Showing posts with label New York Yankees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York Yankees. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2009

Game 29: New York Yankees 11 @ Tampa Bay Rays 4

We got to the game about an hour and a half before the gates opened. Before getting in line and after the team shop we walked part of the Baseball Boulevard Path that eventually leads to the Rays Spring Training field, but that would have been 3 miles round trip, so we only did about two blocks of it. It was interesting to see the home plate time line of baseball in St. Petersburg that we did see. Too bad it was too close to game time and way too humid to do the whole thing.

When the gates opened we went straight to the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame. Well almost straight, as that was after almost not getting the giveaway because we were not in Rays gear, but the guy behind us who we were talking with before the gates opened helped convince them to give us t-shirts by lending us his hat. The Ted Williams Museum was way pretty amazing and it was good we did it first thing, as it became quite crowded by the time we exited. I will eventually do a post just on it.

After the museum we headed to our seats in section 321. Our seats were pretty good, as even the upper deck here does not seem far from the field. One issue, though is we were way down the 3rd baseline and they do not have the seats angled, although that does not matter in the handicap row because the seats are fold up ones. It is the one thing that does make you feel you are in a multipurpose dome and not an indoor ballpark. Other than that, though it does have a ballpark feel even including a dirt infield instead of mostly turf with small dirt sliding paths like at the other domes (Skydome in Toronto and Metrodome in Minneapolis). Also, the fact that it has its only scoreboards in the outfield instead of on both ends of the stadium makes it obviously mainly for baseball despite technically always intended to be multipurpose.

The catwalks are crazy, but they are what hold the roof up and that roof makes an enjoyable ball game. I cannot imagine going to a game here and not being in an air conditioned ballpark, but I guess we will find out in two days when we see the Marlins for our final ballpark. We already know we are not going to tent camp in the Florida humidity and try to get a Kabin upgrade there, too.

The game tonight was exciting, I guess, but not if you wanted to see the Yankees lose like we did. The Yankees had a lot of hits and scoring including four homers. The Rays on the other hand had few hits and scoring until the second half of the game and mostly the last two innings.

Overall I liked Tropicana Field. I have nothing against indoor parks and do not think baseball always has to be outdoors, especially since many would not want to come and enjoy a game (or at least not come back) if they had to be outside in the humidity. It may be a dome, but it is the best of the domes and at least really tries to feel like a ballpark despite being built to be multipurpose. Only thing I do not get is the cowbells. Mik absolutely hated all the Rays fans constantly ringing cowbells and complained about the noise the whole game, which was also related to Yankees suck and Yankee fan cheering, but just the cowbells on their own are annoying. The main thing, though, is we cannot figure out why the heck they do cowbells here at all. Mik says he could understand if it was like Texas or someplace they have ranches, but this is a beach town.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 43: Old Yankee Stadium

I am trying to catch up on posts about the last week or so and was about to do the post on the Mets old stadium when I realized I never did a Former MLB Ballparks post about the Old Yankee Stadium. We saw what is just the shell of the old stadium when we went to the new Yankee Stadium.

Old Yankee Stadium was first opened in 1923 and was often called the House That Ruth Built. The Stadium remained in use until the end of last season. This year the Yankees moved into their new stadium and the old Yankee Stadium is to be demolished. Honestly, I thought it would already be down when we visited. Instead, though, the shell of the stadium was still there.

It basically looks the same as it always has on the outside, but a few places you can glimpse into the park and notice that it has been completely stripped of seats and other mementos. At the game it becomes apparent how all these things that were stripped from the stadium are being dispersed, as there are a lot of ads on the video scoreboard telling fans to go to a website to own a piece of the Old Yankee Stadium.

I am not sure how long until the Old Yankee Stadium is to be completely gone, but I believe the plan is for the site to become a park. I assume they will end up putting some sort of plaque or plaques where the home plate and/or bases were originally located. I think the giant bat outside of it is to remain. I also think there is a movement to keep Gate 2 as part of the park.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baseball Museum 11: Yogi Berra Museum

On July 5, 2009, we visited the Yogi Berra Museum on the Montclair University Campus in Montclair, New Jersey. I expected it to be a small museum and it is, but it is a surprisingly good one like the small Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is. I really thought it would just be about Yogi Berra. That is the focus of the museum, however, it also gives the background history of the Yankees and to a lesser extent the Mets. In fact it is better than the Yankee Museum in the new Yankee Stadium.

