Bronx, New York 10451
To order Yankees Magazine call 1-800-GO-YANKS
The Yankees offer a free fan package, containing team schedules, information,
pictures and stickers, to all their loyal fans. Fans interested in receiving a
package should send a postcard to:
Yankees Fan Mail Department
Bronx, NY 10451
Fans interested in writing to a specific player or fans seeking player
autographs must solicit the players directly. The player must be on the
current season's player roster. Fans should include a postage-paid,
return-addressed envelope for easy handling. Please keep in mind that items
sent are done so at your own risk. Players receive a tremendous amount of
fan mail, and they cannot guarantee they will respond to everyone. When
writing to the player, address the letter to: Name of PlayerYankee Stadium 161st and River Avenue
Bronx, NY 10452
For Group Sales Call 1-718-293-6000Stadium
is located at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx.
Northbound exit - I-87 Exit 4 or Exit 5
Southbound exit - I-87 Exit 6
are 15 Yankee Parking lots that surround the stadium that in run by the Kinney
-A Subway is located at the corner of 161st. and River Avenue
-Buses are available to and from the Stadium. Call NYC Transit Authority at
1-718-330-1234 for more information
-A Ferry is also available to and from the stadium. Call 1-800-53- FERRY for
Left Field - 318
Left Center - 399
Center - 408
Right Center - 385
Right Field - 314
*Note - The field dimensions of Yankee Stadium in 1923 were
different than most people realize. For the inaugural season, the RF line was
257' 6' and the LF line was 257' 1". I have attached an image from a NYT
article from 1924 Feb 3 that discusses the new field dimensions for the 1924
season. For several reasons, before the 1924 season began, home plate was moved
up about 10 feet, and the diamond was angled slightly more towards the right.
The corner just left of dead CF (behind the flag pole) was 498-500 feet from the
plate, dead CF would have been about 472 feet, and the RCF corner would have
been about 437 feet. (Credit: Matt O'Connor - See New York Times Article
from February 3, 1924 below)
Yankee Stadium Information
Contains historic monuments and plaques to former Yankee greats such as Babe
Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Park is open from the time the
gates open until 45 minutes prior to the game. Access the park via staircase at
the end of the aisles between Field and Main Level Section 36. The park is
closed between doubleheaders and during inclement weather.
All gates open 1 1/2 hours prior to game time Monday through Friday for night
games. All gates open 2 hours prior to game time on Saturday and Sunday.
Formerly East 157th St., the Sidewalk Cafe, Advance Ticket Sales, Day of Game
and Reservation windows can be found in the Mall area.
CUSTOMER SERVICE BOOTHS:
The Guest Services area is located on the Loge Level, Section 3. It is staffed
with knowledgeable guest service representatives who will be able to assist you
with questions and concerns. Additional information booths: Sections 2, 9 and
33, Field Level; Section 3, Main Level; Section 7, Loge Level; Section 4, Tier
AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINES:
Section 9 and Section 20, Field Level
FIRST AID / MEDICAL:
First Aid Stations are located on the Field Level, Section 2, Main Level,
Section 15 and Main Level, Section 28. If medical assistance is needed, please
notify the nearest Security Guard or go to the nearest First Aid Station.
ADVANCE TICKET WINDOW:
Section 9, Field Level
ELEVATORS / ESCALATORS
The Yankees provide a permanently stationed elevator operator in each Stadium
elevator used by the general public. Wheelchair disabled guests may take the
elevators at Field Level, Section 13, Main Level, Section 13 or Loge Level
Section 12 to access all levels of Yankee Stadium. The elevator at Field Level,
Section 13 does not provide access to the Club Level Suites, you must take the
elevator located in the Yankees lobby at Field Level, Section 2.
are also three escalator locations at Yankee Stadium. Refer to the map for
Yankee Stadium personnel have been trained in evacuation procedures. Should an
emergency evacuation situation occur, emergency information would be displayed
on the scoreboard and announced on the public address system.
TDD phones are located on the Field Levels. Ask any Guest Relations host for
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE PARKING
Wheelchair accessible parking is available at all 11 Kinney Parking Lots
surrounding Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have designated 75 parking spaces, 96
inches wide and include access aisles for this purpose. Twenty of the 75 spaces
are also accessible to high top fans. Only vehicles with state-issued disabled
parking plates or permits are permitted in these areas.
BOTTLES AND CANS:
A New York City ordinance prohibits fans from bringing cans, bottles (glass or
plastic), jugs, coolers or hard containers of any kind into the Stadium. This is
a safety measure to protect fans as well as team and Stadium personnel. If these
items are found to be in your possession prior to entering the Stadium,
personnel will ask you to dispose of the item(s). Once you enter the Stadium,
canned or bottled goods will be confiscated and disposed of and coolers, jugs,
etc. will be checked at the gate to be picked up as you leave the Stadium.
BANNERS AND SIGNS:
The following rules apply to the display of these items:
They may not be hung in fair territory or any part of the playing field or
as to obstruct the view of fans or Stadium signage.
They may only be held up in, or paraded through, the general seating area
use of weights of any kind to keep a banner or sign in place is strictly
If any banner or sign interferes with the sight line of the players, the umpires
may request its removal.
Sections 24 and 25, Field Level
Sections 13 and 14, Tier Reserved
There is no smoking anywhere within the confines of Yankee Stadium.
DESIGNATED DRIVER BOOTH:
In return for promising responsibility for the safe and sober transportation of
their group from the Stadium, a registrant will receive coupons for free sodas
during the game at which they enroll. Designated drivers must be 21 years of age
and have a valid driver's license. Section 4, Field Level
OF FAME SUITES:
Sections 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 25, 31, 32, 33 and 34, Loge Level
GREAT MOMENTS ROOM:
Section 12, Field Level
Section 8, Field Level
history of the Stadium....
Asked to leave
the Polo Grounds when his Yankees began outdrawing the Giants in 1920, owner
Jacob Ruppert seized the opportunity to build what would become the most famous
stadium in all of baseball, a triple-decked wonder called Yankee Stadium.
Erected on the
site of a Bronx lumberyard just across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds,
Yankee Stadium was quickly dubbed "The House That Ruth Built" to honor the
Yankee whose home runs were revolutionizing the game (and filling Ruppert's
coffers). On April 18, 1923 Ruth's three-run home run led the Yankees to a 4-1
win over the Red Sox in the stadium's first game.
was extended around the foul poles by 1928, with wooden bleachers surrounding
the rest of the outfield, and the top of the stadium was ringed with a
distinctive white fence facade.
