Showing posts from July, 2008

Yankee Stadium - The Final Season

I finally made my first '08 visit to Yankee Stadium Tuesday night. While the 7-6 loss to the Orioles was a dud, the Big Ballpark in Bronx sparkled as it always does. There is no more visually attractive backdrop for baseball. I have always loved how the setting bursts before you eyes as you enter the seating bowl. (Below) a widescan of the retired numbers in Monument Park. With the Stadium now in its final 25 games, everyone and I mean everyone brings a camera, so a walk through Monument Park is now a slow crawl as fans jockey for just the right angle to capture the slices of history that touch their lives. From the first row of boxes in the upper deck, about an hour before the first pitch. The sightlines, the architecture, the perfect green grass and the echoes of its past. Baseball just looks better here, even under the lights. Despite its hulking size, the sightlines keep you close to the action and there's a limited amount of foul territory. While this is not "the real

Captured on Fan Cam

Along with showing replays, pictures and statistics of the batter, running between-inning commercials and promoting upcoming events, ballpark video screens -- I guess the term scoreboard has gone the way of the typewriter and ice box -- often make the crowd part of the show. On our first visit to Citizens Bank Park (in 2004), I brought my camera along. In the 7th inning, Dennis alerted me, "We're on!" And, yes, we were "Fan Cammed." That's Dennis with his hand raised and yours truly (just to the right of Mickey D's logo) whose face is obscured by the camera. As the always astute Jimmy Durante often said, "Everybody wants to get inta da act!"

Fan Fest - A Little Taste of Cooperstown

Another element of the All Star Celebration was the FanFest that took place at New York's Javits Convention Center. Along with activities such as batting against electronically enhanced video of top pitchers and other inter-active skills competition, a healthy slice of history was on display. Several exhibits on loan from Cooperstown made it a fun walk-through. Below: programs from World Series, so many of which have taken place at Yankee Stadium. And, the historic 1969 Series that capped the Mets most amazin' season. Uniforms that evoke memories such as the New York Giants (blue and red) before they adopted their black and gold look. Photo displays and uniforms pay tribute to the Negro Leagues. A comparison of the wooden seats from the original Yankee Stadium and their modern plastic counterparts. Above, a uniform worn by The Iron Horse Lou Gehrig in his final weeks with the 1939 Yankees. A panoramic view of the Yankees history and stars. And below, a little known player with

Red Carpet Parade

The stars -- past and present -- turned out just hours before Baseball's All Star Game for a "Red Carpet Parade" up the Avenue of the Americas. (above: Cal Ripken Jr.; below: Lou Piniella) In lieu of floats, the celebrities rode up the avenue in the sponsor automaker's trucks. Over its cab, a sign identified the famous passenger. (above: Dan Uggla; below: Scott Kazmir) Both Mariano Rivera of the Yankees and Dioner Navarro of the Rays made it a family affair, bringing their sons along. Sluggers present and past (above) Josh Hamilton of the Rangers; (below) Frank Robinson Skippers serving as honorary coaches: (above) Joe Girardi of the Yankees; (below) Jim Leyland of the Tigers (above: Derek Jeter; below: Kevin Youkilis) For those who couldn't get down to the street, here's the view from 14 floors up. A pair of Hall of Famers (above) Rod Carew (below) Harmon Killebrew More Hall inductees: (above) Tony Perez (back turned) and Steve Carlton; (below) Ralph Kiner.

This Week in 1973

Welcome back to Shea Stadium for the Mets hosting the Houston Astros on July 10th, 1973. This night game offers another glimpse of the more restrained appearance the ballpark had over its first 15 years. No picnic area (bleachers), no home run apple ready to rise up from center field, and a strict limit on advertising signage. Our view toward left field shows a spacious openness, with only a large (and rather empty) parking lot in the distance. Even though the team would catch fire in late August and snatch the division from the Cubs on the season's final day, Mets fans were skeptical. Less than 20,000 fans were on hand. You never know what you'll see until the game unfolds. Sometimes, there's a slugfest. Occasionally, a game full or quirky plays or errors. This turned out to be the best game lefthander Jon Matlack ever threw as a Met -- a one-hit shutout. Duffy Dyer singled in Rusty Staub in the 2nd inning for the game's only run. Hard luck loser Jerry Reuss also to