Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yankee Stadium's Final Season

I love baseball, and I'm a fan of both New York teams, both the National League Mets, and the American League Yankees.

One of my biggest thrills as a child was receiving this autographed photo from Yankee great, Mickey Mantle, after I wrote a fan letter to him!

Since this will be the final season the New York Yankees play in the present Yankee Stadium my husband and I, and my daughter and her friend all went to an afternoon game this past Sunday where the Yankees played against the Oakland Athletics. Yankee Stadium is located in New York City in the borough of the Bronx. Yankee Stadium is one of the most famous sports venues in America, having hosted a variety of events and hundreds of historical moments in its existence. Its primary occupants, the Yankees, have won far more World Series championships than any other major league club.

If you are a fan of American baseball you will know that the All Star Game was recently played at Yankee Stadium. Dana, of The Stone Rabbit blog was surprised I didn't go to the game. I told her I would have loved to have attended, but we heard the package price to see the home run derby and All Star Game was $1,200! It seems the $5 bleacher seat went the way of the 5 cent hot dog .... long time ago and just a memory these days!

Some views of the outside of the stadium as we wait on line to be admitted.

In the distance we can see a small part of the brand new billion dollar stadium being constructed nearby. Once the new stadium opens, most of the old stadium, including the above-ground structure, is to be demolished to become parkland.

As soon as we enter we watch a little of batting practice from the field level and have lunch.

The Yankee team dugout.

My ticket! Sorry it's a little blurry, but if you click on to enlarge the photo you can see it says "final season." Even though we are pretty far up in the top tier our seat cost $55 a person! We've heard the price for all the tickets in the new stadium will be very expenisive. I'm a little sad about that as it will become so expensive for a family to attend a game.

A view of the whole stadium ... nostalgically known as "the house that Ruth built," after the iconic Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the beginning of the Yankees' winning history.

We picked up a copy of the very special stadium retrospective yearbook as a souvenir.

Also a pennant for my son and grandson to be.

And of course a little Yankee pinstripe outfit for our little future "All Star"!

It was a hot and humid day but the stadium was almost full, with approximately 55,000 people in attendance

Notice the wet towels many heads as they tried to keep cool!

My daughter's favorite Yankee, Andy Pettite, was pitching. He was superb that day! He had ten strike outs!

My favorite Yankee player, Derek Jetter, at bat! He got a double and scored the first run after
Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly ball.
Jason Giambi hit what proved to be the game winning home run!

We were excited to see "Freddy Sez" in the stands near us. Freddie is an 83 year old fan of the Yankees, who attends almost every game, and roots them on by roaming the stands and having fans in the stadium hit his "lucky frying pan" with a "lucky spoon," which he says "Brings 'em luck."! It's a thrill to be able to do this if you are a Yankee fan!

Freddy also carries a number of colorful hand-painted signs adorned with messages to encourage the team and the fans.

It was good to see Freddy still enjoying being the unofficial best Yankee fan!
Oh, Oh! The manager of the Athletics did not like that call at third base! He got the official "Bronx Cheer" from the crowd, which is a loud and long and noisy boo! Luckily for him the umpire did not throw him out of the game for questioning his call.
The field crew has been dancing to the song "YMCA" for many years now. It's become part of the tradition of the team. As the famous Yankee, Yogi Berra, once said: "Everyone wants to get into the act"!

The ninth inning is up and the Yankees lead by one run. Relief pitcher Mariano Rivera comes in to pitch! Tradition here is that the band Metallica's song "Enter Sandman" plays on the stadium PA system, and the crowd goes wild! He is supposed to send the opposing team to "never never land'!

Mariano does his job!
The Yankees win 2-1!

The Yankee players shake hands on the field and congratulate themselves for another good game!
As the crowd leaves the stadium there is a tradition is to sing along with the Frank Sinatra song "New York New York" that is playing over the PA system!

A nice mural painted on a wall across the street from the stadium of some of the all time Yankee greats ...Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle , Maris and Munson.

We say our goodbye to the old Yankee Stadium and dream about next year when the brand new stadium begins new traditions and welcomes new stars!

Who knows, maybe our future little grandson might play there one day as a Yankee great himself!


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I'm really not a baseball fan, but enjoyed your post of Yankee stadium~ I'm sure if we make it up there, my husband will want to go!
Love your back ground music! Fits your blog perfectly! LOL

Tracy said...

Super post, Pat...love the high on nostalgia here! Though originally from PA, I've always loved the Yankees best--LOL! Happy Day ((HUGS))

PAT said...