Like the stadium,
the playing field itself was quite remarkable. The left- and right-field corners
were only 281' and 295' in 1923, but left sloped out dramatically to 460' while
center was a near-impossible 490' away.
Deep left and
center fields became known as Death Valley as many a right-handed slugger
watched towering fly balls die there. Eventually, stone monuments to Ruth, Lou
Gehrig, and Miller Huggins were erected in deep left center, and although
considered to be in the field of play they were rarely reached by batted balls.
Lights were added
in 1946, and the stadium remained virtually unchanged until 1973, when it was
closed completely for two years of renovations and modernization.
The stadium was
reopened in 1976 with major structural improvements.
poles for the upper decks had been eliminated, along with the corresponding
obstructed-view seats, and escalators improved access to the upper decks.
One word can describe Yankee Stadium,
historical. Since its opening, Yankee Stadium has been home to more
Hall of Famer’s, and more than two dozen World Championship teams,
than any other stadium ever built. The New York Yankees then known
as the New York Highlanders (1903-1912), began playing at 16,000
Hilltop Park in 1903. The team played at Hilltop Park until
after the 1912 season, when the lease expired. The team
then accepted an invitation to
Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants played. With the move to
Polo Grounds, the Highlanders changed their name to the Yankees.
However, the team only spent ten years at the Polo Grounds. With the
Yankees’ Babe Ruth setting homerun records, and the Yankees drawing
more fans than the Giants, the Giants served an eviction notice to
the Yankees in 1921, that began after the 1922 season.
Immediately the Yankees’ owners began looking
for land to build a new ballpark on. A 10 acre site, less than a
mile from Polo Grounds in the Bronx was bought to build the stadium
on. Designed by Osborn Engineering Company, originally, the plan was
for a triple-decked stadium, with grandstands circling the field.
But because the stadium seemed too foreboding, the original plans
were scaled back. Instead, the ballpark became the first to have
three tiers of seating consisting of 58,000 seats. Because of the
size, the new ballpark became the first to be called a stadium.
Construction of the stadium began on May 5, 1922. The stadium was
built of mainly steel and concrete. The triple decked grandstand
extended behind home plate and up the base lines. The lower deck
continued until it met the wooden bleachers behind the outfield
fence. A 15-foot copper facade was erected to adorn the stadium's
third deck, which became one of the stadium's most recognized and
The scoreboard was located beyond the
bleachers, in right field. Completed in only 284 days, opening day
came on April 18, 1923. The ballpark was given the name Yankee
Stadium. Original dimensions at Yankee Stadium were 295 ft. (right),
490 ft. (center), and 281 ft. (left). Centerfield became known as
"Death Valley" because of its distance from home plate.
It was only several years before any changes
took place at Yankee Stadium. The triple decked grandstand was
extended into left field in 1928, and the same extension was done in
right field in 1937. Concrete bleachers replaced the wooden
bleachers beyond the outfield fence. With the addition of the
grandstands, the capacity of Yankee Stadium, grew to 80,000, but
soon dropped to the 70,000’s. The first of many monuments and
plaques was added in 1932, which became known as "Monument Park" in
fair territory in dead center field, when a monument to former
manager Miller Huggins was erected. Monuments of Babe Ruth, Lou
Gehrig, and others were erected in years following 1932. Night
baseball came to Yankee Stadium on May 28, 1946. A new scoreboard
was installed in 1959. Other sports, such as boxing and football
were played at Yankee Stadium until the early 1970's.
In the early 1970’s Yankee Stadium began
showing its age. In 1971, Yankees owner Mike Burke, began talking
about building a new stadium in New Jersey. But the mayor of New
York City, John Lindsay announced that the city would buy and
renovate Yankee Stadium. The city bought the stadium for $24 million
in 1972. In the same year, George Steinbrenner bought the team. The
Yankees played in Yankee Stadium for one more year, before drastic
changes were made.
Renovations began immediately after the 1973
season. While Yankee Stadium was renovated, the Yankees played at
Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets. Parts of Yankee Stadium
were completely demolished. Jay Schwall of Invirex was in charge of
the demolition of the stadium. Many items from the demolition
were reported to be seen in a Long Island warehouse in the early
1990's. Changes to the stadium were made to eliminate posts and
columns, which supported the upper deck. The copper facade atop the
upper deck was removed, and replicated by a company called
Unistress, that sat at the top of a new
scoreboard, which runs from center field to right field. New 22 inch
blue plastic seats replaced old 18 inch wooden green seats, thus
reducing the capacity to 54,000. New luxury suites and concessions
were added, along with the remodeling of the press box and
restrooms. To eliminate climbs to the third level, escalators and
elevators were added to parts of the exterior of the stadium. The
exterior of Yankee Stadium was repainted, and a 138 foot tall
replica of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat was placed near the
entrance of the stadium. After two years of renovations Yankee
Stadium was finally ready to reopen.
Yankee Stadium reopened on April 15, 1976. The
stadium went from being known as "The House that Ruth Built" to "The
House Steinbrenner Rebuilt". The thing which most people noticed,
was that the monuments in centerfield were no longer there. They had
been moved to "Monument Park" behind the centerfield wall. Since the
late 1970's very few changes have taken place at Yankee Stadium. The
stadium still remains the home to many great ballplayers, and an
excellent place to see a game. Since its opening in 1923, Yankee
Stadium has been home to 26 World Championship teams. In December of
2001, the Yankees and the City of New York tentatively agreed to
build a new retractable roof stadium, adjacent to Yankee Stadium. If
built the stadium would open in 2007.
The Famous Frieze - Facade - (Thanks to Paul Doherty for much of this information)
Regarding the original facade, it was copper. It
developed a patina (discoloring and erosion of sorts) and was painted white in
the mid-1960's. –
The Stadium was painted white/blue between Jan-March 1967
as part of a CBS designed “spruce up” of the original Stadium—CBS painted the
seats the dark blue and the outfield fences black and the façade white. They
redesigned the letters and numbers used on the seats, fences and other locales;
painted the interior and exterior new colors (unfortunately they also painted
the duo eagle emblems at the tops of each the gates entirely white thereby
losing the unique multi-colored emblems of the original) and they completely
replaced all of the wooden bleacher seats w/fiberglass ones. Additionally a new
sound system was installed by noted acoustician Paul Veneklassen (this was the
shorter flagpole like column in centerfield…the first of its kind). A
organ replaced the Lowrey organ installed in 1965 as well…and Eddie Layton
replaced Toby Wright for the first time; the next time was 1978).
