Colorado Guy

Tour Of Old Yankee Stadium - Bronx, New York

Pictures Of Our Walking Tour Through The House That Ruth Built - August 9, 2008

Old Yankee Stadium Now this was a special visit to Yankee Stadium, which will soon be referred to as the "Old Yankee Stadium." 2008 is the final year that this stadium will stand, as a brand new and technologically updated structure is near completion across the street.

My brother Dave took his kids and a bunch of their friends to the stadium for a tour. Being that I am in town there was no question that I would go as well! Interestingly, when the Yankees are on the road, these kinds of tours happen regularly during the season.

I have been a baseball fan for much of my life, and some of my earliest memories are baseball-related. I was actually a devout Phillies fan as a child from 1979-1985, then made the switch to a full-time Yankees fan in 1986 ... just when they began to underachieve greatly during the lean 1980's and early 1990's. I spent a lot of time in this stadium as a teenager when I was allowed to drive and during my college years (1989-1994). Below are my five fondest and most vivid memories in this building:

1) My uncle, older brother and myself were in attendance for Dave Righetti's no-hitter on July 4, 1983.

2) Sitting in the cheap right field bleachers for many games during the late 1980's and early 1990's. Once, during batting practice, a home run ball came very close to my friend Marc Cousoulis and I. Marc was able to grab the ball after it hit the stands. Not long after, another towering fly ball (hit by Wade Boggs, I believe) came right at us and without moving much, the fly ball came down directly to me ... I did not have a glove and stuck out my hands, but it bounced off the palm of my right hand and went back a few seats. Again, Marc ran to the ball and tossed it to me. :)

3) It was 1993. The Yankees had a winning record and were chasing the Toronto Blue Jays in the A.L. East. I think it was a day game in May or June. Mike Stanley, the Yankees starting catcher, hit a home run (with one or two runners on base) to deep left center field. The crowd went nuts. It was so loud!

4) Anytime the Yankees won, Frank Sinatra's "New York New York" song was played.

5) I don't remember the exact year (my guess is 1986), but I attended the game when Jim Rice ran well into the stands to go after a fan who grabbed his hat or did something to antagonize him. :p)

All right ... below are my photos from out tour of soon-to-be Old Yankee Stadium!

-Steve


Ticket Stub
Outside Yankee Stadium

A photo of my ticket. By the way, my older brother Dave had the ticket stub from Dave Righetti's no-hitter for many years afterward. Yes, I remember him having that in his dresser! (I think I had mine too as well.) With regret, we do not know where the ticket stub is now. I am sure that would be worth some money today.

Old Yankee Stadium Kids All the kids outside the stadium before the tour began. :)

Third Base Side Of Stadium

Entering the stadium.

Old Yankee Stadium
Box seats on the third base side. Not a bad view! Old Yankee Stadium
Old Yankee Stadium
Much of the third base side on the lower level.

The seats looked old and faded from the sun.

Old Yankee Stadium Yankee Stadium Seats
More views of the stadium as we walked along the left field line and into "fair play" behind the home run wall. Old Yankee Stadium Old Yankee Stadium
Old Yankee Stadium


Monument Park
Monument Park

Monument Park in deep left-center field honors some of the Yankees greats who have had their numbers retired.

New York Yankees Logo New York Yankees Logo Adjacent is some touching historical information on how the "NY" insignia on the Yankees attire came about.
Monument Park
Looking at some of the monuments.
Bob Sheppard September 11 Monument A monument to 97-year-old announcer Bob Sheppard. Reggie Jackson once said he sounded like the "voice of God." He indeed has a very graceful voice. Sheppard has not been announcing this year, but interestingly, when Derek Jeter is at bat, he has a special tape played that announces his at-bat with Sheppard's voice. Nice!

RIGHT: A monument for the September 11, 2001 tragedy.

Note: I wanted to include the monument to Phil Rizzuto, but regretfully, the one photo I snapped came out really blurry. Ugh! At some point, I hope to get Rizzuto's monument on this page. Among all these Yankee greats, I think his was the most special - at least based on all my sentimental biases. I grew up watching Yankees games with Rizzuto as one of the regular announcers.