I'm going to send the link to this post to my daughter and family. They'll enjoy this post!

Somewhere in my archives I have a photo of the old Busch Stadium with the new stadium under construction, in the background. There is a brick, in the sidewalk, near the statue of Stan Musial, in memory of our precious Elijah.

Great post!

Pat said...

Diane -- New York New York plays after every Yankee homegame --the crowds alwayus sings along!

Tracy -- yes- it was a very nostalgic day--- I'll be sadwehn the the old stadium is torn down.

Pat -- thanks -- glad you liked it! We always try to see a games in baseball stadiums all over the US when we travel. Hopefully we'll see Busch Stadium someday! I was a big Ken Boyer fan when he was a Met -- he played for the Cardinals back in the 60's.

Betsy said...

The 5 cent hot dog? Oh my! Sounds like you had a great time. It wouldn't be baseball without the food, huh!

Kim said...


My mom(Pat, from the Backporch) sent me the link for your blog. Born and raised in "Cardinal Country", my husband and I are Yankee fans. Our son, Noah's, first outfit was a Yankee's one. He even came home from the hospital in it. This was a great look at a fantastic team and their home. It will be sad to see it go. Thanks for sharing.

Esther said...

What an artistic photo of Mickey Mantle and how lucky you are to have it! (Such an arm!) Your experiences and photos brought back memories of childhood Yankees and Mets games attended with my father (who could never get past the Giants moving to California. :)

Junie Moon said...

What a great post on a number of levels. It's goodbye to a beloved tradition while at the same time embracing a whole new chapter in baseball history, somewhat bittersweet for Yankee fans. I'm glad you were able to attend this historic game and I love reading about the little traditions associated with the baseball game in this stadium. What fun!

Alex said...

Hi Pat. I'm not a die-hard baseball fan, but I do love the Phillies! (yes, the Phillies) I enjoyed reading your blog this morning. I wasn't aware that this was the last season in the current stadium. (goes to show I'm not a die-hard fan, ey?) :)
Hope you have a good day!

Stop by when you can. Hope all is well.

Anonymous said...

Hia Pat thanks for taking me to my first proper baseball game -and what a game it was: the Yankies final at the old stadium. Thank you so much.

My Dad was in a Softball team which toured the states before I was born so I grew up being encouraged to bat properly.

I am also here to invite you to join in a "5 things you love"- details on my blog.

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, my gosh--what wonderful photos and memories you're creating here Pat! My brother and son were foaming at the mouth baseball fanatics, and I used to love hearing them quote statistics back and forth. These were wonderful shots of inside the stadium. It is a shame it's gotten so expensive, isn't it! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments! Thanks for the reminder of the blurbook of a whole blog--I'd forgotten to mention that and it really IS a great idea for one to do! Take care, thanks for "taking me out to the ball game!" sue

willow said...

My oldest son was a huge Yankees fan when he was growing up. Fun post!

Beverly said...

Go, Yankees! I am definitely a long time Yankee fan. I spent most of my life in Fort Lauderdale, and the Yankees' spring training camp was there for many years.

Thanks for sharing the experience. And, I know I am going to love your new little Yankee when he arrives.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

I'm terribly sad that they are tearing it down. I wonder if Babe Ruth will haunt the construction workers LOL

Great post, but very bittersweet :)


Joanne Kennedy said...

This was a fun post. I was watching this game on tv with my sister. She was born in New York and lived there until she was about 13. She was telling me my Dad LOVED the Yankee's and would go to lots of games there.

It's so sad that is being torn down. You are so lucky you got to go.

I tell you just the thought of being at one of those games with New York playing in the background brought tears to my eyes.

I am SUCH a NY girl in my heart. What I wouldn't give to live there. Man you are lucky!

I wish I knew you were going to the game. I would have sent you some money to pick me up a souvenir.

I'm happy you had fun. Thanks for taking me along with you!

Oh and yes that is Jason from American Idol singing Somewhere over the Rainbow on my blog.

I put music on because I had requests to do so. I keep my sound turned off most of the time.

But I did hear Ol' Blue Eyes singing here today!


Dana said...