Although copper, the Osborn company called it Toncan metal. That would suggest
a copper-iron alloy. I believe this was written in the blue prints in 1922.
According to John Pastier, an architect and expert on stadiums, "The shape of it
came from nowhere." "It was quite original. It's not like they copied a
classical design." (NY Times)
The new frieze is steel coated with zinc to protect it from rust and it has two
layers of white paint. The new one is 38 panels, all 11 feet deep, 12 feet high,
and most of them 40 feet long. The new frieze weighs in at 315 tons, including
the columns between each panel. A mock up of each section was built in Long
Island City before being transported to Quebec where it was painted at the Canam
Group's plant. Each panel was shipped separately and place one by one, starting
in right field.
It was told the original frieze was sold as scrap to a guy in Albany who took
all the frieze(facade). This was confirmed by Paul in a 1992 interview he
conducted with Jay Schwall. Invirex kept the proceeds of the sale per their
contract w/NYC. And that contract was all about tempus fugit. Between their time
binds and the nascent memorabilia market of 1973 no wonder nothing made it out
save for what little Jay saved and Bert Sugar grabbed…
The replica concrete version was smaller than the original 15 foot deep frieze.
It was Cary Grant that suggested to George Steinbrenner to add the outfield
frieze(NY Times). But Marty Appel said it was Michael Burke who was very upset
that no frieze was included in the plans. The new upper deck could not
accommodate it, so it had to go into the outfield. According to Marty, "The
design was in place by the time George bought the team". Paul
pointed out the following: The architects at Prager-K-W seemed to have an
aesthetic and cultural aversion to replacing the façade and the larger
grandstand roof. I believe the technology existed to replace it brand new and
without vision impairing posts, but whether the technology existed or not there
was a genuine modernist-driven “we-don’t-do-that-anymore-who would-want-it”
attitude about these fancy and old-fashioned frills (hence these
brutalist-inspired boobs designing so many plain Jane, butt-ugly, modernist,
cement bowl, multi-use ballparks during this time that were deservedly blown to
smithereens post 1994). It is true that Burke is ENTIRELY responsible for
insisting the façade be replicated and placed atop the bleacher walls (although
it’s wonderful that this feature was replicated, it’s unfortunate it was placed
there because it ruined the subway platform views of the playing field and in
effect the neighborhood connection to the Stadium that had existed prior to the
panels’ installation in 1975).
According to one book, "They
also removed the famous frieze
that lined the roof of the upper deck and
put it into storage to be possibly used again when the stadium re-opened. It was
promptly lost and never seen again.
The theory was, it was stolen out
of storage and sold for scrap metal." I totally think this is false.
Evidence shows the facade was DESTROYED as it was being taken down. I have
never seen a photo or evidence of them placing the facade in storage for later
use. It is pretty clear that no care was taken of the facade as it was being
torn down as evidence of the photos below. (Credit: Paul Doherty)
"This is entirely true. I have photo evidence of the original façade being
somewhat crushed flat to fit onto flatbed trucks to transport it to
Albany during Oct-Nov 1973."
Nothing beat the great shadows the frieze cast on the field in the old stadium!
Paul also added the following: "Extra added feature: The
genuine beginning of the end for the original 1923/1928/1937/1946 Stadium
occurred during the winter/early spring of 1962. At that time the equally
beautiful (and truly as architecturally unique as the façade) ornamental lattice
work that covered the steel and other structural elements of the Stadium’s main
grandstands at the end of right and left fields was removed for what I’ve been
told were fire-proofing reasons (I was also told this latticework was made of
wood w/a metal covering; hence the fire issue). The latticework continued all
the way down the far left and right field posts to the floor of the lower
grandstand (the lattice was stripped from these posts too leaving the steel
beams exposed like the others throughout the grandstand). The Stadium was never
quite it’s perfect self after this. Practically no article or book has discussed
this “rape” of the original Stadium. Eleven and a half years later all the other
unique features were gone too as we know too well."
STADIUM, REGULAR SEASON
(vs. NY Mets, Tuesday, June 17, 1997) - 56,253
Day Game Attendance
(vs. Oakland, Friday, April 11, 1997,Opening Day) - 56,710
(vs. Detroit, Saturday, October 4, 1980) - 55,410
(vs. Baltimore, Saturday, September 10, 1983) - 55,605
Weekday/Day/Non-Opening Day Crowd
(vs. NY Mets, Wed. June 18, 1997) - 56,278
Series Attendance, 4-game series
(Yankees vs. Toronto, September 12-15, 1985) - 214,510
Series Attendance, 3-game series
(Yankees vs. NY Mets, June 4-6, 1999) - 168,404
(1999) - 3,292,736
Game Home Attendance, Night
(vs. Boston, May 16, 1947) - 74,747
Game Home Attendance, Day
(vs. Boston, Sept. 26, 1948) - 69,755
Doubleheader Home Attendance
(vs. Boston, May 30, 1938) - 81,841
Home Doubleheader Attendance
(vs. Baltimore, Sept. 10, 1983) - 55,605
Day Home Attendance
(vs. Oakland, April 10, 1998) - 56,717
(vs. Toronto, Sept. 12-15, 1985) - 214,510
Largest Crowd in
(Yankees at Los Angeles, Exhibition Game, May 7, 1959) - 93,103
Old Timers’ Day Attendance
(vs. Boston, Aug. 9, 1958) - 67,916
(1999) - 2,696,973
TOP 20 CROWDS
AT NEW YANKEE STADIUM
(vs. Texas, Game Two, 1999 AL Division Series)
2. 57,398 (vs. Cleveland, Game One, 1997 AL Division Series)
3. 57,362 (vs. Texas, Game One, 1998 AL Division Series)
T4. 57,360 (vs. Texas, Game Two, 1998 AL Division Series)
T4. 57,360 (vs. Cleveland, Game Two, 1997 AL Division Series)
6. 57,205 (vs. Texas, Game One, 1996 AL Division Series)
7. 57,181 (vs. Boston, Game One, 1999 ALCS)
8. 57,180 (vs. Boston, Game Two, 1999 ALCS)
9. 57,178 (vs. Seattle, Game One, 1995 AL Division Series)
10. 57,156 (vs. Texas, Game Two, 1996 AL Division Series)
11. 57,142 (vs. Cleveland, Game Six, 1998 ALCS)
12. 57,138 (vs. Cleveland, Game One, 1998 ALCS)
13. 57,128 (vs. Cleveland, Game Two, 1998 ALCS)
14. 57,126 (vs. Seattle, Game Two, 1995 AL Division Series)
15. 57,099 (vs. Texas, Game One, 1999 AL Division Series)
16. 56,821 (vs. Kansas City, Game Five, 1976 ALCS)
17. 56,808 (vs. Kansas City, Game Three, 1976 ALCS)
18. 56,794 (vs. Atlanta, Game Three, 1999 World Series)
19. 56,752 (vs. Atlanta, Game Four, 1999 World Series)
20. 56,717 (vs. Oakland, April 10, 1998, Opening Day)
REGULAR-SEASON CROWDS AT NEW YANKEE STADIUM
1. 56,717 (vs.
