Sunday, July 22, 2007
Game #2: Start Spreading The News…
Ok, let’s start with a few basic caveats.
Caveat #1: While I’m a part-time Red Sox supporter, I’m really by heart a Giants fan. I can tell this is the case because I (*gasp*) do not immediately despise all things Yankee, while anything in Dodger blue does in fact get my hackles up.
Caveat #2: Yankee stadium was the first new-to-me stadium on this tour.
That in place, I can safely say this… Yankee Stadium was very, very cool.
There’s something about the place that immediately conveys the depth of history it’s seen, the countless championships, and the button-down professionalism of the team. It’s at once truly classy, with the white arches in the outfield, the classic script of the team name, and the precision of the pinstripes, and yet also very blue collar, as evidenced by the crowd, once past the field-level corporate seats. And what a crowd that was. Even for a Sunday afternoon game against the lowly Devil Rays, carrying plenty of potential to settle into a slow and lazy mid-summer affair, the crowd was as enthusiastic as you might expect to see for a mid-Autumn playoff series. Yelling, singing, chanting, and very clearly knowledgeable about the proceedings below, the crowd was a huge part of the atmosphere of the stadium. My personal favorite was the “Hip hip” … “JORGE” chant being spontaneously led by various crowd members at each appearance of the Yankee catcher.
The game itself was a laugher, but a laugher of the sort that this lineup seems built to roll out on a regular basis. Until the Rays spoiled it with an extra run in the 9th, the 21-3 score-that-could-have-been would have been far more appropriate to the NFL’s Giants or Jets than to a baseball game. And all that offense, including 6 Yankee home runs, made for a very high-spirited and enthusiastic crowd, and (recall the caveats here) definitely helped make for a great experience.
My seat was great, and I was very lucky to get it when I did. Having hemmed and hawed for several days, I finally gave in and bought a ticket via Ticketmaster late last night. Those who didn’t bother to do so, walking up to the box office immediately in front of me, found themselves facing a cheapest-ticket price of $280. Yikes. I may need to selectively buy a few more tickets in advance. My seats were in the “Tier Box”, almost immediately behind home plate, at the front of the upper deck. This section angled up from the field at a vertigo-inducing pace, which meant that for those of us near the front, we had a great overview of the park as a whole, combined with a nice intimate proximity to the batter’s box. The ‘pop’ of ball into glove was therefore highly immediate, and very satisfying.
Lastly, I didn’t partake in much of the food, but did have a hot dog – not just any hot dog, but a Nathan’s hot dog, as per the annual Coney Island 4th of July contest. I just had one, mind you, not the 66 that Joey Chestnut ate to unseat Takeru Kobayashi and claim this year’s championship.