Yankee Stadium

Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Yankees

2009 Regular Season at the New Yankee Stadium for the inaugural season to see the Yankees take on the Philadelphia Phillies in an interleague game. Ironically enough they would face each other again this same year in the 2009 World Series. It’s late spring and the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies were looking to repeat as the New York Yankees were looking for World Championship #27 to commemorate their new home across East 161st Street. Needless to say, there was a post-season atmosphere. Saying the wrong thing could get you punched in the mouth; when in the Bronx. The city of brotherly love is only 95 miles away; lots of fans with active “Phillies” gear on hand.

I had the opportunity to see “Old Yankee Stadium” in its final year. Here, I had yet another chance to see the New Yankee Stadium in its first year; two gracious invitations that I’ve appreciated as a baseball fan with every year since. I was amazed to see how much of the “Yankee Tradition” was seamlessly transplanted in the new park. It helps that, in both parks, the No. 4 train & D train is still beyond right field; running back and forth over River Ave.

Memorial Park was not quick done but it didn’t take away from the experience. This, in contrast to the Chicago White Sox and their move to the New Comiskey Park across the street. It was sterile; going from “Baseball Palace of the World” to the last of the cookie-cutter stadiums. As we all know from experience, there is no such thing as a small move. And, it’s especially true here. Think of all the hardware, the championships, and the baseball history that was systematically transported. Nothing was lost; familiar elements of the Old Yankee Stadium with all the state-of-the-art technology. Construction cost came in at $2.3 Billion. The old one still stood across the way, boarded up, as if it were a giant storage unit.

The iconic Architectural frieze across the roofline was new and improve, brighter than ever. Placement of signage, banners, and video compilations reminds you of how many Trophies are housed here. As the game started, the Bleacher Creatures roll call made their way around the starting nine as they’ve always done. The ground crew took a break from dragging the field to perform the YMCA dance. God Bless America was played in the seventh inning, as opposed to “Take me Out to the Ballgame. And, every time Derek Jeter came to bat, a voice from the past would silenced the crowd. “Now batting for the American League, from the New York Yankees, the short stop, number two, Derek Jeter, number two.” – said Bob Shepard. The Sandman (Mariano River) did not enter. After a combined 23 hits, the Philadelphia Phillies held their lead and won 4-3.

The New York Yankees ultimately went on to win World Championship #27 in 2009. In turn, Manager Joe Girardi would change his uniform number from #27 to #28 the next year, setting the new milestone. The New York Yankees accomplished the same feat of winning in the inaugural year of their new home, just as they did in 1923 when they first opened “Old Yankee Stadium.”