Special to the Queens Jewish Link

 Irving Goldstein, 98, a lifelong Yankees fan and World War II veteran, will be honored at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, September 17.

In 1928, surrounded by the mystique of the “House that Ruth built,” with cheering fans watching the baseball game, with Babe Ruth and others in the golden age of the Yankees players, seven-year-old Irving was smitten with the love of baseball, especially when watching the game as played by the Yankees. Irving grew up in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium. For just 50 cents for two games, he had the thrill to walk to his favorite baseball stadium and cheer for his favorite baseball team.

Now, as a resident of Boulevard ALP Assisted Living in Fresh Meadows, Queens, Irving roots for the Yankees while watching them on TV and reading the New York Daily News Sports. “I’ve been a Yankees fan for over 90 years,” Irving says beaming with pride. “That might be some sort of record.”

Millennials today have Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez as their heroes. Baby Boomers idolize Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra. Irving not only cheered for these Yankee greats but also for the players of the Golden Age of the Yankees, the 1920s to the 1940s. Irving can tell you, with an amazing recall for details, what it was like to be at a Yankees game before night lights were installed in the original Yankee Stadium, electrified by the playing prowess and personalities of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Many professional baseball players served in the military during World War II. While Yogi Berra (Yankee player – Navy) and Irving (Yankee fan – Army Air Force) never met, both men participated in the D-Day invasion.

Irving himself is a bona fide decorated war hero. He was a WWII C-47 Crew Chief who flew D-Day and other combat missions.

This Tuesday, September 17, come to Yankee Stadium to cheer for the Yankees and Irving Goldstein, a living legend with over 90 years of Yankee history.

 by David C. Levitt