Oakland, April 10,1998 Opening Day)
2. 56,710 (vs. Oakland, April 11, 1997, Opening Day)
3. 56,706 (vs. Texas, April 4, 1994, Opening Day)
4. 56,704 (vs. Kansas City, April 12, 1993, Opening Day)
5. 56,583 (vs. Detroit, April 9, 1999 Opening Day)
6. 56,572 (vs. Boston, April 7, 1992, Opening Day)
7. 56,329 (vs. Kansas City, April 9, 1996, Opening Day)
8. 56,294 (vs. NY Mets, June 6, 1999)
9. 56,278 (vs. NY Mets, June 18, 1997)
10. 56,253 (vs. NY Mets, June 17, 1997)
11. 56,188 (vs. NY Mets, June 16, 1997)
12. 56,180 (vs. Minnesota, August 15, 1999)
13. 56,175 (vs., NY Mets, June 4, 1999)
14. 55,935 (vs., NY Mets, June 5, 1999)
15. 55,911 (vs. Kansas City, August 9, 1998)
16. 55,802 (vs. Minnesota, April 5, 1988, Opening Day)
17. 55,785 (vs., Atlanta, July 17, 1999)
18. 55,711 (vs. Boston, May 31, 1998)
19. 55,707 (vs. Montreal, August 31, 1997, Don Mattingly Day)
20. 55,672 (vs. Boston, September 19, 1993)
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Yankees Attendance Analysis
1903-1912 Hilltop Park, 168th St. & Broadway, Manhattan
1913-1922 Polo Grounds, 155th St. & 8th Ave., Manhattan
1923-1973 Yankee Stadium, 161st St. & River Ave., Bronx
1974-1975 Shea Stadium, 126th St. & Roosevelt Ave., Flushing
Stadium, 161st St. & River Ave., Bronx
STADIUM GROUND RULES
Foul poles are outside the playing field. Any batted ball hitting a foul pole
above the fence line is a home run. Bat racks are within the dugout.
Any thrown ball
hitting dugout railing or foundation and rebounding on field is in play. Any
ball going into dugout or hitting other parts of dugout is out of play.
STADIUM DIMENSIONS (1988- ) Left field foul pole: 318 ft. Right-center field: 385 ft. Left-center field: 399 ft. Right field foul pole: 314 ft. Center field: 408 ft.
The height of the
outfield fence is 7'5" in left field, 7'3" from left-center field to
right-center field, and 9' in right field.
The distance between
the left-center field fence and the front wall of both bullpens is 30 feet.
The distance between
the right-center field fence and the front wall of the right field bleachers
ranges from 3 feet (the center field end of the bleachers) to 12 feet (the right
field end of the bleachers).
STADIUM DIMENSIONS (1985-1987) Left field foul pole: 312 ft. Right-center field: 385 ft. Left field: 379 ft. Right field: 353 ft. Left-center field: 411 ft. Right field foul pole: 310 ft. Center field: 410 ft.
STADIUM DIMENSIONS (1976-1984) Left field foul pole: 312 ft. Right-center field: 385 ft. Left field: 387 ft. Right field: 353 ft. Left-center field: 430 ft. Right field foul pole: 310 ft. Center field: 417 ft.
STADIUM DIMENSIONS Left field foul pole: 281 ft. (1923-27), 301 ft. (1928-73) Left field: 395 ft. (1923-27), 402 ft. (1928-73) Left-center field: 460 ft. (1923-36), 457 ft. (1937-73) Center field: 490 ft. (1923-36), 461 ft. (1937-66), 463 ft. (1967-73) Right-center field: 429 ft. (1923-36), 407 ft. (1937-73) Right field: 370 ft. (1923-36), 344 ft. (1937-73) Right-field foul pole: 295. ft (1923-38), 296 (1939-73)
FIRSTS Game: April 18, 1923 (4-1 win over Boston Red Sox) Ceremonial First Pitch: NY Governor Al Smith Pitch: Bob Shawkey (ball) Victory: April 18, 1923 (4-1 over Boston) Loss: April 22, 1923 (4-3 to Washington) Batter: Boston's Chick Fewster (grounded to short) Yankee Batter: Whitey Witt Hit: Boston's George Burns (April 18, 2nd-inning single) Yankee Hit: Aaron Ward (April 18, 3rd-inning single) Run: Bob Shawkey (April 18, on Joe Dugan's single in 3rd) Home Run: Babe Ruth (April 18, three-run homer in 3rd) Error: Babe Ruth (April 18, dropped fly ball in 5th)
(original Stadium) Game: September 30, 1973 (8-5 loss to Detroit Tigers) Attendance: 32,969 Batter: Mike Hegan (flied out to CF) Home Run: Yankees' Duke Sims (September 30 off Detroit's Fred Holdsworth) Pitch: Detroit's John Hiller Victory: September 29, 1973 (3-0 over Detroit Tigers) NYY Winning Pitcher: Doc Medich (September 29, 3-0 CG over Detroit)
More Information !!
