I Had To Go To A Yankee’s Game! (NJ-NY) “DAY 311” – 5/11/11

May 13, 2011 - 11:15 pm - (NJ) “DAY 311” - Week 46 - State 42

When I woke this morning on Buck’s couch (with Max next to me), the first thing I did was check my email. (I do this every morning when I have Wi-fi.)  Anyway, I mention this today because I got an email from Amy (I met her in D.C.) inviting me to stay in with her and her boyfriend in New Hampshire for the next week or so.

It’s crazy how this trip works out because I was just sitting here wondering where I would be going today.  And since I can take any route for these last states (because one way or another I have to drive up to Maine and back down to NJ), this sounds like a perfect start to the final leg of my journey.

How I Met Amy
I met Amy at a softball game I played in while I was in D.C staying with my friend Kim who I had went to WVU with. (That’s a mouthful.)  Anyway, when we spoke way back in week 2, she told me I could stay at her place when I got to New Hampshire.  I told her that would be great if I made it that long.  (Left: Amy & Scott, Right: Kim from WVU.)

Well... here I am 46 weeks later and she sends me an email.  How amazing is that!  This country kicks ass!  Thank you so much Amy and I can’t believe you’ve been following this whole time. 🙂

Back To My Mom’s To Pack Up
After reading Amy’s email, I sent her one back accepting her invitation and then said good-bye to Buck before I drove back to my Mom’s place to pack up.  Buck only lives 5 minutes from my Mom so a few minutes later, I was organizing my things.

While I was getting all my cloths placed in the right bags, I kept checking my email to see if Amy had gotten my message that I was coming to New Hampshire.  Since I was doing my laundry too, I decided to wait that amount time to see if she responds. (When my laundry’s done I’m leaving for somewhere either way.)

Making A Quick Decision
It was around 2:30 pm when my laundry was finished and I was done packing.  I know had to decide where I was going??? (Amy hadn’t emailed me back yet.)  Then, at that moment, something came across the TV mentioning the Yankee's game tonight at home against the Royals.  Huh?  A Yankee game. 🙂

Buying A Yankee's Ticket
Hey, the Yanks are playing and I’m just 24 miles from the stadium... I’m going to a Yankee game if I can afford a ticket.  So I checked Stubhub to see what they were going for and I found a bunch of tickets which were only $2.  Two bucks, yep that’s in my price range. 😉 (It cost $12 after all the fees though.)

So, I bought the ticket and printed it right there in my Mom’s living room for the game tonight.  Nice!  My first home Yankee game in over 10 months!  Woo Hoo! 🙂

Driving To The Game
As I already mentioned, the drive is only 24 miles to the stadium but in this area... that could mean anywhere from a 1 hour to 3 hour drive depending on the traffic.  So I left for the stadium at 4 pm and hoped that I could beat it. (I probably would as this is the right time to go.) 🙂

Well, my timing was right on because I didn’t hit any abnormal traffic on my way to the stadium and arrived at Yankee Stadium area around 5 pm.  Not bad, I’ll take a hour ride to Yankee stadium any day. (In my life I’ve sat in traffic for up to 4 hours to see a game.)

Finding A Parking Spot
Now, on my way to the stadium I did factor in that I would have to pay for parking here in NY.  But, when I got to the lot I have always parked in, the price wasn’t $18 like it used to be, it was $35.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  That’s 17 and half times the price of my ticket (before Stubhub fees).

Since there was noway I was paying that, I drove around the Bronx hoping to find a street spot.  This is an almost impossible feat to accomplish (finding a street spot in the Bronx on game day), but I had to try because $35 was way to much to pay.

New York’s Finest Cut Me A Break
As I was driving around the New Yankee stadium, I saw a bunch of open parking spots right there on the street in front of the stadium.  Nice!  I’m gold!  But then I saw the sign that said no parking on Event Day.  Ahhh!  Knowing I had no other option financially, I parked my car there anyway and looked for the officer on duty in that area.

Then, as luck would have it, the officer I was looking for was only a few cars away walking toward me.  So, I approached the officer and told him my story of everything I have done so far leading right up to where I was standing.  And... that I couldn’t afford the $35 to park.

After listening to me for 5 minutes or so, he said if I could show him some stadium tickets I have from previous games, he’d let me park there for the game.  Ahhhh!  I just left all my stuff packed up at my Mom’s until after the game. (Hey, I didn’t want everything I own sitting in my car if I didn’t have to.)

Knowing I had nothing in my car but Rooster cards, I walked back and handed him a card and told him he could read every single day of my life for past 310 days which would include over 50 sporting events. (I have no idea exactly how many I have been to at this point in my journey.)

This Cop could have thought I was either a huge liar (like Mike does, internet reader) or crazy, but he could tell I was exactly what I am... I guy trying to live my dream while having a blast doing it.  So, he told me I could park there for the game.  Thank you so much officer and good luck in life!

Entering The New Yankee Stadium
Since I was parked right across the street from the stadium, I only had to walk 20 yards before I entered the ballpark.  Nice! 🙂  Now, in my life I been to the Old Yankee Stadium countless times and the new one I have even been to like 10 times.

