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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Babe Ruth of...Babe Ruth

Came across some previously unpublished photos of Babe Ruth on Per the website:

Babe Ruth, the most famous and, arguably, the most beloved player to ever wear a baseball uniform, died of cancer on August 16, 1948 -- two months after his final public appearance at Yankee Stadium. On that gray June day when, gravely ill, he last put on the pinstripes (above), 60,000 people filled "The House That Ruth Built" — to watch as his famous No. 3 was retired, and pay tribute to a man who had given so many fans so many thrills for so many years. LIFE magazine's Ralph Morse was there, chronicling Ruth's final moments in the public eye; now, in this gallery, presents rare and unpublished photos from that day. Morse — 93 years old, and as sharp as ever — recently spoke with LIFE and recalled what it was like to photograph one of the 20th century's greatest athletes as the Babe said his final, poignant goodbye. Pictured: Babe Ruth, 53 years old, in front of his locker at Yankee Stadium, June 13, 1948.

Speaking of The House That Ruth Built.... Have you seen it lately? It's a giant pit.

Ex Yankee Stadium, indeed....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Baseball tonight: Yankees-Red Sox rivalry brewing on Second Avenue?

As baseball fans gear up for the season opener tonight between the Yankees and Red Sox... Finnerty's on Second Avenue near 14th Street put up a large Yankees logo Friday...

...which is next door to the EV home of the Red Sox, Professor Thom's...

We asked Chris at Professor Thom's if they would let this stand...

"I saw that Friday when they were painting it. Rather big, huh? We won't be going that far -- our rep is very public already. But, look for a line down the sidewalk dividing the two fan bases."

Friday, April 24, 2009

With high rises and new shops in the works, it's time to take a look at the area around Yankee Stadium

A few weeks back, the Post had the following item:

First, a new stadium. Next, a new neighborhood.

Just as The Bronx gears up for Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium, city planners yesterday unveiled a proposal to transform the blocks around the ballpark into a neighborhood of high-rise towers, wider sidewalks and new shops.

The plan, which would rezone a stretch of River Avenue and 161st Street, would clear the way for developers to replace streets filled with the one-story bars, souvenir stands, empty lots and repair shops that now dominate the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, like Jeremiah, I was curious about what kind of impact the Stadium would have on businesses now a little farther away from the new digs. Before the game Tuesday night, I figured I'd better take a look around...

The first casualty appears to be the Press Cafe on 157th Street. With panini sandwiches and Stella on draft, the owners were trying to be a little more upscale... With high rises and other luxuries coming, the Press Cafe was maybe a little before its time...

The bodega is gone on 157th and Gerard. Lost to a fire. (Was always a good spot to drink a few beers before games. No one seemed to mind. Just be cool.)

I imagine the city's plans call for the destruction of these shops and old structures along Gerard Avenue.

The Yankee Tavern on 161st Street and Gerard Avenue has some new awnings...(By the way, the Tavern's owner, Joe Bastone, was charged yesterday with evading more than $1million in state and city taxes.)

A few other signs and scenes from the neighborhood...

I also looked to see if any new businesses popped up along River Road directly across from the new Stadium. No... but the McDonald's on the corner got a big outdoor facelift...And you have to wonder how long places like a family eyecare center and a 99-cent store will last directly across the street from a $1.5 billion stadium.

The DUGout (pictured below on the left), has been around for five years. As the Times noted March 27, it became "the most coveted location on the block." It's directly across the street from the new Stadium. The bar's owner, Tyrone Robinson, 31, expanded the 2,400-square-foot space by 4,000 square feet and opened a roof deck, the Times reported. “There’s a term I’m looking for,” Robinson said in trying to describe his bar to the paper. “Midtown comes to the Bronx — that’s it.”

Finally, in that March 27 feature, the Times wondered whether the new Stadium would have an impact on the 30-year-old Stan's, the bar that once had the closest proximity to the Stadium... On Tuesday night, Stan's was packed...More crowded than the DUGout.

For further reading:
A Late Rush to Tidy Up the Yankees’ New Home (The New York Times)
Bonus excerpt:

Wally Jimenez, 27, an audio engineer who grew up in the neighborhood, said the work was not primarily for the community’s benefit.

They want to turn this into a commercial area, but they don’t think about the consequences for the people around here who don’t have the resources to get a new place when rents go up,” he said. “They are trying to push the community out.”

Mr. Jimenez said of the cleaning efforts, “I’ve never seen something like this, and I was born and raised in this area.” He added, “It’s good that they are cleaning up, but they are definitely not doing this for the community.”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

At the new Yankee Stadium

As I mentioned, I had a free ticket to the Yankees game Tuesday night, which gave me the opportunity to walk around the new stadium, shop, eat and mingle with friends (if I had any with me). Oh. And perhaps watch some baseball. (For the record, I didn't shop or eat. But I did have a few beers. And checked out the Yankees-A's.)

First thing, of course: The place is a palace. You've read about all the amenities. In fact, you've probably already read too much about the new Yankee Stadium. That's the thing: Between the hype and the backlash (cost overruns, city's shady role in the construction, etc.), it's nearly impossible to actually just come here and watch the game.

Anyway, it doesn't seem as if any expense was spared, except for maybe chintzy seat cup holders. So, despite ample amounts of Yankee history everywhere ....

... (not to mention the location), the new stadium feels like suburbia. Where the parents can let the kids run around sitter-free while they bask in the glow of the food court. For me, it seemed like a vacation: Some resort that was kind of fun, but I miss home. And it doesn't help that the stadium feels a little cold and manufactured, though I'm sure things will improve with age.