Bronx, New York
Tenant: New York Yankees (AL) Opened: April 18, 1923 Closed: September 30, 1973 Reopened: April 15, 1976 First night game: May 28, 1946 Surface: Merion Bluegrass
Architect: Osborn Engineering (1923);
Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury (1976) Construction: White Construction Company (1923). Owner: New York Yankees (1923-1971); City of New York (since 1971) Cost: $2.5 million (1923); renovation: $48 million, but some estimate the
actual cost with debt service at over $160 million (1976).
Location: Left field (NE), East 161st Street; third base (NW), Doughly
Street, later Ruppert Place; home plate (W), Major Degan Expressway/Interstate
87 and Harlem River; first base (SW), East 157th Street; right field (SE), River
Avenue and IRT elevated tracks; in the southwest Bronx.
Dimensions: Left field: 280.58 (1923), 301 (1928), 312 (1976), 318
(1988); left side of bullpen gate in short left-center: 395 (1923), 402 (1928),
387 (1976), 379 (1985); right side of bullpen gate: 415 (1937); deepest
left-center: 500 (1923), 490 (1924), 457 (1937), 430 (1976), 411 (1985), 399
(1988); left side of center-field screen: 466 (1937); center field: 487 (1923),
461 (1937), 463 (1967), 417 (1976), 410 (1985), 408 (1988); deepest
right-center: 429 (1923), 407 (1937), 385 (1976); left side of bullpen gate in
short right-center: 350 (1923), 367 (1937), 353 (1976); right side of bullpen
gate: 344 (1937); right field 294.75 (1923), 295 (1930), 296 (1939), 310 (1976),
314 (1988); backstop: 82 (1942), 80 (1953), 84 (1976); foul territory: large for
the catcher behind home plate, but small for fielders down the foul lines.
Fences: Left-field foul line: 3.92 (3 wire above .92 concrete, 1923),
8 (canvas, 1976); left-center, left of visitors’ bullpen: 3.58 (3 wire above .58
concrete); right of visitors’ bullpen: 7.83 (3 wire above 4.83 concrete), 7
(canvas, 1976); center field, left screen when up for hitters’ background: 20
(1953), 22.25 (1959), 22.42 (1954); screen when down: 13.83, (canvas, 1976);
right-center, right of screen: 14.5 (3 wire above 11.5 concrete, 1923); left of
home bullpen: 7.83 (3 wire above 4.83 concrete, 1923); right of home bullpen:
3.58 (3 wire above .58 concrete, 1923), 8 (canvas, 1976), 9 (canvas, 1979);
right field foul line: 3.75 (3 wire above .75 concrete, 1923), 10 (canvas,
Left-center field monuments and plaques:
Yankee Stadium (I): monuments in fair territory: Lou Gehrig on the
left, Miller Huggins in the middle, Babe Ruth on the right.
Yankee Stadium (II): monuments beyond the fence same as Yankee
Stadium I, plus the addition of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Plaques
beyond the fence of Ed Barrow, Jacob Ruppert, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey
Mantle, Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy, Pope Paul VI, Thurman Munson, Pope
John Paul II, Billy Martin, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez, Roger Maris, Allie
Reynolds, Elston Howard, Phil Rizzuto, Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Reggie
Jackson and Don Mattingly.
A ball hitting the foul pole in the 1930s was in play, not a homer.
"Death Valley" in left-center.
Green curtain in center is sometimes raised and lowered like a window
shade to force visiting batters to face a background of white-shirted
bleacher fans while allowing Yankees hitters to face a dark green
background. Sometimes removed in World Series play to sell more seats.
Bleachers in right-center often called Ruthville and Gehrigville.
Warning track made of red cinders, later of red brick dust.
Underneath second base in Yankee Stadium (I) there was a 15-foot-deep
brick-lined vault containing electrical, telephone, and telegraph
connections for boxing events.
As originally constructed, from May 5, 1922, to April 18, 1923, three
concrete decks extended from behind home plate to each corner, with a single
deck in left-center and wooden bleachers around the rest of the outfield.
In the winter of 1927-1928 second and third decks were added to
left-center and several rows of box seats were removed in left, extending
the foul pole from 281 to 301 feet.
During the 1936 season, the winter of 1936-1937, and continuing through
the 1937 season, the wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete ones.
During the 1937 season second and third decks were added in right-center.
The bleacher changes shortened straightaway center from 490 to 461 feet and
reduced seating capacity from the 80,000s to the 70,000s.
As the outfield bench seats were gradually replaced with chair seats in
the 1930s and 1940s, the seating capacity gradually dropped from over 70,000
to about 67,000.
"Bloody Angle" between bleachers and right-field foul line in 1923
season was very asymmetrical and caused crazy bounces. Eliminating this in
1924 caused the plate to be moved 13 feet and the deepest left-center corner
to change from 500 to 490 feet.
Auxiliary scoreboards were built in the late 1940s, which covered up the
367 right-center sign and the 415 left-center sign.
Minor modifications were made in the winter of 1966-1967. During this
work, a new 463 sign and a 433 sign appeared in the power alleys, and the
exterior was painted blue and white.
During the 1974-1975 renovation, the distinctive iron third-deck facade
was removed and a portion was placed in the bleachers.
A 500 pound steel joint fell from the upper deck in April 1998 prompting
the Yankees to play a home game at Shea Stadium and trade three home games
with the Detroit Tigers.
Yankee Stadium was painted a grayish blue pastel before the 1966-67
season. It was Larry MacPhail who wanted to make Yankee Stadium bluer
and greener in 1946. It was painted a teal blue in 1946. It is
believed that the grayish blue color was used from 1946 to the mid-50's.
It was then mint green from the late 1950's until 1966. (Credit: Mike
The first addition to the stadium was in 1928, which included the
construction of Gate 2. (Credit: Paul Doherty)
The first four rows of the Mezzanine and the Upper Deck had
free-standing chairs called "Windsor Chairs". The free-standing
box seats wrapped around the entire Grandstand. (Credit: Mike Hagan)
Yankee Stadium - 1923-1928-1937 Grandstand Seat (Credit: Mike
Paint Layers Iron Armrests
1: Sherwin Williams "Kromik" Reddish Brown Primer
3: Grayish Blue
4: Mint Green
5: Yellow Primer
6: Royal Blue
Paint layers Wood seat slats
1: Dark Green
2: Grayish Blue
3: Mint Green
4: Royal Blue
The architect who designed "The
Yankee Stadium" (which was its original name) wasOsborn Engineering (1923) and
The construction was done by
White Construction Company in 1923at
the cost of $2.5 million and the renovation in 1976 cost $160 million.
