Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, NY
Number of games: 1
First game: June 24, 2021 (Yankees 8, Royals 1)
I found the old Yankee Stadium not to be terribly special: I liked hanging out with the ghosts, but didn’t find much special about it. So when I returned to New York to see the new place, I wasn’t expecting much. Turns out I was pleasantly
Well, with one exception. But we’ll get to that later.
I got off the D train and turned the wrong way, thus finding myself a few blocks away from the ballpark in the Bronx. I
And this is how I discovered one of the things I like most about Yankee Stadium. It is totally embedded into its neighborhood. There are actual, local businesses surrounding the place, like, right across the street from it. Sure, there’s a McDonalds, but there are also sports bars and actual mom-and-pop businesses to be had. I don’t know whether this is different from how it was when I visited the old place in 1999: truthfully, I didn’t poke around
I especially liked Heritage Park across the street. Replacing a baseball stadium with a baseball park is nice enough: I enjoyed seeing a couple of guys hitting fungoes in the new place. The day-to-day business of life went on: I encountered a couple of day care groups walking through the park. I was wondering whether the biggest of the fields was the location
I didn’t expect restraint in the way that the Yankees handled their 27 championships (all of them, incidentally, in the old place), but I found something like it. The only real reference I saw to the championships was in sets of photos ribboning
Then, Monument Park. It was pretty much exactly what you’d expect. The monuments look exactly like they do on TV. It’s cool to be there–I took a shot of DiMaggio,
But over it all is a MASSIVE monument to George Steinbrenner. I found it garish–offensively so. Not only is George’s monument bigger than that of all of the players–maybe four times the size–but it is even bigger to the 9/11 monument
Right above Monument Park is a place they called the Pepsi Lounge where my ticket gave me access. I didn’t choose to stay there during the ballgame, but I can see the appeal. The Pepsi Lounge is inside the batter’s eye. I had never thought of this as a location where people could sit before
For this trip, I perched my buddy David and me in the front row of the fourth deck. A sign helpfully said that I could not stand next to the railing, so I army-crawled to my seat to stay in compliance. (No, not really.) It was a nice seat and a fun day. I miss Bob Sheppard, but the current PA guy, Paul Olden, did fine.
I went in an off year for the Yankees. My experience there in 1999, when the Yankees were in the middle of three straight titles, was that fans were surly. I was wondering what it might be like to be in the midst of an off year: maybe instead of a kid shooting me with a water pistol, I’d experience heavier ammo. Not this time. The Yankees busted out to a big lead early, hit three home runs, and never gave their fans a chance to get mad.
Then, after the victory, Sinatra. “New York, New York.” I was departing Yankee Stadium for the last time on this trip, and I
Had I made it there?
David, who is definitely not a tourist, said that yes, I had. Since I hadn’t been mugged or conned, I had made it there.
So there you have it. I can officially make it anywhere.
Nice ballpark, Yankees! I will be delighted to return one day.
BASEBALL STUFF I’VE SEEN HERE:
Aaron Judge had the big day, going three-for-three with two walks, a double, and a home run. Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez also homered.
Jameson Taillon pitched effectively for the Yankees to get the win.
Hanser Alberto has two hits for the Royals.