Monday, February 15, 2016

Yankees Spring Training 2016

Here comes the judge... Aaron Judge

Well it's time to get my Yankees Hat back out for the 2016 season. Actually I never put it away. The last few months have been very exciting to say the least and The Yankees Hat has been there to see it all. Oh if this Yankees Hat could talk! And it will if you know anything about my blog. For those of you who are new to my blog, my stories are told through the perspective of my Yankees Hat. I wear it wherever I go including my travels, work, on movie sets and throughout my life. What my Yankees Hat sees and experiences is beyond entertaining and always exciting. I never name names in my personal adventures but if you read my stories, you just might recognize a place or event that you were a part of. You've heard the phrase "If these walls could talk" - well the Yankees Hat has a lot more to say because it goes beyond the walls. And sometimes it stays in the room. Whatever the situation, the Yankees Hat has some great stories to tell and insight I share that I hope you enjoy. And of course, there's always talk about the New York Yankees. 
Now let's get back to baseball... Yankees spring training is right around the corner and I'm looking forward to another great experience at George M. Steinbrenner field in Tampa, Florida this year. 

This will be my second trip to spring training to cover baseball and feature stories about athletes and the Yankees. I also get a sneak peek of what's ahead for the most eminent team in baseball. My time at Spring Training last year was great. Check out the view from behind my Yakess Hat. 
The Yankees have some exciting prospects to watch this year but the one player that all eyes will be focusing on is Aaron Judge. And how could they not be... He's 6' 7", 275-lbs and one of the most exciting prospects of 2016. I read that Judge has been compared to Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton. Those are some big shoes to fill but I'm confident he can do it.
Judge had 20 homers in the minors last year leading all of the Yankees Minor Leaguers and also contributed with 72 RBI's in 124 games. His size and skills put him at the top of the list for prospects to watch in 2016 for the Yankees. I look forward to Judge making his MLB debut in the Bronx. Fingers crossed it will be this year. 
He seems like a good guy on a personal level as well. Maybe the next Jeter if he keeps his head in the game and his heart on his moral code which Judge seems to do very well. At age 23, soon to be 24, Aaron Judge has a great life and family story and is humble with his focus in the right place. Baseball, family and faith. We need more good guys in baseball, and in all sports for that matter who play because they love the game and are grateful to live their dream and appreciate the opportunity while having a positive impact on society. I think Aaron Judge has what it takes to balance it all and help the Yankees win another World Series. With great power comes great responsibility. Keep your eyes on Aaron Judge. His star will shine bright. 
I was at Yankees spring training last year and saw Aaron Judge for the first time. He is truly larger than life, literally. I was with a group of friends sitting front row down the first base line right next to the dugout. We were watching the game intensely and when Aaron Judge came out onto the field the crowd couldn't believe their eyes. I remember someone saying "Look at this number 99. This kid is huge. Who is this guy". Every Yankees fan in the stadium was filled with excitement that number 99 was one of our own. I remember taking a few photos and videos. He really was a sight to see. 
Aaron Judge is back again for spring training this year and I'm looking forward to checking out his progress. So is the entire Yankees organization. I have a good feeling about the Yankees this year. I'm thinking World Series win number 28 is on the horizon. 

Now on to the personal side of my life and in my professional career. This past year has been incredible for me and my Yankees Hat. I haven't written a blog entry since last October because I've been so busy. So much has happened. I finished filming and producing a movie, and on top of that, I have 5 new projects in development that I'm really excited about. A sports series, a documentary, a book, a screenplay and a fitness project. I learned some valuable life lessons along the way and I'm enjoying every minute of what I'm doing. 
I'll close things out with one last thought on Aaron Judge. I saw somewhere on social media that his favorite quote is "Champions are made when no one is watching". There are lots of people watching but I have a feeling he will work hard and be a champion no matter what. He wears the pinstripes well and will make an outstanding Yankee. I look forward to spring training. Look for me... I'll be the girl in the Yankees Hat.  


Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Birthday BYB Hub!

Happy Birthday BYB Hub! And if you don't know what the BYB Hub is, I'll tell you...
The BYB Hub is a place where Yankees writers everywhere come to share their passion and stories about the greatest team in baseball - the New York Yankees. It was started 1 year ago today on October 24th, 2014 by Robert Casey, founder and writer for Bleeding Yankee Blue (BYB)...which if you haven't read or checked out yet, it's a MUST! 
You can find Bleeding Yankee Blue at You will also find the BYB Hub there. It's filled with inspiring, educational and entertaining stories about baseball, the Yankees, sports related topics, and life.

