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Newsday editor's 2001 photo of Yankees fan Gerrit Cole goes viral

Future Yankee pitcher Gerrit Cole, holding a sign,

Future Yankee pitcher Gerrit Cole, holding a sign, in the stands before Game 6 of the 2001 World Series in Arizona.   Credit: For The Star-Ledger / William Perlman

It was a night and photo to remember.

I was shooting Game 6 of the 2001 World Series in Phoenix for Newark's Star-Ledger. 

Before the game between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks, I saw this kid along the rail on the first-base side of the field.

He was holding a poster that said "Yankee Fan Today Tomorrow Forever." I thought he was just another kid trying to get autographs from his favorite Yankees during batting practice.

I took the photograph.

As I always do, I went over to him to get his name, age and hometown.

Gerrit Cole. 11 years old. From Santa Ana, California.

I sent the image back to the Jersey newsroom and never thought about it again.

Until 2008.

Cole was drafted by the Yankees. I got a call from the Yankees' front office asking if the team could use the picture. 

Just this year when the Yankees faced the Astros and Cole in the playoffs, I talked to Newsday's baseball writers about the picture when it started popping up on the internet. 

Now, after Cole agreed to a 9-year, $324 million contract with his beloved Yankees, a routine, pregame photo I took has found new life and new meaning on social media again.

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