20 Stadiums in 20 Days – Yankee Stadium
The first part of our stadium quest had gone past pretty quickly, with 10 stadiums visited within a span of four years. That was because this was the BK era. No, not Burger King; Before Kids.
Kid number one was born in 1998, so we were on hiatus for awhile. Come the year 2000, we felt he was old enough to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a large enough chunk of time that we could begin to resume The Quest.
June 14, 2000 found us on a bus trip to New York City to visit that cathedral of baseball, Yankee Stadium. We decided on a bus trip because we could relax on the bus and leave the driving to someone else, and we were a little wary of the idea of driving into NYC ourselves. Once we got there and the bus had parked, I felt justified in this decision. The area immediately around the stadium didn’t seem like the nicest part of the city.
This days’ matchup would have the Yankees hosting the Boston Red Sox. Our seats were waay up in the upper level, so the picture quality is a bit less than I would like (keep in mind that I am scanning these photos into the computer, and it doesn’t seem to like me to use too high a resolution, so they might look a bit grainy).
Here is the view from our seats during the pre-game batting practice:
I must say that the upper levels of the stadium were incredibly steep, almost enough to induce vertigo. Good thing I only had one beer this day!
On the mound for the Red Sox was this guy:
The Yankees had Roger Clemens starting that day. He only pitched one inning, not even long enough for me to have taken a picture. Clemens walked two on 28 pitches, though no runs were allowed. He was removed after the top of the first due to a strained groin, and replaced with Ramiro Mendoza.
Even without the Rocket, the game was a classic matchup of these two teams. The Yankees scored first, in the bottom of the first, with a run scoring on a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Posada.
Here is a shot from the top of the third, as Jose Offerman, who had walked to lead off the inning, is out on a force at second. Derek Jeter tosses the ball to Chuck Knoblauch:
Boston finally evened it up in the top of the seventh, on a solo home run by Nomar Garciaparra.
The Yanks went back on top in the bottom of the eighth, when Tino Martinez hit a monster shot to the upper deck in right field, off of Tim Wakefield. In this view of the outfield, you can see the scoreboard – Yankees 2, Red Sox 1.
In the top of the ninth, Boston had a chance to tie it up against this guy:
Jeff Frye singled to lead off the inning. But the threat was eliminated with a strike-‘em-out, throw-‘em-out double play – Trot Nixon was called out on strikes and Frye was erased in this play at second:
Down to their last gasp, Nomar grounded out to the pitcher to end the game. Yankees win, 2-1. By now I had a splitting headache from the tension of such a close game – and I didn’t even have a rooting interest in either team! Thank goodness I could sleep it off on the bus ride home.
A Cautionary Note:
Since this was the first new stadium visited since the birth of our son, of course we decided to bring him a little something back. So what do you get a two-year-old? Without thinking of the possible ramifications, we got him a little cap, of course! And that was our mistake. He wore that thing constantly for at least the next three years, until it was finally so faded and frayed that I threw it out. In the meantime, he decided that the Yankees were his favorite team (!) and demanded a new cap. This was sacrilege in a Phillies household! So always make sure to get your child your own team’s cap before any others.
Next stop, Pacific Bell Park in beautiful San Francisco.
(all photos mine)