Going to new Yankee Stadium
Vail, CO Colorado
The anticipation was building from the moment I stepped on the No. 4 subway to the new Yankee Stadium.
It was my first trip to a Yankees game, and I did not know what to expect. All my anticipation was based on what I had seen in movies, heard from people who had gone to games, and what I had watched on TV.
I expected rowdy fans, great baseball, large hot dogs with stereotypical salesmen, and to have my breath taken away by the feeling in the stadium; the feeling that you are in the house of the most-storied team in baseball.
The House that Ruth Built … kind of. In a sense, I experienced some of these, but I also missed on a few things I expected.
I was at Saturday’s Yankees-Indians game, only the third game in the new stadium’s history, and the Yankees got embarrassed. The Tribe scored 14 runs in the second inning, a new record, for a 22-4 win in the Big Apple.
Welcome to New York
This wasn’t the greatest game, so I was let down in that category of my expectations; but the Yankees’ terrible pitching opened the door to the fulfillment of my next anticipation: Rowdy fans.
I have never heard so many vulgar words thrown around at any sporting event, much less a baseball game; but apparently that is East Coast baseball, or at least what it’s like when the Yankees are getting killed.
In between bites of fairly large Nathan’s hot dogs, crazed Yankees fans let their feelings of displeasure fly as they yelled harsh words at troubled pitcher Chien Ming Wang and rookie reliever Anthony Claggett. Yankees fans take America’s pastime a bit more seriously than the baseball fans of Colorado.
It would be unheard of if a Rockies fan dropped the f-bomb as frequently as those from the Big Apple, but that is part of the culture of baseball in New York. The Yankees dynasty is rooted in the history of baseball and sports as a whole and their fans know that and have a deep passion and desire for winning.
Fans at Yankee stadium expect their Bronx Bombers to perform well, whereas attendees at Coors Field would not be as frustrated watching their Blake Street Bombers being defeated by the Cleveland Indians. Losing is pretty much all we know.
Grand as they come
As for the actual stadium, I don’t think there is any baseball field in the nation that is as grand as this. From the moment you lay eyes on the Goliath sports shrine, after passing the old Yankee Stadium, your heart starts beating faster and you become short of breath.
The grand façade that runs along the roof just under the bright rustic looking lights is reminiscent of the façade and lighting of the old stadium. Monument Park and the right center field bleachers still exist and are as rowdy as ever.
Yes, the interior and furnishings of the stadium are all redone and appealing, but perhaps the most memorable part of the new stadium is the Great Hall you walk through as you enter the stadium after walking across Babe Ruth Plaza. You enter the Great Hall and are immediately greeted by the faces of the greatest Yankees in history hanging down from the rafters above.
The faces plastered on the posters include Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, and of course, Babe Ruth. You are reminded of the history that occurred across the street at the old Yankee Stadium, which lays abandoned like a historic castle, by staring into the eyes of Hall of Fame legends.
Rays of light stream into the Great Hall in an angelic fashion, illuminating the years that the Yankees have won World Series titles, and a large picture of Reggie Jackson with the famous sign behind him reading “Reg-gie!”
Yes, the history of the old Yankee Stadium will be sorely missed for an extremely long time, but new memories will be formed in the Yankees’ beautiful new stadium. The same passion and love for the game and team still lives on in Yankees fans no matter in what stadium they play.
The Babe may not have built this house, but his spirit and the spirit of all Yankees lives on and runs through the veins of Yankee fans, and is felt in Yankee Stadium every time you hear the snap of a glove or the crack of the bat.