It was Robert Casey's dream and vision to provide a place for other bloggers to share their work and to contribute stories about their love of the game as well as their love for the Yankees. It's the fastest growing site around and people are loving it. Not only has it provided a platform for writers both young and old, beginners and pros...It's also a place where Yankees fans support each other and unite as one.

So on this very special day, I want to thank the BYB Hub personally for giving me the opportunity to share my stories about a team I've loved ever since I was a little girl and continue to love to this day. 

The name of my blog is called "If This Yankees Hat Could Talk". I hope you check it out and I hope you like it. I'm kind of new at the blogger game, but I'm learning fast and loving every minute of it. 
Oh, and by the way, Bleeding Yankee Blue has some really great BYB gear. The tank top I'm wearing in the photo above is available on their website. You can get some other cool stuff there too. Thank you Robert Casey and the BYB Hub for always supporting me and making me feel like part of the family. 

Be sure to check out the other bloggers in the BYB Hub as well. There's some real talent on the roster. 

My final words, with the help of the Captain are...Hats off to the BYB Hub! Cheers and Happy Birthday! Here's to many more years of fun stories and memories dedicated to the Yankees. I'm honored to be a part of it. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thanks to A-Rod, The Yankees Hat is Back!

Well I wasn't sure if the Yankees hat would come out of retirement, but just like Andy Pettitte, I felt like I still had something in me and couldn't walk away just yet. It's time to make a comeback. And I have A-Rod to thank for it. 

I needed a reason to start writing again. Watching the most controversial New York Yankee break record after record, as well as becoming the newest member of the 3,000 hit club, and rising above all the hatred that's been surrounding him convinced me that this was a good place to start. 
I've taken the last few months off to just live life and focus on work for a while. It did not allow me much time for writing my blog but I feel the need to voice my opinion since my heart and soul belongs to this team and everything that surrounds it. 
So much has happened between now and the last blog entry I wrote so I'm not quite sure where to begin. 

I guess let's start with the reason why I'm back. It's simple...Alex Rodriguez. After so much controversy surrounding him and watching him struggle for the last year to gain some love back from the fans, I wanted to chime in on this emotional roller coaster and express my feelings on the matter.

Here's a guy who at one time was loved by the Yankees organization and the fans. Not only did his paycheck show it but the fans embraced him and looked at him as the man who could help them get a 28th World Series win. And then...the unthinkable happened. 
We all know how devastating it was to learn that our hero had let us down. Not only did he lose our trust as fans but his attitude was disappointing and made us grow too dislike him as a person.

No one likes to be lied to and no one likes a cheater. But the worst thing is when someone shows no remorse for what they did. I can go into the many psychological reasons why this happened but that's for another day. I don't agree with what A-Rod did and how he handled it, but we all know that there are so many other players out there not only in major-league baseball, but in all sports around the leagues that use performance enhancing drugs to step up their game. The only difference is that A-Rod got caught and the others are still out there doing it.

The bottom line is this, even if he took these drugs he still has to hit the ball. He still has to have his timing down. He still has to work hard every day to maintain strength and focus so that when he steps up to the plate the only one that can get the job done is Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod has served his time and has now proven to us that he is still a powerhouse hitter and a tremendous athlete. But what's more incredible to me is that through this whole experience, he has become a better person. It has humbled him as a human being and I have seen first hand the personal changes in his life. His attitude is better. He is more kind and genuine. He appreciates his fans. And he sees things in a different light. I know this because I had the opportunity to watch him in action during spring training this year just a few months ago. I saw Alex taking batting practice in Tampa Florida just before a game and Reggie Jackson was coaching him. Now as a Yankees fan, this was epic for me because here were two Yankees icons that I loved and adored working together on skills and focus. I was watching a student and a teacher and I can tell you that A-Rod was a great student. He was listening and wanted to learn and be the best that he could be. It was a great moment not only to see some of my favorite players behind the scenes, but to see a man who was trying so hard not only to better his game but to better his heart.
After batting practice ended, fans were cheering for him and asked him for autographs from the other side of the fence. He graciously said "meet me down there" and pointed to the end of the field where he met his adoring fans and signed every ball and piece of paper that they handed to him. A-Rod didn't play in that particular game that I was at but the vision of him embracing his fans and trying so hard to excel at what he does best stuck with me the entire game. The guy was focused and humble and it was a different kind of A-Rod that I had never seen before. And I believe it's just a matter of time that the rest of the world gets to see him this way to.