Oh, Pat, what a FABULOUS post! I enjoyed it so much! It's so sad that the stadium will be coming down at the end of the season--at least a nice park will go in the spot. I LOVE Derek Jetter, too! The Yankees have had some of our good Royals players over the years, so I've always rooted for them. I love Freddy---what a great story and I'm sure he is very much loved by the fans! Gads, when you told me it was expensive for All Star tickets I didn't think of THAT amount! We had good seats in our livingroom--cheaper and cooler! Yes, the regular game tickets have really gotten high--then you add food, parking AND buying little grandson gifts, well, that's an expensive trip! ;-) Tell your son and DIL they have to hang on to those little Yankee items, as they were actually purchased in the House that Ruth Built! Thanks for the great photos and info on your Yankees and their Stadium!

Dee Dee said...

Hi Pat....This place we live, Tampa Bay, is home to many of the major league spring training camps. The Yankees, Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays spring training camps are all within 20 minutes of my home. My neighbor works for George Steinbrenner....so we have baseball on every corner it seems. I love your post...photos are great. You know...I suppose we all love the Yankees...they are as American as "apple pie" :)..the little yankee outfit is adorable...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It's so hard to believe it's going! And Shea Stadium as well?? Memories are becoming more important every year, aren't they?

Pat said...

Betsy -- the last time there was a 5 cent hot dog was maybe 1920? LOL!

Kim --thanks for coming by --always nice to meet other Yankee fans!!

Esther - yes, my dad was disappointed when the Dodgers left brooklyn!

June _Thanks! ;-)

Alex --The Phillies have a good team too!

Melanie -- glad to have taken you along!

A Brush -- Glad you dropped by and I hope you'll visit again.

Willow --hope he is still a fan!

Beverly -- good to know you're a Yankee fan too! Thanks so much!

Rue -- funny story --someone tried to bury a Red Sox baseball jersey in the field of the new stadium --they are BIG rivals of the Yankees! It was to put a "curse" on the Yankees! Luckily it was found and put on E-bay and the money was given to charity.

Joanne --aww I wish I knew you wanted something from the Yankees! Did you try looking at the team web site? There may be souvenirs for sale there?

Dana -- LOl! I knew you'd like this post! Good point about the baby's outfit! They should save it fro prosperity.

Dee Dee -- and yet another Yankee fan! I'm so happy!

Pamela & Edward -- yes, both stadiums will be new next year. it's the end of an era.

steviewren said...

Pat you have outdone yourself with these photos. They are fantastic. I heard on the news that this was the last year for the stadium. Thanks for taking me out to the ballpark one last time!

M.Kate said...

wow..seems like you had a great time...sadly we dont have baseball here :)

Strider said...

Wonderful post and song to match....as usual! It is sad to see the old torn down for the new...but I guess that's business now days. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat- just a quick reply. Yesterdays "raindrops on roses" photographs were taken in the local park- Hesketh Park whose grouns and flower beds were laid out by the Victorians. More to come of it in my next post as I went a bit snap happy. I used to have 12.5 acres in our old house of which just over 2 acres were garden and orchard. Yes I did the gardening for it before my back went but it would take a whole day with a strimmer to do the part too steep for a mower. I doubt I would have the stamina now.

Best Wishes,

Alex said...

Hi Pat. Just wanted to stop by to say hello and thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement. Today is the "big" day, and I've blogged one last time. love you much! Please stop by for your award. :)

Naz said...

Although I live in Red Sox territory I've been a Yankee fan all of my life. Growing up my parents took us to see Mickey Mantle play and it turns out it was his final season. Since my husband and daughters are also Yankee fans we've been to the stadium a few times. The bad part is the long ride. The good part is getting to see that Derek Jeter is as handsome in person as he is on tv. Be still my heart.
This spring we went to Tampa to see them play during spring training at Legends Field. It was so much fun and I was happy that they not only play the song New York, New York by Frank Sinatra at Yankee Stadium but they also play it at Legends Field after the game is over.
Fantastic post and Let's Go Yankees!!
btw...they sell Yankees merchandise at Yankees.com

Yolanda said...

Thanks for sharing this. If the walls of this place could talk. I am so glad to have found your blog.

Anonymous said...

I missed this post! Thanks for taking me to Yankee Stadium with you. I've never been to a baseball game before.


Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow, what a great day you had! You are a true fan and I'm glad you got to go. Of course we're Cubbie fans out here, and always enjoy being able to get to a game.
BTW, I love your baby Grandson's little head, perfectly shaped!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I'm not really much of a baseball fan until the Red Sox win the World Series (yay!), but your post made my heart swell. I can't even imagine what it means to New York to know that this is Yankee Stadium's last season. What plans are in the works for the facility once the new stadium is up and running?

I love thinking about your grand playing ball there one day! Too much fun!!