| || |
New York adventures: Yankee Stadium
July 17, 2013 - Pam Rodgers
I recently returned from my trip to New York City. It was a blast! I have been to the city twice before, in 1995 and 1999. It was nice to go back as an adult and experience the city from a different perspective.
One of the main reasons for going was to see the new Yankee Stadium. The place is phenomenal. It’s a giant museum. A franchise with such a storied history has endless options to fill this coliseum with more than a baseball field. Two of the main attractions are the Yankee Museum and Monument Park.
The Yankee Museum was a great place to visit. One of the biggest things that stands out is the “ball wall.” It is filled with autographed baseballs of most of the players who have put on a pinstripe uniform and made a contribution to the team.
The Yankees could have enough displays to fill the National History Museum. However, the Yankees kept their displays on the small side and featured only a few Yankee greats at a time. The Mickey Mantle display was fantastic. It had many game used items by Mantle and lots of information about his career. The display for Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth was also very nice. These two Yankee legends truly enjoyed sharing a field.
It couldn’t be a Yankee Museum without a World Series Trophy or two. It was cool to see a Commissioner's Trophy up close again. Six trophies were on display: 1977, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2009. The Commissioner's Trophy wasn’t given until the 1967 series (the St. Louis Cardinals received the first one); otherwise, there would have been a lot more. They have always given some sort of memento to each player on the roster. A World Series ring is standard now but in the early days, a pocket watch or pin was also used for a keepsake. The museum had the 1923 World Series pocket watch and the other 26 World Series rings on display. It was really neat to see those mementos in one display.
Thurman Munson’s locker is a nice tribute to the Yankee captain who died in a plane crash in 1979. In the old stadium, his locker remained open since he passed away. When the Yankees moved across the street in 2009, his locker came with it. One of the other features was a display for long-time Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. He passed in 2010 but his legacy will live on in the Yankees organization.
I remember walking through Monument Park at the old stadium. I loved it. Seeing all of the retired numbers from past Yankee All-Stars is a real treat. All of these numbers have a special plaque highlighting their contributions to the Yankees. But those aren’t the only things to see. The Yankees also dedicate monuments to players, coaches and announcers who have made an impact in the organization and shouldn’t be forgotten.
As fantastic as the history is, the new Monument Park was disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, everything is beautifully designed and the plaques and monuments are still great tributes to former players. However, getting around in the park is a nut house. The old Monument park was very orderly. You walked past the numbers first then the monuments and then exited. You were able to take as many photographs as you could as long as you kept the line moving at a steady pace.
The new park is a mad house. The numbers and monuments are parallel to one other. There is no set path so people walk willy-nilly between the two sections. Taking photos becomes like a traffic stop. Everyone is going opposite directions. I take my photo, then hold my position so the person behind me can take a photo so no one walks in front of them. Then u inch your way to the next set and wait for an opening. It’s like driving in SoHo! There are far too many people in that space to truly enjoy it.
Hopefully all my pictures turned out so I can enjoy it more fully with those. I took one with my iPhone that I have uploaded to this blog. I was going to upload a few more photos but I took close to 3,000 pictures with my Nikon on the trip. I haven’t had time to sift through them all. That’s whole other kind of New York adventure. ;)
The games were good too. We went to six and that’s far too much information to cram into one blog. Plus, you can just Google the box scores to see how they ended up :)
The first four numbers retired for the Yankees were some of the best players in Yankee and baseball history: Lou Gehrig (4), Babe Ruth (3), Joe DiMaggio (5) and Mickey Mantle (7).