Monday, August 6, 2012

Game 3: Photo Day

My buddy Ben told me a couple weeks back that not only would he let Jeff and me use his season tickets, but that August 5th was also Photo Day at Yankee Stadium. For the first time ever, the Yankees invited fans onto the field beginning at 9:45am. As a lifelong Yankees fan, I tried hard to downplay the significance of this event; I told myself that the coolest thing we'd be able to do was grab some dirt from  the warning track, and maybe get to feel the grass and have an unprecedentedly close look at batting practice. That (minus the batting practice) was how it started. 

But then the players came. The first player out of the dugout was the legendary Mariano Rivera, appearing to his famous entry song, "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. Walking without a limp, he came right out towards where Ben and I had stationed ourselves by the right field foul pole. After Mariano, we saw Girardi, Teixeira, and even Andy Pettitte. C.C. Sabathia, Ichiro, Robinson Cano, Andruw Jones, and Derek Jeter all came out in a pack. By the time they arrived, I built up the courage to go for fist bumps. I pounded knuckles with Curtis Granderson and David Robertson. I think that Nick Swisher gave either a handshake, hug, autograph, or a wink to each and every person on the field, and he did so grinning ear to ear. 

The most surreal moment, however, was the two minute conversation I had with Raul Ibanez about our trip. I mentioned that we had just seen the Phillies, his former team, play last night in Philly, and that we would see the Yanks play again on Tuesday in Detroit. Boone Logan was great to talk to too, and Phil Hughes thanked me when I shook his hand and told him we'd be rooting for him from the stands on his upcoming start in Detroit. Unreal. I can't wait to see what happens in Detroit on Tuesday.

Games watched: 3
Games to go: 27
Thuuz score: 36
Stadium: Really nice stadium, especially liked the "frieze" that surrounds the roof. Also enjoyed the cushioned seating in the sections nearest to the field. There was a distinctly corporate feel, though.
Food: Very expensive (even for a ballpark), but VERY good. Recommendations: Lobel's steak sandwich and the Suzuki Roll.
Fan Atmosphere: Very good. It was a relatively weak turnout for a Yankees game, but those who came brought the energy, and were there for a baseball game (there were fewer of those between-inning contests that seem to cater to the non-baseball fan). We really liked the roll call at the beginning of the game, where fans in the outfield chanted each starter's name a few times, and the players acknowledged them in turn. Especially cool that it is unprompted, as opposed to the scoreboard-manufactured cheers of many stadiums.
Quote of the Day: "You gotta take it, if you wanna make it." -man we met on the subway
Tim Kurkjian Award for Thing We've Never Seen Before: Mariners SS Munenori Kawasaki, while on first base, bluffed a stolen base by turning toward second base, chopping his feet and pumping his arms, but not actually going anywhere, as the pitch was thrown.
Total Miles Traveled: 625
Miles to Next Game: 245 (Diamondbacks @ Pirates, 7:05 pm)

Click "Read more" for more photos from the day

Fans and Players on the field together

Foul pole
Mariano Rivera, who reported his knee was feeling good
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman
Yankees Broadcaster Michael Kay
Owen and Damon, the lone Mariners fans in the bleachers
A subpar turnout for Yankee Stadium
One of the public fields in the place of old Yankee Stadium, next door
At the metro station, post-game
View from Jeff and Craig's seats 
Derek Jeter looks toward the stands

1 comment:

  1. wowww, this is too cool. i can't deny my lifelong hatred of the yankees, but this is still amazing and i'm extremely jealous. looks like the trip is off to a great start!