How hard it must be and how awful it must feel to stand before a crowd that at one point loved you and now they boo you and call you names and make you feel ashamed. The way A-Rod has been handling everything has been commendable. He never gave up. He just kept his head in the game and kept playing. He persevered and because of that he has great success. And good for him. The guy needs a break. I can only imagine how many nights he went home feeling depressed with so many mixed emotions. No one likes to be hated. We are a society that thrives on love and acceptance. I guarantee he doesn't go home smiling when the fans and baseball lovers everywhere turn their backs on him and refuse to forgive him and make him feel rejected. No matter how many boo's he got or how many unkind remarks that were made about him, he pushed forward and is now proving to all of us that he is not only an incredible athlete but he's turning out to be an incredible man. I tip my Yankees hat to you Alex Rodriguez and give you much respect. 
I watched him hit number 3,000 last night and I have to say I was overjoyed for him. For once the fans were cheering for him, his teammates embraced him, Joe Girardi hugged him and even the Yankees organization supported him. At one point A-Rod stepped back out on to the field and waved to the crowd as they cheered him on for accomplishing what only 28 others in MLB have done. A-Rod is number 29 to hit 3,000 and to make it even sweeter, it was a home run! Fans are slowly falling in love with him again. It actually brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart. I love to see when people are happy. And I love it when people deserve praise for the good things they have done. I believe that Alex has learned a lot and grown from this whole experience and I can't wait to see him continue to prove to us that he is once again a good man and a legendary player. We all deserve a second chance and forgiveness in life. Let's give the guy some love. Congrats A-Rod and thank you for bringing me out of retirement. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Yankees Hat says farewell to 2014

The New Year is a great time for reflecting and starting over. We get a clean slate. A new beginning. It's also a time to take a stroll down memory lane. And for some of us it’s a time to make changes for the next year to come. 2014 was a great year for me but I’m excited to get 2015 going. Here were some epic Yankees Hat moments and memories from 2014...

The first part of 2014 was pretty amazing. The Yankees Hat was found upon my head every morning at 6:30am when I would go to my brothers house to help take care of his newborn son. My Nephew, Christian Aaron Varga was born on December 9th, 2013 so it made 2014 very exciting.
After he was born, my sister in law Amy, was dealing with some health issues and my brother had to go back to work, so for the first few months of 2014, my Mother and I took 24 hour shifts helping my brother and his wife with the baby. It was a blessing but also exhausting. I don't have kids of my own so this was quite an experience. I have never felt so much love in my heart for a human being as I did for my nephew. I can only imagine if I had my own. To all the parents out there - I tip my Yankees Hat to you! This little boy is the light of my life and of course...he’s a Yankees fan!
What a job to be a parent! Everyone needs to thank and appreciate the person who raised them. Thank you to my Mom and Dad. I appreciate you more now than ever. It's the greatest joy but the toughest responsibility you will ever have. I remember the late night bottle feedings, the round the clock crazy schedules, no sleep, complete exhaustionand later on, waking up at 6am every morning to drive over to my brother’s house to watch my nephew while he and his wife went back to work. Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a morning person so it was a struggle. But family is everything to me and it had to be done. I would literally roll out of bed half asleep, throw on some sweats and a shirt and put my Yankees Hat on and walk out the door. Christian got so use to seeing the Hat on my head that he would look at me funny if it was ever off. He loves the Yankees by the way. We start ‘em young in the Varga family. We're hoping he will wear the pinstripe uniform one day and who knows, maybe even be the next Derek Jeter.
Moving on to the spring of 2014. Life got really busy for me in my career. I was working on set a lot. There wasn't a day that my Yankees Hat was left behind. I was hosting, modeling, created my own sports show, and even landed a starring role in a pilot for a TV series. I was constantly working on Beyond The Offseason and had some great athletes and guests who inspired and motivated me to keep building the series. 
I want to thank every Athlete who was a part of the project and I especially want to thank young boy and his family for sharing his story. This special person is thirteen year old Liam Traynor. Liam was featured in one of the episodes and had quite an impact on my life and everyone who watched.
So far it’s been a great ride with Beyond The Offseason and 2015 should be even more exciting. We're working on some new features with athletes who have stories that will touch your heart. At the moment, I put the project on the shelf until after the New Year because there was too much going on and I wanted to dedicate quality time to family for the holidays. But in 2015 we are back in action with more great stories. You can visit our website to watch episodes and learn more about Beyond The Offseason at  

