This was the scene I recorded last night with my camera, as second baseman Martin Prado’s walk-off single up the middle sent the New York Yankees and their fans home with a 4-3 win.
With Ol’ Blue Eyes booming out the “Theme From New York, New York,” more than just the Bombers’ squad of 25 (shown here storming the field) felt that that “these little-town blues are melting away.” So did I. After all, it was not only my first game at the new Yankee Stadium, but the first time I had attended a game in the Bronx since 1984.
Oh—and it also seems that I appeared on YES, courtesy of a camera that panned across my part of the stadium, the field seats between third base and the left-field corner, to catch fan reaction to Jacoby Ellsbury’s game-tying hit in the fifth inning. (I still haven’t seen this footage, but I’m told that I’m looking around, up and down and into a box of food bought at one of the ballpark’s multitudinous concession stands. You can probably guess that I’m not in a hurry to send the footage off to some Hollywood casting agent.)
So, how was the stadium? Well, glad as I was to see so many more food choices than the old ballpark, part of me still longs for simplicity. It is obvious from the “Legends” restaurant, all the space set aside for private parties, and high ticket prices that the Steinbrenners are not worrying about keeping the ballpark experience within the affordability range of most families. And I’m old enough to remember when a competitive team, not a gonzo scoreboard with an animated character imploring the assembled to be “LOUDER!!!,” generated all the noise an owner could ever want.
But enough kvetching. The seats were comfortable and the view was great. Moreover, the Hall of Heroes, with ceilings towering and projecting like those in Notre Dame and Chartres, reminded me that I was still in the Cathedral of Sports. And, like just about every single one of the other 43,000 plus assembled, I stood and cheered, glad to see and thank, for one of the last times, a player guaranteed to be in the Hall of Heroes himself shortly: Derek Jeter.
(Many, many thanks to someone even more of a diehard fan than myself: my older brother, who once again, as when we were young, took me out to the ballgame.)