Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Old Timer's Day at Yankee Stadium

(left to right) Me, My Bro, My Uncle and my Pops

This past weekend my Father, Brother and Uncle all came up to visit me in New Jersey. The main focus of course was Yankee Baseball. I am the third generation Yankee fan in my family and I am proud to pass on all of that great legendary love of Americas Team to my son, Nathan. We started off with Friday's game against the Angels, ugh what a sloooooooooow game. Sydney Ponson pitched a great game for the Yankees keeping it scoreless until the bastards scored off of Mo in the 9th. The only problem is that the Angels pitcher Ervin Santana also pitched a peach of a game not allowing a run the entire game. The Yanks just couldn't get a run going, they had plenty of hits but they couldn't seem to drive anyone home. My uncle, a great guy, but a very pessimistic fan, was out in full force. According to him the Yanks were all bums and completely worthless. Thankfully his mood would change at least a little bit on Saturday. Needless to say the Yanks lost 1-0 dropping the second game against the Angels in the 4 game series. Yankee Stadium

We were concerned when we woke up Saturday morning when we looked at the weather reports and saw that it was supposed to rain cats and dogs all damn day. But we were determined to get to the stadium. Our plan, get there early and beat the crowd so we could see Monument Park which my brother has never seen. If you've read my previous posts on the Yankees you would remember that when my Grandfather died we found a way to sneak some of his ashes into Monument Park. The next game Cone had his perfect game, I kid you not. So as you could imagine Monument Park holds a special place in the Marvin family's hearts. It was raining hard at Yankee Stadium and we were pretty down, it didn't look good for us to see the game. We bought plastic bags with Yankee symbols on it that many claimed to be a poncho (10 bucks a piece) and met up with my good friend Cody. The rain finally stopped for a moment allowing us to enter the hallowed halls of the Bronx. We ran to get in line for Monument Park and even though it was long as hell we were able to make it inside. By then the rain started to fall again, but it didn't faze us we had our ponchos and we paid our respects to Grandpa and the Yankee legends of old. Me in between monuments for Thurman Muson and Don Mattingly.

We got our pictures and we came out of Monument Park only partly drenched. We got our food and headed up to our seats to watch what was to be the biggest gathering of Old Timers at Yankee Stadium in the history of the ballpark. Saturday's game was especially important because it fell on the tragic day of the death of the team captain Thurman Munson August 2nd 1979. It was special also because Thurman's best friend the late Bobby Murcer had his most memorable performance as a Yankee the day they buried their Captain. Murcer and the Yankees flew back to New York to play against the Baltimore Orioles and Murcer lifted the ailing Yankees with his batting to defeat the Orioles in that emotional and exciting win. The sky was still dark as they began to announce the names of the 72 former players. Here are a few of the names: Wade Boggs, Graeme Lloyd, David Wells, David Cone, Jimmy Key, Darryl Strawberry, Tommy John, Jim Abbott and as the names were mentioned the sun slowly crept out of the clouds. They also introduced three of the wives of former players. Thurman Munson's wife Diana, Jim "Catfish" Hunter's wife Helen, Elston Howard's wife Arlene, Billy Martin's widow Jill and Phil Rizzuto's wife Cora. They introduced some of the Yankees best like Goose Gossage, Ricky Henderson, Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neil, Dave Winfield, Whitey Ford, Willy Randolph and of course Yogi Berra. Wouldn't you know it, by the time Yogi came running out of the dugout the sun was bright and beautiful and ready for a great day of baseball. Hall of Fame Pitcher Whitey Ford

Unfortunately because of Fox and because of the rain we were only able to see one full inning of the Old Timer's game but it was worth it. To see Goose Gossage, Jim Abbott, David Cone and David Wells pitch again was really fun. It was also really great to see everyone give Willie Randolph a standing ovation after all that he has been through with the Mets. Paul O'Neil, Tino and Ricky Henderson all had hits. The color commentary for the Old Timer's game was officiated by Keith Olbermann. The Old Timer's game was brief but fun and it was truly a memorable experience. Fans give Paul O'Neil a standing O

Oh and the fun was just beginning as the Yankees rolled to an 8-3 win over the Angels bringing my Yankee Stadium average to a whopping 2-2 for this year. Moose pitched a great game and we got to see some great home runs from A-Rod, Molina, Betemin and Abreau. It was great spending time with friends and family at the house that Ruth built. Hopefully it won't be my last time this year but if it is I got a great memory to tell my kids. Me, Cody, My Uncle and My Pops

Derek Jeter

Yogi Berra

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