In 2014 I had the honor and privilege of going to my first Yankees game at the new Yankee Stadium. It was glorious! I went to a lot of Yankees games in the past at the original stadium, but this was my first time in their new home. It was a night to remember and the Yankees had an epic win to top it off. I also got to see Derek Jeter play one of his last games as a Yankee so it's a memory that will last a lifetime.
In the summer of 2014, I was doing some promos for my skincare product in Boston and not only did I wear my Yankees Hat with pride around town without getting beat up, I even made some new friends. The Hat and I made an appearance at Mark Wahlbergs restaurant, Wahlburgers, which was to die for by the way. It’s the best burger I’ve ever had. I must admit, I had a great time in Boston and although every Yankees fan hates the Red Sox because of the rivalry, it's a nice city with some pretty cool people.
On a not so happy note, I got a serious concussion in the summer of 2014 that changed my life and made me appreciate things a lot more. It was time to reevaluate some things and make some changes. It took me two months to recover and I got to discover who I really was and more important, who I wanted to be. It was a difficult time for me but I grew from the experience. In a strange kind of way, I’m glad it happened. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. One day I'll write a book. For those of you who know me, you know the story of my concussion and to those of you who helped me get through it, I am forever grateful. I am also happy to say I can name 5 fruits now. Inside joke. Moving on...

In the fall, the Yankees Hat was spotted on the campus of Notre Dame for quite a few tailgates. There were some good times with good friends and we had a lot of fun.

The Hat was also spotted on campus with the beautiful and talented actress, AnnaLynne McCord. She’s super cool with a heart of gold and on a mission to be a voice for those who need to be heard concerning sexual assault. Check out her work sometime. I'm proud to say I know her. Well done AnneLynne, I tip my Yankees Hat to you as well.
For Halloween 2014, the Yankees Hat and I went trick or treating with my new nephew Christian. It was his first Halloween and he was adorable. It was so cold it actually snowed that day, but this little cutie warmed my heart and his first Halloween was a big success.
Thanksgiving was great and Christmas was great. My entire family was together and it was the most fun I've had in years. We laughed, we cried and we reminisced about old times when we were growing up. It also made me realize that no matter what happens in my life, no matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how much money I have or how successful I am, my family loves me for me and not for the material things I have to offerThey will always be there for me and it's a great feeling to know that there are people in your life who simply love you for you and don't want anything in return.

New Year's Eve is upon us and I'm keeping it simple this year. No big plans, just a look back at all the wonderful people in my life and all of the amazing things that have happened. I’ll be spending it with my family and I will also be recovering from a minor medical procedure to treat some early signs of skin cancerKind of scary but I’m not too worried. After everything that happened with my brother Shane, nothing phases me. However, I’m not taking any chances. The bottom line is if you have your health, you need to be grateful. Cancer can happen to anyone and illness can happen to anyone. If you don't have your health you're in trouble. So count your blessings and be sure to stay on top of things. If you think something is wrong, have it checked out. We all have a purpose in life but we need to take care of ourselves so we can live long enough to make it happen.

Almost everything I've done over the past year has been with my family or for my family. As I'm writing this blog, I'm realizing more and more where my heart is…with family. 2015 is going to be very different for me. After the New Year, I’ll be moving. It will be the first time in 5 years that I'll be away from my family. Sure I’ve lived in LA for half of my life and had a good run in Florida and New York, but I moved back home in 2009 to be close to my family when my brother Shane found out he had cancer. stood by his side until it was gone and after 3 years of chemo, radiation and a stem cell transplant, I'm happy to say he has a clean bill of health and is cancer free! The best decision I ever made was to move back home and it was a time I will never forget
2015 will be the year of change for me. I look forward to a new chapter in my life and I look forward to the journey. Who knows what the New Year has in store, all I can say is that I'm ready for it, so bring it on!
I have a great life and I am thankful and blessed! God has been so good to me and to my family. My brother is alive and healthy, I have a new nephew I adore, I love my career, I have great friends and I have a family that loves me. What more could anyone want.