Jay Schwall of Invirex Demolition was in charge of the
demolition of the stadium following the 1973 season.
In the first Yankee Stadium
(pre-1976) there were actually three monuments in fair territory;
in left field,
in center field and
in right field.
What Does it
Cost for One Game at Yankees Stadium? (2004)
BASEBALL IS ABOUT THE NUMBERS and just as importantly, where the decimal
points are placed, particularly when it comes to the sport's most profitable
franchise, the New York Yankees. In 1973, George Steinbrenner bought the
Yankees for $10.3 million. Today, the Yankees' annual revenue is at least
$330 million and the team is worth $849 million, according to some
estimates. By comparison, the cross-town Mets are valued second in baseball
at $498 million, with the league average at $295 million. It's clear that in
addition to baseballs, there are also millions of dollars batted around for
each of the Yankees' 162 regular season games. Here's a look at some of the
THE FIELD OF PAY
The Yankees field the highest paid team in baseball. Figures are players'
2004 single game salaries. Statistics are based on 2003 performance.
Kenny Lofton, DH,
($103,333 per stolen base)
Derek Jeter, SS,
($108,974 per hit)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B,
($319,149 per homer)
Additional 2004 salary
paid by the Texas Rangers
Jason Giambi, 1B,
($243,902 per homer)
Gary Sheffield, RF,
($75,758 per RBI)
Jorge Posada, C,
($59,406 per RBI)
Hideki Matsui, LF,
($39,106 per hit)
Enrique Wilson, 2B,
($5,185 per at-bat)
Bernie Williams, CF,
($187,500 per RBI)
Joe Torre, Manager
THE PAYOFF PITCH
($823,529 per win)
($1.07 million per win)
($653,846 per win)
($1 million per win)
($222,250 per save)
A DAY AT THE BALLPARK
(estimated Opening Day revenue)
Hot dog $4.50 ($74,250)
Peanuts $4.00 ($12,880)
Popcorn $3.00 ($1,872)
and soda $3.25
$675 for nine dozen balls
($6.25 per ball)
$3,703.72 per game
Individual ticket prices for regular season games
Field championship $85 - 95
Loge championship $85 - 95
Main championship $70 - 80
Main box MVP $60 - 70
Field box $50 - 55
Main Reserve MVP $45 - 50
Loge box MVP $50 - 55
Main box $45 - 50
Main reserve $35 - 40
Loge box $40 - 45
Tier box MVP $40 - 45
Tier boxes $33 - 35
Tier reserved $18 - 20
Bleachers $18 - 20
TOTAL GATE RECEIPTS
Approximately $987,654 per game
MTA says 13,000 people leave Yankee Stadium by subway per game. At $4
round-trip, that's $52,000.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The House That Ruth
Built" "The Big Ballpark in the Bronx" "The Stadium"
E. 161st Street and River Avenue Bronx, New York10451
York Yankees (MLB) (1923-1973, 1976-present)
New York Yankees (NFL) (1926-1928)
New York Yankees (AAFC) (1946-1949)
New York Yanks (NFL) (1950-1951)
New York Giants (NFL) (1956-1973)
New York Generals (USA/NASL) (1967-1968)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (1971,1976)
Gotham Bowl (NCAA) (1962)
Field - 318 ft (96.9 m)
Left-Center - 399 ft (121.6 m)
Center Field - 408 ft (124.3 m)
Right-Center - 385 ft (117.3 m)
Right Field - 314 ft (95.7 m)
Yankee Stadium is a baseball stadium in New York City that is the home of the New York
Yankees, a Major League baseball team. Located at East 161st Street and River Avenue in The Bronx, it has hosted
Yankees home games since 1923 and has a capacity of 57,545. It was formerly the
home of the New York Giants football team, and once hosted dozens of boxing's
most famous fights.
Yankee Stadium is one of the most famous sports venues in the United States,
due to its primary occupants having won more World Series championships than any
other team. Its nickname, "The House that Ruth Built", comes from the
iconic Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the
beginning of the Yankees' winning history.
In 2006, the Yankees began construction on a new $1.3 billion stadium in
public parkland adjacent to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are expecting to open
the 2009 season in their new home. Once the new stadium opens, most of the old
stadium, including all of the above ground structure, is to be demolished to
History and Design
Upon its opening, Yankee Stadium soon came to be known as "The House that
Ruth Built", a play on the nursery rhyme "The House that Jack Built", and in
reference to the Yankees' star player, Babe Ruth. Ruth's power as a drawing card
had enabled the Yankees to build their own stadium in the Bronx after their
rivals across the Harlem River, the New York
Giants, were threatening to evict them. In the first game at Yankee Stadium,
April 18, 1923, Ruth hit the first home run at the Stadium, a three-run shot to
help defeat his former team, the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. Boston Red Sox first
baseman George Burns got the first hit ever in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees also
won their first World Series during the Stadium's inaugural season, a rare
coincidence that would not occur again until the St. Louis Cardinals did it in
When Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston and Jacob Ruppert, the team's owners
since January 1915, footed the bill for construction of a $2.5 million stadium,
they did so at considerable financial risk and speculation. Baseball teams
typically played in 30,000-seat facilities. Huston and Ruppert invoked Ruth's
name when asked how the Yankees could justify a ballpark with 60,000 seats. Many
people felt three baseball teams could not prosper in New York City, but Huston and Ruppert were
confident the Yankees could outlast the more established Brooklyn Dodgers and
New York Giants of the National League. (This doubt was amplified by baseball's
sagging popularity after the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, in which eight Chicago
White Sox players were expelled for conspiring with gamblers to fix that year's
Huston and Ruppert were undeterred, and they also had little choice but to
relocate. In 1920, Ruth's first with his new team, the Yankees drew 1.3 million
fans to the Polo Grounds--outdrawing the Giants. In 1921, the Yankees won their
first American League pennant (they lost to the Giants in the World Series).
This exacerbated Giants owner Charles Stoneham's resentment of the Yankees and
precipitated his insistence that the Yankees find another place to play their
home games. The Giants derisively suggested that the Yankees relocate "to Queens or some other out-of-the-way place."
