Friday, May 09, 2008

My First Game at Yankee Stadium 2008 - Countdown to the end

Ahh, Yankee Stadium. It was great to be back in the House that Ruth built for the final season before they move into their new digs across the street. The Yankees as you may or may not know haven't been playing the best baseball in the past few years and unfortunately this year has been no exception. Thankfully with Moose on the mound the Yanks were able to hold onto the win against Cleveland 6-3. The Yanks at this point are about 2 games from 500. which ironically is still better than how they were at this time last year. So instead of droning on how bad the Yanks are and bitching about whether or not they are gonna make the Playoffs. I think I'll just stick to talking about this remarkable ballpark where I have seen many an incredible thing in my 31 years of life.

I was at Yankee Stadium two years ago in May of 2006 where the Yankees were down nine runs to the Rangers and Jorge Posada hit the 2 run home run to end the game in the 9th inning. My friend Meshesha was with me and he was convinced the Yanks were done after Texas scored 7 runs in the second but I refused to leave. Somehow I got him to stay through the gradual comeback. Meshesha had already bolted through the archway debating whether or not he should wait for me. There were two outs, he was so convinced that it was over but I wasn't swayed. It only took a few seconds for Jorge to crush a two run home run and seal the victory. Man that was a rush, I had seen the Yanks come back from deficits before but that had to be one of the greatest comebacks ever.

I was here at Yankee stadium during the Playoffs of that year to watch the first game against Detroit. Derek Jeter was at the top of his game hitting five for five in the game with two doubles and a homerun. It was magnificent! The Yanks won the game 8-4. I was there with my friend Ori and the playoff atmosphere in Yankee stadium was electric. They had the 2006 playoff logos on the field--it was spectacular. The place was packed to the brim, I swear I must have waited at least an hour to get my big ass Foster's brew cup--a staple at Yankee Stadium, as Cody can attest. I had my Australian ale and my hot dog and enjoyed the one and only game the Yanks would win in the series. Well I guess you can't always get everything you want.

I was also here in 1996 when the Yankees won the World Series for the first time in 18 years against the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately I got to witness the only two games of the series that we lost. But it was my first world series and it was pretty cool. Except of course for losing the two games, especially the one on Mickey Mantle's birthday, where Andruw "Jackass" Jones broke his playoff record for hits in a game. But I've seen some great home runs from the soon to be greats like Jeter, A-Rod and Posada. I was able to see new Yankee skipper Joe Girardi back when he was a catcher for us at the aforementioned 96 series, he played with power and passion. I've seen pitcher Chin Ming Wang go 9 innings without giving up a run and only a couple of hits.

But I think the thing that sticks out for me as the most memorable thing I have seen or done at Yankee stadium is walking through Memorial Park, passing by the plaques of former greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle. A few days earlier my Grandfather passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's. He was born in New Jersey but as a kid he got to live right across the street from Yankee Stadium. He would tell my brother and me all of his stories about watching Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig play ball. So of course I grew up to love the Yankees, after those stories who wouldn't. As Grandpa got older and his memory began to fade he still remembered the team he loved as a kid. There were times I swear he couldn't remember my name but he could tell me who Paul O'Neil was and what position he played. So after he died, my dad and my cousin Steven went to the first game we could get our paws on-- which puts us back in Memorial Park where I scattered his ashes on the grass next to some of his favorite players. As in true Yankee fashion the Yanks lost that game but two days later, July 18, 1999, David Cone had his perfect game against the Expos. Dad and I were convinced after that it was Grandpa's doing and it could only have been possible in Yankee Stadium.




1 comment:

greg said...

I’m with MetLife and just wanted to give everyone a heads up that the company sponsoring a chance to pull the Yankee Stadium countdown lever. The game is on September 13th against the Rays. You'll also receive four tickets to the game, to meet manager Joe Girardi and on field access to view batting practice.

There is no charge to enter and you can do it from the MetLife website - http://www.metlife.com/General/0,0,19959,00.html?WT.mc_id=cs3773

Good luck!