So, my point is... being at Yankee Stadium isn’t that big a deal to me anymore (although it’s still awesome).  But, what I never do when I normally go to the games with my friends is check out Monument Park, so Ill do that. (We don't make it there because it’s only open way before the game starts and I’m normally tailgating with my buddies until the 2nd inning.) 😉

Monument Park
If you don’t know what Monument Park is I’ll explain it a little.  Basically, it’s an area behind the center field wall where the Yankees honor all their former greats.  Everybody who has made an impact on this franchise is represented in this area in the form of a plaque, a statue, or both.

If I wanted to I could write a ton of pages about everything I witnessed, but since this post is already long and I have so much more to write, I’ll just say that any baseball fan would be excited to see this exhibit, let alone a die-hard Yankee fan like me.

Choosing A Seat
After watching batting practice, I walked around the stadium until I saw a spot in the ballpark I wanted to sit in. (My ticketed seat was section 426, row 1, seat 16 which is high up but not a bad place to watch a game from.)

Anyway, since I knew I had that seat in my back pocket (literally), I figured I’d give it a shot and see how close I can sit for this game.  After walking the whole place, I decided to find in a seat where I could catch a home run.

I did get turned away by a few ticket takers, but eventually one let me through as I found a seat near the left field foul pole in the front row.  I sat there for a inning or two and then moved to the 4th row after those people showed up with their tickets.

The New Yankee Stadium
I wish I wasn’t so rushed right now (leaving for New Hampshire soon) because I could write a lot about the new ballpark here in the Bronx.  Let me start by saying, it’s not the old Yankee Stadium (the feel is different or something), but this place is real nice. 🙂

There is almost any kind of food you can imagine, the bathrooms are big, their are huge elevators you can use instead of the winding paths to get to the upper levels (although they still have them too), as well as almost any amenity you could possibly think of.  It’s top of the line.

NY Yankees vs. K.C. Royals - Role Call
For anybody reading this post who hasn’t been to Yankee Stadium (either one), one of the real cool things that happens at each game is the Bleachers Role Call.

Basically, the people sitting in the bleachers (The Bleacher Creatures) will yell each players name who’s on the field during the the top of the 1st until that player acknowledges them (they sit in right field).  Thus, role call.  It is real cool to see. 🙂 (Left: Gardner flexed back after they chanted his name.)

The Game Itself
As I already mentioned, I sat in the left field outfield but I only stayed there for the first 5 innings.  After that, I decided to go to my actual seat (my ticketed seat) which was in the upper deck front row.  Truthfully, this upper deck seat had a better view of the game than the front row seat in the OF. (Left: Cano hit in the head.) 🙁

Anyway, when I entered the stadium at 5:30 pm-ish it was still real nice out (weather wise) as it was at least 70 degrees.  But, as the night went on, the weather got cooler and windy.  The problem for me, I was just wearing a jersey and was getting cold.

By now, it was the top of the 7th inning and the Yankees were winning 2-1, so after going back and forth on the decision, I decided to leave early and beat the traffic home.

F.Y.I. - I normally don’t like leaving games early because 1.) I love sports and enjoy watching any game. 2.) You never know what is gonna happen so why leave.  As Yogi said, “It’s not over til it’s over.” 3.) Usually (for this trip) I have nowhere better to be than a sporting event.

Leaving Early
By the time I got to my car (no ticket, sweet! Thanks officer!), it was the bottom of the 7th inning and the Yanks were still winning 2-1.  Nice!

Hopefully they’ll close this game out on my drive home and I’ll have missed nothing except for the song “New York, New York” being played throughout the stadium after the game.

Hanging With Friends
Since I’m leaving in the morning tomorrow (Thursday), I called my friends who were still up to see what they doing (Moose and Monkey).  After talking with Moose for a few seconds, he said him and The Monk would stop by when I got home. (Without traffic it was a 35 minute ride for me to get home.)

Extra Innings
When I got to Mom’s place, the guys were already waiting outside for me.  So, when we walked inside and turned on the TV, I was shocked to see the game was still on and it tied 2-2 in the 9th.  Oh no!  I am about to miss an extra inning game. 🙁

Yes... I did miss an extra inning game but it wasn’t the outcome I would have been happy with if I stayed. (The Yanks lost 4-3 in 11 innings.)  It was now after 11 pm and since my friends had work in the AM, we said our good-byes as they went home for the night.  It was great seeing you guys and I’ll be back in 7 weeks. 🙂

Calling It A Night
After my friends left, all I did was sit in the living room for another hour or two before I passed out on my Mom’s couch. (Max isn’t with me as I already brought him back to Ang’s house until I return home for good.)  So, that’s it.  Tomorrow, my plan is leave for somewhere, probably New Hampshire, but we’ll see.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Dad says:

    Nice to see your smile in person. Hard to turn down 2.00 tickets to the Yankees. The plaque of George,
    really looks like him. Have a great trip to New England. See ya on the flip.

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