Huston and Ruppert explored many areas for Yankee Stadium. Of the other sites
being considered, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, at Amsterdam Avenue and 137th Street in Manhattan, nearly became reality.
Consideration was also given to building atop railroad tracks in Manhattan (an idea revived in 1998) and to Long IslandCity,
The area Huston and Ruppert settled on was a 10-acre lumberyard within
walking distance from, and in sight of, Coogan's Bluff. The Polo Grounds was
located on the Manhattan side of the Harlem River, at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue. Huston and Ruppert
purchased the site from William Waldorf Astor for $600,000. Construction began
May 5, 1922, and Yankee Stadium opened to the public less than 11 months later.
When it did, Fred Lieb of the New York Evening Telegram dubbed it "The
House That Ruth Built". (Critics of its cozy right field dimensions would
sometimes call it "The House They Built for Ruth", although Ruth also lost
many homers to the cavernous left and center field area.) New York Governor
Alfred E. Smith (who would become the Democratic Party's candidate for president
in 1928) threw out the first pitch. John Philip Sousa led one of his famed
marching bands. In 1962 a Rice University Alum John Cox '27 gave Yankee Stadium
to RiceUniversity. In 1971 the
city of New York
forced (via eminent domain) Rice to sell the stadium for a mere $2.5 million.
During the period in which Rice owned the stadium, the stadium was painted blue
As originally built, the stadium seated 58,000. For the stadium's first game,
the announced attendance was 74,217 (with another 25,000 turned away); however,
Yankees business manager Ed Barrow later admitted that this number was likely
heavily overestimated. Regardless of what the figure was, it was undoubtedly
more than the 42,000 fans who attended game five of the 1916 World Series at
Braves Field, baseball's previous attendance record. However, during the 1920s
and 1930s, the Yankees' popularity was such that crowds in excess of 80,000 were
not uncommon. It was referred to as "The Yankee Stadium" (with the "s" in
"stadium" sometimes lowercase) until the 1950s.
The Stadium as it looked
Yankee Stadium was the first three-tiered sports facility in the United States
and one of the first baseball parks to be given the lasting title of stadium.
Baseball teams typically played in a park or a field. The word
stadium deliberately evoked ancient
Greece, where a stadium was unit of
measure--the length of a footrace; the buildings that housed footraces were
called stadiums. Yankee Stadium was one of the first to be deliberately
designed as a multi-purpose facility. The field was initially surrounded by a
(misshapen) quarter-mile running track, which effectively also served as a
warning track for outfielders, a feature now standard on all major league
fields. The left and right field bleacher sections were laid out at right angles
to each other, and to the third base stands, to be properly positioned for both
track-and-field events and football. The large electronic scoreboard in
right-center field, featuring both teams' lineups and scores of other baseball
games, was the first of its kind.
As Yankee Stadium owed its creation largely to Ruth, its design partially
accommodated the game's left-handed-hitting slugger. Initially the fence was 295
feet from home plate down the right-field line and 350 feet to near right field,
compared with 490 feet to the deepest part of center field, nicknamed Death Valley. Because bleacher fans in
left-center field were considerably farther away from home plate (460 feet)
compared with the right-field bleachers, those who sat in the former were
considered "out in left field", another phrase that originated at Yankee
Stadium. The right-field bleachers were appropriately nicknamed Ruthville.
Through the 2007 season, Yankee Stadium has hosted 37 World Series, far more
than any other baseball stadium. The Stadium has also hosted the major-league
All-Star Game three times: 1939, 1960, and 1977. As part of its curtain call,
Yankee Stadium is scheduled to host the 2008 All-Star Game.
Yankee Stadium underwent major renovations from 1936 through 1938. The wooden
bleachers were replaced with concrete bleachers, shrinking the "death valley"
area of left and center substantially, although the area was still much deeper
than in most ballparks; and the second and third decks were extended to short
right center. Gradually, all of the outfield bench seats were replaced with
chair seats in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1966-67 offseason, the stadium's
green exterior was painted white, and the interior was also repainted.
Renovation/"Yankee Stadium II"
The Yankees made extensive
changes during the 1974-1975 renovations of the Stadium, including the moving
back of the infamous "Pennant Porch" to a more modest distance of 314ft.
By the late 1960s, Yankee Stadium's condition had badly deteriorated, and the
surrounding neighborhood had gone downhill as well. In 1971, CBS, which owned
the Yankees at the time, proposed extensive renovations to Yankee Stadium.
However, this would require the Yankees to play their home games at Shea Stadium
in Queens, the regular home of the New York
Mets. The Mets, as Shea's primary tenants, refused to sign off on letting the
Yankees play there as well--effectively delaying the renovations. CBS then gave
serious thought to building a stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands before
selling the Yankees to George Steinbrenner in 1972.
Finally, in mid-1972, Mayor John Lindsay stepped in and announced the city
would buy Yankee Stadium for $24 million (by comparison, it cost $2.4 million to
build in 1923, not adjusting for inflation) and lease it back to the Yankees.
Since the city owned Shea Stadium as well, the Mets had little choice but to
agree. Yankee Stadium closed on September 30, 1973 for the two-year facelift;
the Yankees played the 1974 and 1975 seasons in Shea Stadium.
Since a significant portion of the stadium was demolished and rebuilt, some
consider the rebuilt Yankee Stadium a different facility from the pre-renovation
stadium. For example, the ESPN Sports Almanac considers the renovated stadium to
be "Yankee Stadium II," and the pre-renovated facility to be "Yankee Stadium I".
Textbooks on the subject, such as Green Cathedrals, make no such
distinction, since much of the original structure was retained and re-used, in
contrast to the total demolition of facilities such as Cleveland Stadium or
Wembley Stadium, whose in-place replacements were totally new structures. The
most noticeable difference resulting from the renovation was the removal of the
118 columns that reinforced each tier of the Stadium's grandstand. The Stadium's
roof, including the distinctive, 15-foot copper frieze that circled its
interior, was replaced by the new upper shell; new lights were also added. A
white replica of this frieze was built at the top the wall behind the bleachers.
The playing field was lowered by about seven feet and moved forward slightly.
