Saturday, September 20, 2008

Goodbye Yankee Stadium!...guest posted by Bruce

I've been a lifelong Yankee fan, much to the chagrin of my parents who were Brooklyn Dodger fans and then Mets fans. I've been to the Stadium dozens of times over the years and even saw the NY Giants football team practice there when I was a VERY young boy. So, of course, I wanted to go this season for one last look at the House that Ruth built. The problem - we live in Bradenton, FL and the Stadium is in Bronx, NY!

Kurt, a buddy of mine at work and a huge Rays fan (I'm rooting for the Rays too, now that my Yankees are out of the playoffs) asked if I'd be interested in going to NY after a business trip to MD to see the Rays play the Yankees. The sweetener to this deal - free tickets for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon games from Hal Steinbrenner, son of the legendary George Steinbrenner, owner of the Yankees.

So, off we went, driving up 95 and the Joisey turnpike to NYC for the weekend. We took the subway and got to the stadium early on Saturday and picked up our tickets - 2nd row right behind home plate!!!! Best seats I've ever had ANYWHERE!!! We got to see Jeter and A-Rod up close and, even better, the Rays won big that day! We went to ESPNzone that night and watched USC beat up on Ohio State, which bummed Kurt out, since he's an Ohio guy.

The "new" Yankee Stadium across the street from the original

A view from left field and Monument Park

A view from the catwalk above our section

Yes, these were our seats...second row behind home plate for both the Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon games! GREAT seats - and they were FREE!

Yes ladies, we were this close to Derek Jeter

The next morning we drove in to the city (aka Manhattan to you non-New Yawkahs) and I introduced Kurt to lox and eggs at the Stage Deli (which were delicious as usual). We drove up to the stadium, bought the requisite Final Season t-shirts and got the tour of Monument Park before seeing the Yankees beat up on the Rays. In the process, we met Joe Maddon, the Rays manager, Stu Sternberg, the Rays' owner and we saw a bunch of Rays up close and personal.

We got to meet and talk to Joe Maddon, the Rays manager ...and a cinch for Manager of the year!

It was awesome to see the Stadium one more time before it is torn down. I'm sure I'll be making the trip up every now and again to the new stadium, but it won't be the same. Yes, Yankee Stadium has had a number of makeovers throughout the years, but it has that same mystique to baseball fans that Wrigley in Chicago and Fenway (ugh, the dead Sox) in Boston also does.Monument Park, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

In Monument Park at Yankee Stadium - incredible baseball history! That's Lou Gehrig (#4) and Babe Ruth's (#3) plaques behind me

The greatest catcher in the history of baseball...Yogi Berra

Some of the Yankee greats

The 9/11 monument in Monument Park

So, in honor of the greatest stadium in baseball (Camden Yards in Bal'more notwithstanding), here's a tribute to Yankee Stadium from Nils Lofgren, the diminutive guitarist for Springsteen's E-Street Band.

and one more thing...The Rays are going to the playoffs baby!


Colleen said...

I'm so jealous! I wish we could have made it to the stadium one last time. There is so much history there. Thanks for sharing!

Kathi said...

Wow! That is VERY cool....and sweet of you Bruce to guest post too!

Moi said...

Okay! That is seriously adorable! I have to get Harley a hat! I will have to ask his Dad which team. I enjoyed your post - I would love a quick weekend getaway to NYC!
Thanks for the comment! Harley is 6 lbs. Your puppy is so sweet too!