Bullpen Area The view of one of the bullpens is right there next to the park.

See the blue concrete wall on the left? That was the old home run wall back in the 1970's and 1980's. Deep left center was called "Death Valley" for being so expansive and having the wall at 430 feet. It was 417 in straight center field. Over the years, beginning in the late 1980's, someone in charge of the stadium sold out and cheapened home runs by slowly moving the walls in. Today, the average home run wall dimensions of stadiums are the shortest in history.

Babe Ruth Lou Gehrig Joe DiMaggio Mickey Mantle Roger Maris Phil Rizzuto Thurman Munson
I did not capture photos of all of the retired numbers. Above were a few that caught my attention.

I will say I think the Yankees are getting out of hand with retiring far too many numbers. Most recently, Don Mattingly (23), Reggie Jackson (44) and Ron Guidry (49) all had their numbers retired. Look, all those guys were pretty good players, but I am not quite sure they make the mark. Mattingly didn't win a World Series, Jackson only played with the Yankees for five seasons and Guidry, while a very good pitcher, did not even come close to reaching the Hall of Fame. I also think retiring Billy Martin's #1 was very marginal too. I am afraid the high standard for retiring numbers has been compromised and expect many more numbers to be needlessly retired for players from the 1996-2001 era.


Walking On The Field

Then, for the first and only time in my life, I walked on the field of Old Yankee Stadium! :)

Old Yankee Stadium
Ahhhhhhhh ... it was special! Old Yankee Stadium Field
The centerfield scoreboard. Old Yankee Stadium Scoreboard
We walked toward the right field fair pole. Old Yankee Stadium Old Yankee Stadium Right Field
Special thanks to my younger brother Mark for e-mailing me this picture! :) Home Run Wall
I kept taking picture after picture ... Old Yankee Stadium Old Yankee Stadium
... including two more photos of the right field home run wall area. Old Yankee Stadium
Old Yankee Stadium
The first base area. Old Yankee Stadium
A sea of blue seats. Seats


Dugout
The Yankees' Dugout

We sat inside the dugout! My older brother Dave poses with a big smile.

The one thing I noticed inside the dugout were the rundown qualities of the infrastructure. The concrete was showing signs of decay. There were electrical wires and all sorts of stuff that did not look state-of-the-art at all. The dugout looked kind of dumpy for a professional baseball team. I will be sad when this stadium is demolished, but after seeing so many problems with the stadium on the tour, I think it is time for a new one.

Past the dugout, we walked into the locker room of the Yankees players. The lockers looked "lived in" with personal items of the players in many of them. (I think I saw pictures of at least one child on the wall of Brian Bruney's locker.) We could also see the empty locker that has remained to this day for the deceased Thurman Munson as well. On strict orders, we were not allowed to take any pictures inside the locker room.



The Press Box

We then visited the Press Box behind home plate on the second level. This is where the announcers and some of the most prominent sports writers and members of the press follow the game.

Old Yankee Stadium
A shot of the horizontal press box area. Old Yankee Stadium Press Box
Near the entrance was line-up for the latest game to happen at the stadium. I also threw in a closer view of Monument Park and the bleachers in far left center field. Baseball Line Ups Old Yankee Stadium


Old Yankee Stadium
Birthday Party Lounge

We then walked toward a special lounge area, but not before I captured this semi-creative shot of the field.

Old Yankee Stadium The view of the field inside the lounge, which would make for a great party ...
Birthday Party ... like a birthday party! Yay! :)
New York Yankees Hat Everyone received a free Yankees hat too.


Miscellaneous Extra Photos

A very nice photo of all the kids.

As we exited, the tour guide showed us the main office for all the big names - Brian Cashman, George Steinbrenner and George Costanza. Pretty neat!
This quote was shown in a few places around the stadium. It is very touching. Joe DiMaggio once said, "I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee." Joe DiMaggio Quote

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