The Bronx Bombers
A friend, Michael, was in town for a few days. He's a baseball fanatic - coach, father of star college ballplayer, rabid St. Louis Cardinals fan - anyway, we tried to get tickets to a Yankee game but, according to their website, they were sold out (except for the $250-$400 seats). So, to satisfy our desire, we booked a tour of the stadium. Incredibly cool. We saw the press box, the field, the honor courtyard, and the Yankees dugout. Our tour guide was an older fan who was very loyal to 'his boys'. The Yankees are the quintessential baseball team. The honor court reads like a who's who of baseball. The Yankees have won 26 World Championships - the second place team, Boston, has won only 10.
Going to a Yankees game
After we toured the empty stadium, we checked at the box office - there were a few seats that might be behind the foul ball pole (they weren't). We bought them. We went back into the city and walked around SoHo. Then back to Yankee Stadium for the game. Fuck, what a hoot (Yankees fans say fuck a lot). This was an incredible experience. The Yankees were playing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox, or, as the many signs said and the fans continually shouted - Boston Sucks.
Arriving at the stadium by subway. A shot of the fans along the street before the game.
The stands are filling up - these are real fans - there were over 700 police officers assigned to the game - 120 inside the stadium.
A-Rod gets up to bat and, on the first swing, hits a home run. We also saw Derek Jeter.
I had decided during the stadium tour that morning that, during the game, I would get a hot dog and a beer. That was dinner. I had been looking forward to it all day. It didn't disappoint. One of the best meals I've ever had. Damn, just thinking about it makes me want to go back for another meal. The foto on the right is of a father and son. A home run ball came a few rows in front of us and this man fought and won - he got the ball. He immediately lobbed it to his son who was also in the mix trying for the ball. I snapped the foto a few minutes later of the proud papa and son.
My bat souvenir
Before and after the game, I checked lots of concession stands inside and outside the stadium - I was looking for a small bat. In 1961, my father took his sons to a Yankees game. I was 10 years old. I saw this small wooden bat pen and asked dad to buy it for me. He did. I cherished that little bat. I really wanted to get one in 2007 - 46 years later. I finally found one at the NY Yankees Gift Shop in Lower Manhattan, not far from my apartment.
The shot below on the right is of the walk from the stadium back to the subway station, under the elevated tracks. This image has been in my memory since 1961 - not sure why - I just remember dad, my brother, and I making that same walk. So, I took the foto from about where I remembered it from 46 years earlier. In my memory, there were less people which suggests that dad had taken us out of the game earlier to get us back to the hotel - mom was probably worried about us being up in the Bronx. In 1961, Battery Park City where I now live, was still a row of old piers - no parks, buildings, World Trade Center, marina - nothing was there in 1961 but the old freight piers.
First Yankees game: summer 1961
Stadium tour: 11a, Monday, May 21, 2007
Second Yankees game: 6:00-11:00p, Monday, May 21, 2007