Wells winning over the Bleacher CreaturesOnce a "love-hate" relationship, Yankee Stadium faithful warming to Vernon
It all started last Sunday, on Old-Timers' Day, when Wells pinch-hit for Chris Stewart and remained in the game in right field; it was his first appearance this season in front of Section 203, and the Bleacher Creatures, who long tormented and/or respectfully razzed Wells as part of what he called a "love-hate relationship" earlier this year, responded with accolades and conversational chatter that brought a smile to the outfielder's face.
On Wednesday, when Wells once again entered as a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement in right field, the faithful in 203 once again chatted him up, with their interaction ranging from one youngster asking Wells to attend his birthday party to a chant of "better than Swisher."
Just a harmless little fun with one of their own, right?
Well, on Thursday afternoon, when Wells made his first start of the season in right field, both he and the Creatures got a fun taste of history when it came time for roll call.
Instead of the usual chant of "Ver-non Wells" that he has gotten all year in left field, Wells heard a different chant: "Your name's Ver-non," the slogan "Bald Vinny" Milano and company used to use in a heckling manner towards him.
Of course, these days, Wells is in the good graces of those faithful fans, and so, in a nod to history past and present, he turned and presented the Creatures with his own version of the Swisher Salute, drawing a huge cheer from the bleachers and an "aw, shucks" wave from the outfielder.
"They have a good time out there; they used to drop that one on me as an opposing player and they still love doing it," Wells said with a smile after the game. "It's all in fun now."
The fun ends for now, as the Yankees begin a seven-game road trip in Baltimore on Friday, but you can check out the video of Wells' salute courtesy of MLB.com's Matt Latimer.