Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 10, Part 2: Walter and the Yankees

Day 10, Part 2:

Yankee Stadium is not just a ball park, but also a museum with a museum.

The Yankees have won the World Series 27 times and the years are displayed on a wall behind right field.

The Yankees have an area behind center field in the new stadium called Monument Park. Here the Yankees honor former players, and 4 players and one manager have monuments. Until the old Yankee Stadium was remodeled in the 1970s, the monuments (3 at the time --Ruth -- Gehrig -- Manager Miller Huggins) were in the field of play along with the flagpole.

Later, monuments for Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio were added.

The Yankees have retired many numbers and have them displayed on a wall behing left field.

When I was 5 or 6 in the 1950s, I thought the World Series was an annual contest between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. (They opposed each other many times in the 1950s' World Series games.)

I was a Yankee fan in the 50s. Baseball was the main sport even though there weren't too many major league teams back then, and Saint Louis was the most western city with a team.

My dream was to see a game at Yankee Stadium. I loved baseball movies-- two about the Yankees, The Babe Ruth Story and The Pride of the Yankees about Lou Gehrig

The 60th Homer picture above and the Lou Gehrig picture below are from the museum in Yankee Stadium. While watching these movies, I remember hoping that they would not die, but you can't change history.

I also loved this move (remade with Gary Coleman in the 1970s), and the kid looked a lot like me when I was 9 or 10.

I have a memory of watching a 1956 World Series game on television and Don Larsen pitching a perfect game.

The Yankee Stadium museum includes the following:
along with

I have a memory of the summer of 1961 when my favorite player Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were both on pace to break Babe Ruth's home run record of 60 in a season. Life magazine had them on the cover.

Mantle got hurt and fell short, but Maris went into the last game of the season needing one home run for the record, and he hit one. I remember watching one of Maris's last two home runs on black and white television.

Fan right in front of us.

In 1965 the Houston Astrodome opened and the first game (exhibition though) was between the Yankees and the Astros. My dad had gotten me tickets for Christmas, and I took my best friend Danny Duke. I finally saw Mickey Mantle. He got the first home run in the Astrodome. A few days later, Danny took me to the opening day game and we saw Dick Allen hit the first official home run in the dome. That was Joe Morgan's rookie season with the Astros, and he became my favorite player who I still enjoy on ESPN television broadcasts.

In 1977, I remember Reggie Jackson hitting 3 home runs in a World Series game for the Yankees. This picture is in Yankee Stadium.

I finally made it inside Yankee Stadium on Labor Day, 2004. I took my youngest son Michael, and the Yankees were to play a double header against Tampa. (I bought bleacher seats a couple of months prior to the game). However, when Michael and I got to the stadium around 12:30 p.m., the Yankees announced that the Tampa team was still in Florida due to a hurricane, but were expected to take off soon. We waited until about 3 or 4 p.m., but the Rays had not left Florida, so we left. I had seen the stadium, but not a game. Tampa eventually did get to New York later that night and played one game.
So, after about 55 years of dreaming, on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, I finally saw a game in Yankee Stadium. Thank you to Steven for the tickets and Jeannie for the spirit.

1 comment: