"On November 24 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET, hosts and hostesses can call 1-833-MCA-HOST (1-833-622-4678)1 to speak directly with the Swishers and receive hosting advice. From planning the perfect table setting to preparing delicious food, creating activities every guest will enjoy to organizing the clean-up at the end of the day, the Swishers will answer questions from callers seeking a little guidance."
Every outsider who watched the 2021 Yankees has their own explanation for why the team looked like such a roller coaster, dipping in and out of contention week over week, no matter which nine men were on the field.
Was it power? Contact? Charisma? Whatever they were lacking, it seemed to pervade the entire roster. No one was immune.
That’s why it was so refreshing to speak with ’09 World Champion Nick Swisher this week. After all, he was there that last time a group of high-dollar free agents meshed with the Core Four and some quirky sidekicks to make magic happen — and he’s quick to remind you that even that beloved team didn’t fully gel until midsummer.
From minute one of our conversation, Nick’s Swisher Sense was activated. He knew I needed an infusion of optimism, and he brought it. I even got him to give a patented pump-up speech to cranberries, his least favorite Thanksgiving side dish, which I recommend if you get the chance.
“Listen, cranberries, man. We’re with you. You may be down now, but you’re gonna be back up,” Swisher said passionately. And I believed it. I … am cranberries?
Realistically, I’ve been waiting to speak with Swisher for my entire adult life. He was the engine behind the last team to capture my childlike wonder, just before I tripped into wondering if the winning formula was impossible to ascertain.
We spoke a bit about the 2021-22 team and what they need to move forward, sure (“I could not be more happy to see Aaron Boone back in the dugout with Luis Rojas”). But what I was waiting for was a trip down memory lane, which Swisher was more than happy to provide.
Yankees star Nick Swisher talked the author through his two favorite Swish moments.
I most wanted to hear from Swish about, for me, the two moments that defined his tenure in pinstripes. Neither was his most memorable highlight. Both left indelible marks on me, and exemplified his tendencies to both breathe fire and soak in the scene around him.
First was the great, forgotten regular season comeback of our time. April 21, 2012 at Fenway Park. The Yankees trailed 9-0 deep into the game (two outs in the sixth inning!) before Mark Teixeira ignited the bats with a solo shot. It was Swisher, though, who really got ’em going, knocking a grand slam off Vicente Padilla before putting the Yankees in front 10-9 with a two-run double.
You may remember this moment from a now-famous GIF, featuring Swisher damn near tearing his shirt off at second, accompanied by a war cry to the sky.
“If I would’ve grabbed my shirt, I would’ve ripped every button. It was the moment in my life where I felt closest to Superman,” Swisher said. “We were at Fenway getting blasted on … to come back and hit that double off Alfredo (Aceves) … there was so much energy going between 20, 30 guys right there and I was lucky to be in the middle of it.”
The second moment had a similar energy, but felt a little more private. Swisher wasn’t center stage, even though he was on the biggest stage.
He stood in right field, the second out of the ninth inning of Game 6 of the World Series nestled in his glove. One more out, and the Yankees would be champions for the first time since 2000. Before Mariano Rivera came set, rocked and fired, Swish turned to the right-field fans who’d rode with him every step of the way, and gave them some special recognition … as the cameras still lingered. This moment in time has always meant the world to me, and remembering it seemed to really affect Swisher, too.
“I would’ve been nobody if it wasn’t for the fans. We are who we are because of the fans. And for me to be one of the lucky individuals who gets to share that experience with the Bleacher Creatures, as well as the rest of the Yankee fans … even to today, when I walk down the streets in New York, I get random high-fives all the time,” Swisher said, recalling the emphatic point to the stands that accompanied his championship.
Of course, with a title comes a parade, and the 2009 team brought us “a snowstorm in October,” as Swisher described the falling paper in the Canyon of Heroes. That day may have been even more chaotic for our resident partier than you or I knew.
“I was walking up the steps, and I kinda bump into somebody because I’ve got my head down, and I look up … who was it? Jay-Z,” Swisher exclaimed. “You kidding me, bro?”
“I’ll never forget one of the coolest signs somebody had said, ‘I’d Give My First Born to Party With Swish’,” Swisher continued. “And we still tell that story to this day.”
After one brief conversation, I’d at least consider the same offer — though Swisher, nice guy that he is, would give it right back and set it on my Thanksgiving table with a side of pasta salad (his favorite).
Someday, that energy will be back in the Bronx. Perhaps … it will even be delivered by Swisher himself?
“Every time I turned around (at the Stadium), it felt like I had an army of people standing behind me every day. That kind of energy can make an Average Joe like me turn into something special. And you never know, man! Maybe one of these days, I’m back in the dugout, bro. Who knows?!”