On a sports note, Hockey was a big part of 2014 for me. I went to so many games this past year and love it not only because it's a great game, but because hockey players are the best guys around. I made some remarkable friends in 2014 and contrary to the reputation they have for being tough guys, these are some of the nicest guys you will ever meet. They are giving, kind and hold a special place in my heart. And because I’m a Yankees fan, when chose my favorite hockey team I had to go with the New York Rangers.
Speaking of New York, it’s obvious that baseball is my other favorite sport. My love for the Yankees and baseball will always be strong. I’m loyal. I wouldn't be writing a blog about this Yankees Hat if it wasn't for my favorite team. I don't get to write that often because of my hectic schedule, but when I do, I usually have something important to say and it’s a fun place to share my experiences. This past year has been a blast. The Yankees Hat and I have seen some amazing things and been to some amazing places and met some amazing people. I’m not sure if I will continue writing a blog next year but it’s been fun. Who knows what will take place in 2015. Check back to see if the Yankees Hat makes a return.
Thank you for reading my stories and for being a part of my life in 2014. I hope you were entertained and got something out of it. Happy New Year everyoneWishing you all a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2015. Hats off to 2014!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude. Appreciate life and the ones you love.

Today is Thanksgiving and I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the things that I’m thankful for. Aside from sports and the Yankees, there are many people in my life who have touched my heart and made me smile. To you, I say Thank you.
This has been quite a year for me. I’ve been traveling and working like crazy and of course the Yankees Hat has been with me on every trip. I just got back from Florida, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago but I’m in the Midwest now spending the holidays with my family, which is what I’m most thankful for.

I love my family and I thank God every day for them, especially for my brother Shane who has battled cancer twice, underwent a sternotomy and a stem cell transplant and won his fight. It’s a true gift to see him sitting across from me at the dinner table.
When a loved one gets sick it gives you a whole new perspective on life. It makes you appreciate things more and you begin to value relationships more. I put my life on hold for five years to be with my family through the tough times and it was the best decision I ever made. Our family got stronger and my brother got healthier. In a way, the whole experience saved my life. And I’m grateful for that.
Going through trials makes you stronger and wiser. It also makes you cherish the holidays more. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so let’s live each day like it’s our last. Don’t sweat the small stuff, forgive others, and fill your lives with love, compassion, understanding and joy. And no matter how good or bad you have it, be thankful for your life because someone else may be fighting for theirs.

Something exciting happened to our family this year. My brother Shane and his wife Amy had a baby! He’s a little miracle and has turned years of affliction into joy. Children change everything and they sure do brighten up the holidays. He is the love of my life and brings happiness to everyone around him. Not only do I get to spend Thanksgiving with him, but I’ll be there for his first birthday, Christmas and New Years too! You should have seen how cute he was on Halloween. Yes…that’s me with the Yankees hat.
I’m also thankful for the great friends in my life. This past year I’ve met some incredible new friends as well who hold a very special place in my heart. I’m a very private person and I respect the privacy of others so I won’t name names, but you know who you are. Thank you for your love, support, and the always entertaining and anticipated phone calls and text messages. You make my life complete. Hope to see you soon.
I’m also thankful for my career. I get to work with so many talented people and have the most exciting life. I get to travel, meet new people, and do something I love. I feel fortunate and I don’t take anything for granted.

I want to leave you with an image. Although this day is joyous and many of us will be spending it with loved ones eating great food and watching football games, remember that some people have not eaten today. And they won’t eat tomorrow or the next day or the next.
That photo was not to depress you but to make you aware of just how blessed you are. When I first saw that image, it made me cry. It broke my heart to see this woman and her child suffering and in need. I looked at the little boy and thought what if that was my nephew. And what if that was his mother. Sometimes when I need a reminder to stay humble and serve others, I get out this picture. It’s not to ruin your Thanksgiving or make you sad, it’s to remind you of how thankful you should be today and every day. And if you have the opportunity to help someone, do it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and cherish the time you get to spend with family and friends. I cherish each and every one of you and I’m sending you lots of love today. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll write again soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!