Tour Of Old Yankee Stadium - Bronx, New York
Pictures Of Our Walking Tour Through The House That Ruth Built - August 9, 2008
Now this was a special visit to Yankee Stadium, which will soon be referred to as
the "Old Yankee Stadium." 2008 is the final year that this stadium will stand, as a brand new and technologically
updated structure is near completion across the street.
My brother Dave took his kids and a bunch of their friends to the stadium for a tour. Being that
I am in town
there was no question that I would go as well!
Interestingly, when the Yankees are on the road, these kinds of tours happen regularly during the season.
I have been a baseball fan for much of my life, and some of my earliest memories are baseball-related.
I was actually a devout Phillies fan as a child from 1979-1985,
then made the switch to a full-time Yankees fan in 1986 ...
just when they began to underachieve greatly during the lean 1980's and early 1990's.
I spent a lot of time in this stadium as a teenager when I was allowed to drive
and during my college years (1989-1994). Below are my five fondest and most vivid memories in this building:
1) My uncle, older brother and myself were in attendance for Dave Righetti's no-hitter on July 4, 1983.
2) Sitting in the cheap right field bleachers for many games during the late 1980's and early 1990's.
Once, during batting practice, a home run ball came very close to my friend Marc Cousoulis and I. Marc was
able to grab the ball after it hit the stands. Not long after, another towering fly ball
(hit by Wade Boggs, I believe)
came right at us and without moving much, the fly ball came down directly to me ... I did not have a
glove and stuck out my hands, but it bounced off the palm of my right hand and went back a few seats.
Again, Marc ran to the ball and tossed it to me. :)
3) It was 1993. The Yankees had a winning record and were chasing the Toronto Blue Jays in the A.L. East.
I think it was a day game in May or June. Mike Stanley, the Yankees starting catcher,
hit a home run (with one or two runners on base)
to deep left center field. The crowd went nuts. It was so loud!
4) Anytime the Yankees won, Frank Sinatra's "New York New York" song was played.
5) I don't remember the exact year (my guess is 1986), but I attended the game when Jim Rice ran well into the stands to
go after a fan who grabbed his hat or did something to antagonize him. :p)
All right ... below are my photos from out tour of soon-to-be Old Yankee Stadium!
Monument Park in deep left-center field honors some of the Yankees greats who have had their numbers retired.
||Adjacent is some touching historical information on how the "NY" insignia on the Yankees attire came about.
|Looking at some of the monuments.
||A monument to 97-year-old announcer Bob Sheppard. Reggie Jackson once said he sounded like the "voice of God."
He indeed has a very graceful voice. Sheppard has not been announcing this year, but interestingly, when Derek Jeter is at bat,
he has a special tape played that announces his at-bat with Sheppard's voice. Nice!
RIGHT: A monument for the September 11, 2001 tragedy.
Note: I wanted to include the monument to Phil Rizzuto, but regretfully, the one photo I snapped came out
really blurry. Ugh! At some point, I hope to get Rizzuto's monument on this page. Among all these Yankee greats,
I think his was the most special - at least based on all my sentimental biases.
I grew up watching Yankees games with Rizzuto as one of the regular announcers.
||The view of one of the bullpens is right there next to the park.
See the blue concrete wall on the left? That was the old home run wall back in the 1970's and 1980's.
Deep left center was called "Death Valley" for being so expansive and having the wall at 430 feet.
It was 417 in straight center field. Over the years, beginning in the late 1980's, someone in charge
of the stadium sold out and cheapened home runs by slowly moving the walls in. Today, the average home run wall dimensions of stadiums are the shortest in history.
||The Yankees' Dugout
We sat inside the dugout! My older brother Dave poses with a big smile.
The one thing I noticed inside the dugout were the rundown qualities of the infrastructure. The concrete was showing signs of decay.
There were electrical wires and all sorts of stuff that did not look state-of-the-art at all.
The dugout looked kind of dumpy for a professional baseball team.
I will be sad when this stadium is demolished, but after seeing so many problems with the stadium on the tour,
I think it is time for a new one.
Past the dugout, we walked into the locker room of the Yankees players. The lockers looked "lived in" with personal items
of the players in many of them. (I think I saw pictures of at least one child on the wall of Brian Bruney's locker.)
We could also see the empty locker that has remained to this day for
the deceased Thurman Munson as well. On strict orders, we were not allowed to take any pictures inside the locker room.
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