Mayor Giuliani’s gift to his favorite ball club opened to a World Series title in 2009. It’s been downhill ever since for the Bronx Bombers, not winning a pennant since the inaugural year of the House that Jeter built.. The new stadium has all the modern amenities its’ predecessor did not, but lacks the character. I recommend arriving early and taking a walk through Heritage Field across the street, it’s where the old stadium once stood.
I’ve been reading Joe Sheehan’s work since he started writing for Sports Illustrated in 2007. When I was struck by the Sabermetric bug I discovered his podcast The Baseball Show with Rany and Joe and subscribed to the Joe Sheehan Newsletter. (It’s the best money I spend on baseball all year.) Joe was one of the founders of Baseball Prospectus, helping to bring the analytical side of baseball mainstream. Whether it’s lineup construction or bullpen use Joe is always up to talk baseball and was gracious to share his ballpark experiences in this edition of Nine with the Nerd. [Read more…]
Once Griffin was acquired by the Yankees of the South Lebanon Tee Ball league I knew a trip to see the MLB Yankees was inevitable. Now is a great time to introduce young fans to the Yankees as they’ve moved away from the old guard and developed a core of exciting young talent. Catcher Gary Sanchez and Right Fielder Aaron Judge have revitalized a roster formerly known for signing free agents on downside of their careers. Last season Sanchez came up from AAA Scranton to hit 24 homeruns in 53 games to finish second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. [Read more…]
June 18, 2009: Bronx, New York
If the original Yankee Stadium was The House that Ruth Built, the new Yankee Stadium is The House that Jeter Built. Derek Jeter became the Yankees full-time shortstop in 1996. His arrival launched what the Yankee Stadium Museum calls The Jeter Era. Jeter, along with outfielder Bernie Williams, catcher Jorge Posada, starting pitcher Andy Pettitte and lights-out closer Mariano Rivera, led the Bronx Bombers to four World Series titles in five seasons. The team was guided by the stoic Joe Torre and played their home games in historic Yankee Stadium, built in 1923, a venue unlike any other in sports. I waited until 2001 to make my first visit to Yankee Stadium and was blown away by the intense atmosphere: Postseason comebacks propelled by mystique and aura, and the sense that, regardless of the score or inning, the Yankees were going to win. This was real; search Byung-Hyung Kim or Grady Little. Despite the home field advantage, the old Yankee Stadium’s amenities did not offer fans the same game day experience that became standard during the ballpark boom of the 1990s and 2000s. This led to the end of an era with the old Yankee Stadium closing its doors following the 2008 season, ushering in a ballpark unlike any other.
September 28, 2001: Bronx, New York
For some reason, I waited until my junior year at Fordham to attend my first Yankees game. I will admit to having rooted for the Yankees during my high school years, even joining classmates at the 1996 and 1998 Yankee parades, but I was never a passionate Yankees fan. When I began my college career at Fordham, located a few train stops away from Yankee Stadium, I decided to go against popular opinion and pledge my allegiance to the other team in town: the New York Mets. Maybe it was the fact that the Yankees organization thought it was better than everyone else, or Yankee fans’ arrogant attitude, but I never had my heart with the team. During my Fordham days, I found myself watching the Mets instead of the Bronx Bombers. Even though my love for the Mets grew, I had respect for the Yankee players: Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, and Paul O’Neil (my favorite). As the years rolled on, Yankees management (i.e., George Steinbrenner) filled his team with overpriced players who could not deliver (e.g., Alex Rodriguez, Javier Vazquez, and Jeff Weaver). I began despising the Yankees organization and their fans, who seem to think “The Yankees shall win the World Series every year” is the 11th Commandment. Despite my current feelings for the Yankees, their players, fans, and organization, I have to give credit where credit is due; Yankee Stadium was a national monument. [Read more…]