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YANKEE STADIUM (OLD) | metsgrrl.com

YANKEE STADIUM (OLD)

It was my first trip to the old Yankee Stadium. I wasn’t going to include it but it still rings very, very true to my experience of that place. I didn’t even bring my good camera the first time.

What a major let-down.

No, seriously, this is Yankee Stadium. This is the team with the largest payroll. This is supposed to be a monumental fucking event, attending a game there, it’s supposed to be so incredible and so much nicer and the Ultimate.

Instead, it’s not much better than Shea. (No, come on, it’s not.) And, at least Shea has decent concourses and enough bathrooms.

  • The food is all more expensive. As my companion continually snarked, “Gotta make up for that payroll somehow.”
  • The food is not that much better – okay, I know. Nothing is going to be Safeco Field with the chocolate-covered strawberries on skewers, and the salmon and chips, and the sushi (although I trusted the sushi at Safeco about as much as I ever trusted the hotdogs at the Kingdome). But, still.
  • The scoreboard was an atrocious letdown. No starting lineup? No out of town scoreboard to speak of? At least at Shea they change the lightbulbs every once in a while.
  • And the sound system – I understand that this is baseball, but you would think, given the amount of money in this park and the rock star status of its players and the unbelievable amount of attention lavished in defense of Mariano Rivera’s use of “Enter Sandman,” I would have thought that the Yankees would have had this kick-ass sound system that would shake the walls and been crystal clear. Surely someone in baseball has thought of this, now that a player’s walk-on music has become *that* important.
  • It’s not any bigger than Shea. Now, remember I know jack shit about baseball, but even as recently as a month or two ago, I had people lecturing me on the impact of walking through the tunnel for the first time and seeing the field before me and how awe-inspiring it was. Maybe if you’re a Yankees fan, that’s true, but that means the impact is emotional – which I can certainly understand – and not physical.

The history is undeniable, and the emotional aspect is absolutely real and true and valid. But don’t lecture me that the awesomeness is based on the physical plant or the facilities or the field. What a crock of inflated bullshit. And, as I have come to quickly learn, how typically YANKEE.

We pulled tier box seats late on Friday, just off first base, view of the Mets dugout and everything. We scurried up to the Bronx on Saturday morning, found parking, and walked the few blocks to the stadium.

It felt like an enemy incursion, walking through the hordes of blue and white and pinstripe-wearing crowds. We got glares. It was kind of exciting, in a West Side Story kind of way. We budgeted enough time for parking and will-call and security (all food in a plastic bag at Yankee Stadium, and they make you show your camera and turn on your cell phone), and even with all of that, we arrived in enough time to make it through Monument Park and catch the Mets relief staff warming up in the outfield, while the Yankees took BP in the infield. We were close enough for me to lament that I left the good camera at home, and got to watch Billy Wagner talking shop with Mike Mussina and Duaner and Chad Bradford working out.

The seats were excellent, if a bit sunny; it was WARM, and we didn’t bring enough water (I got a bottle through security, but the ‘no bottles or cans’ disclaimer on the Stadium web site dissuaded us from bringing as much water as common sense would have dictated for this day). The place, obvs, was packed. Enough Mets fans around us, and even more above us in the cheap seats.

It was a very Trachsel-like game, which meant it got a little plodding at times, and at one point during the 4th inning I was so hot that TBF was insisting on going out to get me water and a lemon ice as soon as the Yankees were up — but then we kept GOING and then I was on my feet and knocked over my lemonade cheering, and suddenly felt much better.

I’m glad we went, but I didn’t like it – I mean, we *won* and I didn’t like it — and would be hard-pressed to want to go back. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.

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