So I am behind in my entries because my folks, Tim and I are in the midst of an EXTREMELY AWESOME Fourth-of-July-Mariners-Rampage-on-the-A.L.-East-Leaders-Weekend Roadtrip. Right now, Tim is crashed out from another super-sweet Mariners victory at Fenway Park. So I guess it is time to use Tim’s pre-fireworks nap to begin my entry for our July 2, 2009 game at the new Yankee Stadium.
After the M’s schedule came out for this season, I noticed the M’s would be in Boston over the 4th of July weekend. So I asked my recently retired parents, Jim and Marilyn, if they wanted to meet up with me and Tim for some road M’s games. Then we realized that the day before the Boston series the M’s would be in the Bronx. So we incorporated this game into our trip.
My good friend from college, Davlynn, used to live at 84th & Amsterdam, so I always park there whenever I go to NYC. So that’s what we did. And we took the B and the D train up to the Stadium. The people on the subway were very nice. We were going the wrong way and several people pointed us in the right direction when they noticed we were wearing Mariners gear but heading the wrong way.
Once we arrived at 161st Street, this is what we saw:
Tim was a bit disoriented from just waking up from a nap. So he didn’t want his picture outside the stadium. But we got some a shot of me and my dad, and one of my folks:
Tim was pretty helpful, however, finding the tickets in my mom’s purse:
Once found, we entered the stadium through Gate 6:
The “Great Hall” is pretty Great. Its some pretty cool architecture. But it doesn’t look like a baseball stadium. More like a really cool train station — like 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
Here is our first view of the field:
We went early for Mariners BP (and a few minutes of Yankees BP) so we had the *great honor* of visiting the exclusive field level of Yankee Stadium:
In the first picture, Tim is stuffing his face with a hot dog and pretzel. It really hit the stop and made it so he could start enjoying his Bronx experience. In the middle, my pa and I pose with the field before heading off to make our best efforts and snagging a BP homerun. On the right, I wanted to show you my silly Washington Nationals string backpack. I learned the hard way last season at the Yankees don’t allow real back packs. So, luckily, at the May 17th Phillies/Nationals game in D.C., the Nationals gave Tim this string backpack that we used at this game.
While the Yankees were still hitting, I went behind home plate to take a panaramic:
…and we saw Freddy Sez…who had a less than prophetic message on this sign:
Later, we jinxed the Yankees by having Tim — a true blue Mariners fan — ding Freddy’s pan — TAKE THAT YANKEES!
I watched the M’s prepare for BP:
You can’t tell in this picture, but King Felix was swinging a bat behind the cage. I noticed that it was Ronny Cedeno’s bat. Griff, on the other hand, was swinging a Ken Griffey, Jr. bat.
Griff and Ichi were in the first group of M’s hitters and they practiced their bunting:
A few minutes later, we were banished from the field level. We made our way to the less exclusive bleachers where my dad became the first Cook to snag a ball at Yankee Stadium. It was Mariners BP homerun. It bounced into the field level seats and my pappy reached out and grabbed it before it could fall back down to the field level seats. Here he is with his bounty:
Then my dad and Tim posed for a picture in the bleachers:
Tim asked my mom if she’d take a picture of him with his water bottle on his head. And she’s a grandma, so she said yes:
Soon, BP was finished and it was time to explore the stadium. We started by climbing the stairs in RF to the highest spot in RF where I took this picture:
That’s the number 4 train speeding by the outfield wall — which it did all night long. Tim loves trains. So it was cool to have one zooming by every couple of minutes. Our seats were in the third to last row right on the aisle under the big ball on the AT&T sign — and they cost me only $5/ticket.
While up there, I zoomed in on the new Monument Park…
…and this picture of Carsten Charles Sabbathia — who looked almost as big as Monument Park:
While Tim hung out with Grandpa, I got this picture with my mom:
And then we got a family picture (except for me wife who is home watching the puppy and relaxing):
Then we went to the highest spot in LF. I took this picture showing the bleachers and the bullpens, etc.:
Then we headed to our seats. Here is Tim standing on the row in front of our seats. Check it out, traditional “bleachers” with no seat backs:
By the way, for anyone interest in it, this picture was taking from Section 238, Row 22, Seat 2. From that spot, we watched Jason Vargas warm-up for the game:
From our seats, this is what you see if you look behind you over your right shoulder:
Here is what they mean: 4 – Lou Gehrig; 3 – Babe Ruth; 5 – Joe DiMaggio, 7 – Mickey Mantle, 37 – Casey Stengel; 8 – Yogi Berra & Bill Dickey (retired together in 1972); 16 – Whitey Ford; 15 – Thurmon Munson; 32 – Elston Howard; 9 – Roger Maris; 10 – Phil Rizzuto; 1 – Billy Martin; 44 – Reggie Jackson; 23 – Don Mattingly; 49 – Ron Guidry; and 42 – Jackie Robinson (in Dodger Blue instead of Yankee blue).
