Thursday, June 05, 2008

Jay's First Yankee Game

As a child going to ball games with my dad and grandpa, one of the things I used to think of was how cool it would be when one day, I would take my own child to a Yankee Game. That instance came sooner then expected.

As many of you know, I have a small season ticket plan to the Yankees. Last evening was the 3rd of 8 games that I have tickets to this season. A couple of the people that I was going to originally ask to go along with me had schedule conflicts, so I got a great idea. My idea was to take my 6 year old son. I thought that I was about Jay's age when dad and grandpa took me to a few games in Baltimore to see the Yankees play the Orioles. I was 6 when I went to my first game at Yankee Stadium, so I thought, "let me give this a try."

Well the weather didn't look good as glanced at the forecast early in the week. It seemed like the game would be a washout or rain out. Early in the afternoon, it seemed there was a break in the weather, so I said to Elaine, "I think I am going after all." Jay had no idea. Our car was at the Toyota dealer getting a major service...all preventative, so Elaine dropped me off to pick it up, and then went to pick up Jay and Sammi at school. I couldn't wait long enough for the bus to come. We had to leave as soon as they got home!

A minute or so after being picked up my phone rang, "dad, why did mom pick me up from school? Are we going to the Yankee game?" Of course I replied with an affirmative. As soon as Jay got home, he looked for his hat, got a weather proof pull over on...just in case, then we got in the car and headed for New York.

He took my advice to take a nap and pretty much slept the whole way. I woke him up in Yonkers to prepare him for his first trip to not just the Yankees, but to New York City as well.

After parking the car, Jay immediately was filled with excitement. He said hello to everyone he saw. He remarked to me, "Dad that girl has a Jeter shirt." My response was, "you will see a lot of Yankee shirts here." He saw some MTA cops watching the tracks and said hello to them. We soon crossed the pedestrian bridge and the stadium came to sight. "Dad, Yankee Stadium is so big," was the first thing he said. He broke into, "Dad, I am so proud this is my first day at Yankee Stadium."

Since we were a little later than I normally get to the ballpark, I decided we should eat in the stadium as there were long lines outside at Stan's. We went into the stadium, got a couple hot dogs, a couple of sodas, then Jay literally ran up the tunnel saying, "Dad, I want to go into the stadium"

As soon as we sat, while still eating his hotdog, Jay inquired, "Dad where is the roll call guy." He of course was asking about Bald Vinny the leader of the roll call. He couldnt wait for the game to start and quickly rose to his feet when the Yankees took the field.

The game progressed well despite the occasional drizzle, but Jay is expensive to take to a game. He wanted a second hot dog and a second soda. At Yankee stadium, that is a $10 expense. He quickly made friends with the people around us and was able to recognize the players on the field. He was especially excited to see, A-Rod, Jeter, and Johnny Damon.

In addition to being a great game with nostalgic value for me, history was also made at Yankee Stadium last evening. Derek Jeter surpassed Mickey Mantle to claim third place on the Yankees all time hit list. Only Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig have more hits as a Yankee than Derek Jeter. After getting his hit, the 50,000+ in attendance were all on their feet chanting his name. Jeter reluctantly tipped his helmet to the fans. He is not one for self accolades.

The Yankees defeated the Blue Jay 5-1. Mariano came in and very nearly struck out the side in the top of the 9th. He never ceases to amaze me. The crowd were on their feet for the entire 9th as Mo did his thing. When the final out was made, Jay looked at me and said, "dad, the Yankees won!" He then jumped up into my arms and gave me a hug as Sinatra's New York New York played on the stadium speakers.

As we left the stadium and walked to the car, Jay said to me, "dad are you so proud the Yankees won for my first game?" I responded, "I sure am. Maybe I should bring you to all the Yankee games."

It was a great night for the Yankees. It was a great night for me and Jay.