Our next stop brought us to baseball’s hallowed ground in the Bronx. Well, we were next to what used to be hallowed ground. Of course I am referring to the New Yankee Stadium.
We timed our passage through New York perfectly as we caught the first installment of this season’s Subway Series – the first ever played at the New Yankee Stadium. While it may come as no surprise that our most expensive stop on this trip was at the New Yankee Stadium, after talking with a couple New Yorkers, it turns out that you can usually find tickets for less than $10 at this new ballpark except when the Red Sox or Mets are in town. We found some seats on Stubhub for $60 each and ended up in the very last row in the upper deck down the right field line.
I was excited to see the new stadium but was equally as apprehensive about meeting the replacement for the “House That Ruth Built”. Any baseball highlight reel will no doubt include moments from the original Yankee Stadium as so many great players and teams have donned the pinstripes.
I got an eery feeling as we walked off the subway to see the shell of the old Yankee Stadium sitting empty and neglected as the new stadium was full of life. The crypt-like existence of perhaps the most famous facility in all of sports was a sad sight for this lifelong baseball fan. I have grown up in an era where Yankee Stadium is synonymous with October (and November) baseball. Nicole continually asked me if I was feeling ok throughout the game as I gazed over at the grassless, seatless ballpark across the street.
As it turns out, we got our money’s worth from this game. There was no shortage of home runs in what has become a hitter’s paradise in New York. With the score tied 7-7 in the 8th inning, Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically yielded a run to the Mets. Then in perhaps one of the most unlikely turn of events, the Yankees scored two runs when Mets 2nd baseman Luis Castillo dropped a routine pop fly that A-Rod hit with two outs. As soon as the ball left the bat, most fans were standing up to gather their belongings and head for the door with the assumption that the Mets had won the game.
The ensuing scene is one that will only be replicated in movies. We had moved down to the bottom of our section near the handicapped seating and grown men were throwing/kicking folding chairs out of joy or anger. Every Mets fan that we passed on our way to the subway looked as if they had just been given the news of a family member’s passing. Never have I witnessed a single play that swung the emotions of so many people in a split second.
Needless to say, our first experience at the new Yankee Stadium was amazing and the ballpark was great. We visited Monument Park before the game started and got to witness some serious beer-fueled arguments between Yankees and Mets fans up in the nose bleeds. Next stop, the Nation makes a visit to Philly.
Here are the pictures from Yankee Stadium…