11/05/09 3:52 AM EST
Champagne-soaked celebration in NY
Yankees players embrace each other, franchise's 27th title
By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
One by one, ice chips flying, players and coaches cracked open bottles of bubbly; dancing, singing and spraying each other from every imaginable angle.
And when the champagne didn't suffice, the players turned to domestic beer and import specialties, dousing each other and jumping around with the enthusiasm of young children.
It was the scent of the Yankees' 27th World Series championship, a victory perfume that doesn't ever get old -- particularly when it has been nine years in the making.
"We haven't been here in a long time," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said following New York's 7-3 World Series-clinching win over the Phillies in Game 6. "I really don't know what to say."
Added rookie Phil Hughes: "You can't describe it. Everybody always says that, it sounds so cheesy, but you can't. I thought about what it'd be like and I can't put it into words."
Their actions said it all.
There was Jeter and Alex Rodriguez locked in a champagne-soaked embrace. Several yards away, Mariano Rivera was being greeted with chants of "Mo" and a full bottle of bubbly doused over his world champions hat. Reliever Brian Bruney stood off to the side, sipping on a beer and watching as a goggled Joba Chamberlain let loose, spraying a fresh dose of Moet onto anyone within his reach.
Superb in Game 6
|Year||Opp.||Gm 6 res.||Series res.|
|2009||PHI||W at home||W in 6|
|2001||ARI||L on road||L in 7|
|1996||ATL||W at home||W in 6|
|1978||LA||W on road||W in 6|
|1977||LA||W at home||W in 6|
|1962||SF||L on road||W in 7|
|1956||BRO||L on road||W in 7|
|1953||BRO||W at home||W in 6|
|1951||NYG||W at home||W in 6|
|1947||BRO||L at home||W in 7|
|1936||NYG||W on road||W in 6|
|1926||STL||L at home||L in 7|
|1923||NYG||W on road||W in 6|
|1921||NYG||L at home||L in 8|
"I'm blessed to be a part of it," said a tearful A.J. Burnett, who was crying from both the sting of champagne and the magnitude of the moment. "To come in here [in my] first year, I think the veterans that have been here, I thank [Jorge] Posada and Jeter and [Andy Pettitte] and [Rivera], and all these guys, for bringing us new cats under their wings and showing us the way of New York."
As soon as Robinson Cano fielded the final out and threw the ball to Mark Teixeira, the home dugout emptied to surround Rivera in a state of long-awaited bliss. The sellout crowd of 50,315 -- the largest to attend a playoff game at the new Yankee Stadium -- stayed glued to its seats, more than content to watch history unfold.
"No one has left their seat," outfielder Nick Swisher said as he stood on the field and looked around in wonderment. "This is true Yankee baseball right now.
"To be part of this city and part of this team is an absolute blessing," he added. "The big man upstairs had our back this year, and we really, really came together as a team."
As each player fought the throng of media and patiently answered questions for the cameras, somehow they always managed to find each other to sneak in hugs and exchange quick "I love yous" among the plastic-wrap-laden, champagne-soaked clubhouse.
"These guys are tremendous, my 25 brothers," Chamberlain said. "I love these guys to death. I just want to celebrate with them and have fun. This is why you play baseball."
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.