My main gripe with new Yankee Stadium is that it is sorta like a museum with tons of armed guards stationed everywhere to keep the museum safe from the riff-raff that trudge through it. There were armed police officers all over the place. Tons and tons of them. And one of the main goals of the place seems to be to keep the low paying customers out of the way of the high paying customers. However, I was very happy to learn that they don’t really care what you do in the concourse (other than carry your son on your shoulders). Specifically, in the outfield concourse directly on the back side of the retired numbers no one cared if Tim and I played catch. We didn’t just throw one or two balls. We full-on played catched for several innings at a time twice. Here we are having a lot of fun (and I could even see Ichiro score the first run of the game from here):
After our first catching session, Tim got an ice cream helmet for $6.50:
Hey, have you heard at all about some seats having an obstructed view in CF in Yankee Stadium? The rumors are true — how in the world did they failed to plan around this?
Eventually, my dad wanted to see the team store so we went exploring. Here is a panaramic from the second deck in LF foul territory:
Here is the main entrance to the Yankees front office:
They do have standing room in the open air concourse behind the field level where anyone can stand and watch the action. Here is a shot of Kenji Johima getting drilled by a pitch:
Here is another shot of the Great Hall — this time at night with the readboards lit up in blut lights:
When we got back to our seats, it seemed like some of the crowd had left. We were able to get some seats down in the first row above the Mariners bullpen.
Notice the armed guard right next to us.
We watched David Aardsma warm up:
The M’s bullpen is a colorful group of guys. They have a bunch of traditions that help them build a sense of family in the pen. One is a pink backpack that rookie reliever Chris Jakubauskas carries everywhere. Another is a bunch of warrior helmets the releivers take with them:
Here is 30-year-old rookie Jakubauskas sitting with one of the helmets:
Jak and M’s bullpen catcher, Jason Phillips — a heck of a good guy as I’ve come to learn — were having a great time in the bullpen. A bunch of Yankees fans were playfully heckling them and they were playing right along. Eventually, Jason Phillips rewarded me with a ball after I called out his name:
After Phillips threw us the ball (the second ball he’s thrown us this season), I got an idea. The M’s tote around all sorts of odd things in their pink backpack. I thought I’d try to give them something to add to the mix. I’ve had an A-Rod Mariners photo ball sitting around the house for years that I just can’t stand. I thought it might find a happier home in the pink backpack. So I wrote a message on it:
After Aardsma shut the Yankees down for the Mariners win, I tried to get Phillips’ attention again. I think I may be one of the only people who knows his name while at a Mariners game. So he has responded well to me calling his name. I yelled out again and showed him the ball and said I wanted to throw it to him. He yelled something that looked agreeable, but then he walked out of sight. He came back a minute or two later and waved a ball at me and yelled, “Its autographed already” and he threw it up to me. I thanked him for it but yelled back, “Thanks. But I want you to have *this ball*.” I threw it down to him. My mom yelled, “Read it!”
Phillips picked it up and read it. He gave me a big smile and a thumbs up and walked out of sight. By golly, I think it worked! (Stay tuned for future entries to see if it really worked!)
Interestingly, the autographed ball made it two balls from Phillips in about 10 minutes. Here they are with one of our tickets and Tim’s ice cream helmet:
After the game, we posed for pictures. Here are my folks:
Tim was too tired for our picture. The game ended at 11 o’clock due in part to a 30 minute “rain delay” despite absolultely no rain and the field ever being covered.
Here is Tim a few minutes later in the subway:
Now, its off to Boston!
Season Fan Stats:
15 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
6 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field and Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium)
13 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Braves and Padres, Dodgers — and sort of the Giants)
11 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (3), Mets, Nationals (2), and Yankees)
11 Baseballs (7 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Umpire)
3 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, NL East, NL West)
2 Autographs (Ryan Perry, Jason Phillips)
1 Player Photograph (Ryan Perry)
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats))