Baseball fans form Brooklyn Brotherhood at Yankees Spring Training

Baseball has a unique way of bringing people together and keeping them together over the years.

Twenty-four years ago, John Rodriguez, a native New Yorker, realized that and invited his childhood friends to a Yankees spring training game in Tampa.

"We went to kindergarten together. We went to junior high school. We played little league and were in the boy scouts," Rodriguez recounts. "We've always been together. It's something unbelievable."

Now, each Spring, Rodriguez organizes his "Brooklyn Brotherhood" and invites dozens of friends and relatives to catch a Yankees game in Tampa.  

"We've had as many as 112, 113 at one time, and what I love is the brotherhood," said one of the group's members Al Quinones.

While their brotherhood's numbers have swelled through the years, they have also lost brothers along the way in the September 11th terrorist attacks and at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"All of us remember them," said Rodriguez. "We remember them and cheer for them." 

Even through the sting of loved ones lost, baseball still keeps this brotherhood together.

"The fact that we can meet after all these years is a great opportunity," says Ray Durand.

The funny thing is, despite getting 71 of his "brothers" together this time around, John himself, along with a few others, aren't even Yankees fans.

"We've got a few stragglers, but that's alright," joked Quinones.

Regardless, those Yankees pinstripes have a way of uniting people and generations.

"I've even got my dad here, and he's 91," Rodriguez said. "I want it to continue forever, and I'm sure we're not going to be here forever, but my kids are ready." 

It may have started as an innocent guy's trip to watch a baseball game but now, has turned into something so much bigger. 

"I think I'm blessed for having the best friends in the world," John said. 

In the end, it turned into a brotherhood that has lasted throughout the years and is showing no signs of slowing down.