3)

As for the game itself, Scott Sanderson started for New York and Roger Clemens for Boston. The 1992 Yankees’ Opening Day lineup:

1. Randy Velarde SS
2. Don Mattingly 1B
3. Roberto Kelly CF
4. Mel Hall LF
5. Danny Tartabull DH
6. Matt Nokes C
7. Jesse Barfield RF
8. Charlie Hayes 3B
9. Pat Kelly 2B

This clip below from that day’s TV broadcast likely aired just as I was walking back to the clubhouse, ready to concede defeat in my quest for a left-handed bat-stretcher. In hindsight, I’m lucky I didn’t interrupt DeWayne Staats to ask if he’d seen one, or otherwise appear in the background looking lost and clueless.

Though the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-3 to start the 1992 season with a win, they finished 76-86, 20 games behind the Blue Jays, who eventually won the World Series. No one would have bet on it at the time, but the Yankees have not had a losing season since.


  1. Lucille
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderfully inspiring story about persistence and the courage to not give up for something you really want to accomplish. My 16-year old son loves the Yankees and is reading this book for his summer reading assignment. I hope it will instill in him that sense of not giving up to get something that you really want.

  2. mikki frost
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Running errands and had the pleasure to hear your story on NPR.I shared with several. As a baseball mom who has spent alot of hours at hot/cold/rainy/windy ball park, eating sunflower seeds and hot dogs and counting these as the best days of our family history. My son played at Kansas University in 2001-2006 (Kevin Wheeler)-he is a Cubs fan though…:) thanks for a smile, belly laugh and resurrection of great memories Mikki Frost-Omaha, Nebraska

  3. Laura Huffman
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I literally know this feeling-walking around, sweating, debating in your head what to do in order to NOT look like an idiot. “Why hasn’t the world stopped for this one giant problem?! My life is over.” Great story-inspires me to start writing, if I could just remember my growing up stories…thanks Matthew

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