The museum visit begins with displays on the history of baseball in New York. It mostly focuses on the Yankees, but it does talk about the time period when their were three New York teams (Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants) and the Yankees prevailed as the only one that still is in New York today, as the Mets came later. This part of the museum also has a little history of catchers from the use of minimal protective gear to the more modern improved padding and helmets. Some of the Yankee history displays include one of the bats Joe DiMaggio used during his 56 game hitting streak, a Babe Ruth signed ball, and the original Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio plaques from the old Yankee Stadium’s centerfield fence before the 1970s remodel.

Intertwined with the Yankee history are parts about Yogi Berra, such as his growing up in St. Louis and his military service during World War II. Related to his playing career there are some his awards, such as MVP plaques and World Series rings. The bronzed glove worn by Yogi Berra when he caught Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series is one of the best items on display.

Some of the most interesting stuff, though, is related to the more recent closing of the old Yankees and Mets stadiums, which Yogi Berra went to both of. It was interesting to learn his connection with both New York teams. He mostly played with the Yankees, but played a few games with the Mets a year or so after him being fired as the manager of the Yankees. He then had a managerial career with the Mets.

Overall this is a great museum. It is not very big, but it does a lot more with its space than the Yankee Museum. If you want to go to a museum with Yankee history this is the place to go. Sure the Yankee Museum has all that World Series stuff, but this place still represents quite a few of the World Series along with the more general history of the team. Yogi Berra Museum is definitely a misleading name for the museum and really only refers to him owning it and starting it. It does tell about him as a player mostly has memorabilia related to him, but there really is way more to it and it is more of a New York baseball history museum.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Car Sticker Update: New York Yankees

The main team shop did not have just a Yankees logo sticker. Dad was thinking of going to one of the souvenir shops across the street, but I decided we should just get the Inaugural Season one. It is a view of the field with a small NY Yankees logo in the upper left corner and a small Inaugural Season logo in the upper right corner. It seemed fitting to get it since it is new this year and says the year of our road trip.

Baseball Museum 10: Yankee Museum

Yankee Museum is located on the 2nd level of the new Yankee Stadium right above the Hard Rock Café. It is a simple one-room museum. It is worth stopping in at when you go to see a game at Yankee Stadium, but there actually is not much to it. The fact there is not much to it is actually quite sad considering the team is rich in baseball history. At least they do have stuff related to all 26 of their World Series Championships.

The bulk of the museum is the World Series display. This display has a little bit of info on each of the World Series the Yankees have won. It includes a signed team ball by each Yankees World Series Championship team. There is also a variety of other related memorabilia, such as jerseys and bats. The last six World Series win displays also include the World Series trophies. The other 20 World Series wins by the Yankees were before they gave out the trophies.

The centerpiece of the museum is a wall of balls between a statue of Don Larsen pitching and Yogi Berra catching, which commemorates the perfect game Don Larsen pitched in the 1956 World Series. By the way it is the only perfect game or no-hitter ever pitched in the post season to date. The ball wall has various balls signed by past and current Yankees. There is a computer directory nearby to help locate players on the ball wall or identify the signatures on the balls.

The museum also has an interesting section with ballpark seats and a model of the New Yankee Stadium. This area has a display case with a seat and a photo of the old Yankee Stadium as it was in 1923. Then there is a seat from the box seats circa 1926 of Yankee Stadium. Next is a display with a seat from the 1976 remodel of old Yankee Stadium. Lastly there is a seat like the ones in the new Yankee Stadium where the museum is located.

There are a few other small displays in the museum. This includes one with Babe Ruth memorabilia. There is also a display on the Negro Leagues, which played some in old Yankee Stadium. Lastly there is Thurmon Munson’s locker brought over from old Yankee Stadium just as it has been kept since he died in 1979.

Overall it is not a bad museum, but it is surprisingly that it is so small. With a team like the Yankees there is so much history that deserves a bigger museum more like the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Perhaps it is small because it was one of the final projects of the new stadium and they did not have as much time to put it together into something bigger, but I kind of doubt more space than what it now occupies was allocated for it in the stadium. Anyways still a great museum in terms of World Series memorabilia. For better general Yankee history, though, the Yogi Berra Museum we went to several days later turned out to be way better. I will get to posting on that within the next day or so, I hope.