Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad...Hello Yankee Stadium

A few months ago, my sister Tracy had the idea to take my dad to a Yankee game for his birthday. She looked at the schedule, and we determined to buy tickets to the April 17th game. That was the 2nd home game in the new stadium. Dad's birthday is on the 18th.

We woke up very early on the morning of the 17th, and began the trek down I-95 and the Merritt Parkway to Yankee Stadium. I was a little worried that the parking lot I normally park in would be unavailable due to construction to the new train station for the stadium, but it was open and we were granted access through the yet to be completed station.
Upon crossing E. 161st street, we were immediately captivated by the sight before us. The new stadium is indeed grand, and after posing for a quick picture in front of Babe Ruth Plaza, we entered the Great Hall. Soundbites of great moments of Yankee history greeted as we walked through the hall, we made a dash to see the field and all agreed that everything felt closer.

We then walked through the great hall and around the entire stadium. I checked out my season seats in section 237, and then we grabbed a few Nathan's Hot Dogs. As we leaned against a window screen which looked out on the street below, I immediately began to feel as though this new stadium was a ballpark. It wasn't as isolated as the former stadium. There was traffic around it on all sides.

We took our seats and relaxed until the game started. Joba Chamberlain wasn't too sharp, but the Yankees kept him close. We witnessed homeruns by Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and then the game winning home run by the Captain Derek Jeter. Mo (Mariano Rivera) came in and got the save. We sang "Enter Sandman" enthusiastically as he entered the game.

One of the funniest things was dads birthda greetings. Mom paid $10 for dad's birthday to be displayed on the screen. He left for the bathroom in the top of the sixth and wasn't back when his name was displayed. That is so typical with dad! Tracy and I were saying, everything was scripted that day even the snafu with dad missing his greeting.

We were there for the first win in Yankee Stadium. It is something we will be able to share with generations to come.