So here's a quick tour, which begins with Derek Jeter channeling Paul Bunyon next to the Hard Rock Cafe...

Now to the other first thing: The food choices. Sushi and ramen, which made me feel as if I was right back on St. Mark's!

There's popcorn....

...and, oddly, pears. Danjou and Bartlett. Two for $3.

...white tablecloth restaurants...

...lots of meat...

...and well-displayed sandwiches.

There are also many lounges to have food and watch the game on a flat-screen TV. Though not any ol' schlub can walk in: You need the tickets that also give you the right for access to, say, the Jim Beam Lounge. I did not have the right tickets, but the guy working the door was friendly and said that I was welcome inside. Really, they guy working the door was friendly.

Also, the Jumbotron big screen thing in center field is as high-def as they come.

As the season progresses, I'm sure there will be more interesting things to say about the player who's up to bat.

Meanwhile, only at the $1.5 billion stadium does a penny cost $1.01.

Eventually the novelty of the stadium will wear off, and people will turn their attention to the game again.

I've talked with several Yankees fans who said they'd never set foot in the new stadium. I'm sure people said that about the renovations that neutered Yankee Stadium in the mid-1970s. I understand that point of view. I think I'd go again. See how it feels in a few months. Maybe even without a free ticket.

If you want to know more about how people felt when the stadium reopened in 1976, check out the April 26, 1976, issue of Sports Illustrated and the article by Robert Lipsyte titled "A Diamond in the Ashes."

Meanwhile, across 161st Street....

The old stadium sits empty... looking a little derelict...

... waiting to be torn down...

... while the new trophy wife gets all the attention.

Of course lifelong Yankees fans/NY residents talk about how Yankee Stadium hasn't been the same since the renovations of 1973-1975. As Maury Allen wrote in Baseball Digest when Yankee Stadum reopenend 1976:

"It was a building of stone and steel, that old Yankee Stadium, a massive monument to excellence in the middle of The Bronx, a structure of love and life and legend.

It is gone now, the old replaced by the new, the low fence in right where Babe Ruth set records and Roger Maris broke them, the vastness of DiMaggio's center field country, the hanging facade from the roof that Mantle would crush one day, the bullpen fence jumped by Joe Page, the dugout where Casey sat, the soft dirt around home plate where Lou Gehrig stood and thousands cheered.

Now it is of the past. Only the memories remain, the awe and the shock, the pride and the wonder, when a young man walked up through that tunnel and saw those seats, that size, that history surround him."

To be fair, I'm sure a kid will have that same sense of awe walking into the new stadium today.

A quick word on the cup holders at the new Yankee Stadium

They don't work all that well.... at least the ones in the cheaper ($20!) 400-level seats... When I arrived at my seat Tuesday night, the ground was wet...which was a little odd given that the seats were covered by the roof. Anyway, the guys next to me were drinking beer. They seemed decent enough. Like, not the type to dump beer on each other. Anyway, I put my full beer ($10 for 20 ounces of Miller Lite — plus the souvenir cup!; or, 12-ounce drafts were available for $6) in the cup holder in front of me.

And now I figured it out.

The cup holders are at a slight angle. And by placing a full beer in the holder, the first, oh, four ounces will slowly start trickling onto the ground. "We did the same thing," the guys next to me said. At these prices, they said it would be like throwing away gold. Or something.

To combat this, you need to buy the 16-ounce plastic bottles of beer for $9. Or just hold your cup until your taken a few swallows.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Freddy Sez inside Yankee Stadium

After being denied entrance to the new Yankee Stadium on Sunday, Freddy Sez was back in the ballpark (or mallpark, to some) last night. (Something about this story seems a little premeditated for my taste...) Oh, I was there too at the game -- received a free ticket (A $20 Grandstand jobbie) from a friend.

May take a moment to collect my thoughts on the experience at the new stadium. It was just a little... weird. Like your parents moving from your ramshackle childhood home into a new cushy retirement condo. And everyone who works there is super friendly. "May I help you?" "Hi, are you guys having fun?" "Thanks for coming! Have a good night!"


Here's a photo of the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

The 400 Section (the $20 seats) where I was sitting was nearly full...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"Freddy 'Sez' Schuman, the one-eyed, cookware-clanking octogenarian who's been an unofficial pinstripe mascot for 22 seasons, was forced to panhandle for tickets at the new Yankee Stadium over the weekend." (New York Post)

Friday, April 17, 2009

"What they may have ended up with is the House that Mute Built"

Joel Sherman in the Post talks about yesterday's new era at Yankee Stadium:

If regular-season Game 1 of this new building is any indication, the dimensions made it across the street from the old stadium, but not the passion. The Yankees wanted to build a museum, a palace, a mall-park. And what they may have ended up with is the House that Mute Built.

Incredibly, after all the anticipation and hoopla, the sellout crowd at this grand opening had about the same zeal as grandmothers playing mahjong. Why? The ticket prices mean a lot more corporate patronage in the seats close to the field, which means far fewer diehards near the action, screaming, taunting, making it uncomfortable for the opposition.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Let's see what those $441 million in free agents look like!

The Yankees kick off their season today in Baltimore at 4. Maybe. Weather looks iffy. By the way, the Yankees spent $441 million in the offseason on free agents. The other 13 American League teams spent $176.28 million on free agents -- combined.