Bill de Blasio is a loyal Boston Red Sox fan who happens to be running for mayor in the hometown of the Yankees. That could spell trouble ahead for his campaign.
But for the moment, he's still a leading candidate in the New York City mayoral race to replace the outgoing Michael Bloomberg.
Although he was born in Manhattan and is now the city's public advocate, de Blasio grew up in Cambridge, Mass., where his devotion to the Red Sox began at age 6, according to The New York Times
. He's not ashamed of it, the Times reported Wednesday. In fact, he admits to a real disdain for the Yankees.
"I have my loyalty to the team of my youth," de Blasio told the Times in an interview, adding that it's actually more like a "deep devotion."
"The team that I grew up with was constantly the underdog but managed to prevail," he said. "I don't know any better lesson in life."
He went onto describe the roots of his connection with the team and what it meant to him as a kid.
"Everyone I knew was a Red Sox fan. Living up there in 1967 — the Impossible Dream season — that moment was incredibly compelling," he said. "I just naturally gravitated to the team. Nineteen seventy-five was arguably the greatest World Series of all time."
But the question remains whether his allegiance to the Red Sox will hurt him in the end, just as his campaign has emerged with the fall of Anthony Weiner to challenge New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary. The two are now the frontrunners in the race, thanks in part to Weiner's fall from grace
tied to his sexting scandal.
According to the Times, his loyalty as a Boston fan may lead voters to label him as an outsider. But Dartmouth professor Harvey Frommer, who has written books on the Yankees and Red Sox, said the rivalry between the two teams is not as intense now as it used to be.
"Maybe he can make a campaign pledge to convert to becoming a Yankees fan," Frommer suggested, only half joking. "That will pick him up some votes."
Diehard Yankees fans see it differently, though.
"There's no good outcome for him," Kerry Chesseboro, manager of the Yankees-leaning bar Dorrian's Red Hand, told the Times. "It's going to perturb a lot of people and raise questions about whether he is true to the city."
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