Yankee Stadium installed the first instant-replay display in baseball. All
seats in the old stadium were replaced with wider, more modern plastic seats,
and the upper deck was expanded upward by approximately nine rows, as modern
building techniques allowed them to do so. There appears to be an extra
guardrail in the upper seating of the modern stadium where the original runways
to the upper level concourse once ran.
A new upper concourse was built above where the old concourse existed and the
old exits were closed in by new seating. The old, closed-in upper-deck concourse
still exists to this day and is used by stadium employees for transport. A new
"loge/ middle-tier" section was also built for the new stadium with far fewer
seats to create a larger press box and 16 luxury boxes. About half of the
bleachers seats were eliminated; the middle portion was converted to what is
today called "the black," a dark, unused area that serves as the batter's eye. A
wall was built behind the bleachers, preventing strap-hangers from watching the
game perched on the elevated subway platform above
River Avenue. All told, the Stadium was reduced to a
listed capacity of 57,545.
The Stadium's dimensions were narrowed, leaving the monuments and plaques
that today comprise MonumentPark behind an inner fence
(they had been in fair territory). Also, deep center was significantly reduced
to a distance more consistent with modern parks.
Several new restrooms were added throughout the stadium, along with three
elevators. The southern border of the Stadium, 157th Street, was closed to cars and
became part of the Stadium's property. The city also seized property on the
southern side of this street for a four-story parking garage (about 2,300
parking spaces) to suit the increasingly suburban crowd who the Yankees were
hoping to attract. No money was spent to help the residents and business owners
of the neighborhood, fueling the sometimes uneasy relationship between the
Yankees and their neighbors.
The cost of the 1970s renovations, $160 million, was originally borne by New York City and is now being paid off by New YorkState. At the time, many referred to
Yankee Stadium as the House That Lindsay Rebuilt, because the costly
renovations were approved by New York
City's Board of Estimate, based on the insistence of
Mayor John Lindsay. Lindsay had orchestrated the city's purchase of Yankee
Stadium from RiceUniversity (the university in Houston, Texas
owned the stadium thanks to a bequeathment from John William Cox '27) and the
nine-acre parcel of property the Stadium occupies from the Knights of Columbus,
also the recipients of a gift by Cox.
The Stadium reopened on April 11, 1976. More than 54,000 fans saw the Yankees
beat the Minnesota Twins, 11-4, and the "new Stadium" hosted its first playoff
and World Series games that October.
In the 1980s, the fence was moved in on the left field side, allowing for the
retired numbers row that currently exists as a lead-in to MonumentPark.
at Yankee Stadium
When Yankee Stadium opened in 1923, the Polo Grounds continued to host boxing
matches. But Yankee Stadium soon encroached on that territory. Benny Leonard
retained the lightweight championship in a 15-round decision over Lou Tendler on
July 24, 1923, in front of more than 58,000 fans. It was the first of 30
championship bouts to be held at the Stadium. (This excludes dozens of nontitle
fights.) The boxing ring was placed over second base; a 15-foot vault contained
electrical, telegraph, and telephone connections. In July 1927, the aging former
heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey came from behind to defeat heavily favored
Jack Sharkey by delivering several questionable punches that were deemed
illegal. Sharkey had similarly bad luck in a July 1930 heavyweight championship
bout at Yankee Stadium, when his knockout punch to Max Schmeling was ruled
illegal; Schmeling won by default. In July 1928, Gene Tunney upheld the
heavyweight title against Tom Heeney at Yankee Stadium, and then retired as
Perhaps the most famous boxing match ever was held at Yankee Stadium on June
22, 1938, when Joe Louis, a black American, squared off against Schmeling, a
German. With the Nazi Party on the verge of taking over much of Europe, Adolf Hitler followed the rematch carefully,
imploring Schmeling to defeat Louis, whom Hitler publicly berated. This left
some with a moral predicament: root for the black fighter or for the Nazi.
Schmeling had defeated Louis in 1936, but in defense of his title Louis knocked
out Schmeling in the first round. This was one of eight championship fights the
"Brown Bomber" fought at Yankee Stadium.
On July 1, 1939, Max Baer defeated Lou Nova at Yankee Stadium, in the first
televised boxing match in the
United States. The event was broadcast by
television station W2XBS, forerunner of WNBC-TV. (The World Series was not
televised until 1947.) On September 27, 1946, Tony Zale knocked out New York native Rocky
Graziano for the middleweight crown; it was the first of three bouts between
Zale and Graziano.
On June 25, 1952, middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson sought his third
title against light-heavyweight champ Joey Maxim at Yankee Stadium. More than
47,000 saw Robinson outfight Maxim but lose due to heat exhaustion in round 14
(due to the 104-degree weather). The referee who declared Maxim the winner was
the second that night; the first had left the fight due to heat exhaustion.
After its 1970s renovation, Yankee Stadium hosted only one championship
fight. On September 28, 1976, a declining Muhammed Ali defended his heavyweight
crown against Ken Norton. To that point, Norton was one of only two boxers who
had beaten Ali (in 1973); this was their third and final meeting. Norton led for
most of the fight, but Ali improved in the later rounds to win by unanimous
Football at Yankee Stadium
When an ill Ruth could not lead the Yankees to the World Series in 1925,
college football took center stage at Yankee Stadium that fall. The fiercely
competitive Notre Dame-Army game moved to Yankee Stadium, where it remained
until 1947. In the 1928 game, with the score 0-0 at halftime, legendary Notre
Dame coach Knute Rockne gave his "win one for the Gipper" speech (with reference
to All-American halfback George Gipp, who died in 1920); Notre Dame went on to
defeat Army, 12-6. The 1929 game between the two teams had the highest
attendance in the series at 79,408. The 1946 Army vs.
Notre Dame football game at Yankee stadium is regarded as one of the 20th
century college football Games of the Century.
Notre Dame played 24 games at Yankee Stadium, going 15-6-3. Army played 38,
compiling a 17-17-4 record. New
played more games there than any other school, 96, using it as a secondary home
field from 1923 to 1948, with a record of 52-40-4. Nearby FordhamUniversity
played 19 games there, going 13-5-1.
Eight college football games were played at Yankee Stadium on Thanksgiving
Day, the first seven by New YorkUniversity. NYU beat
Carnegie Tech (now CarnegieMellonUniversity)
in 1931 and 1932, defeated Fordham in 1936, lost to OregonState
in 1928, lost to Carnegie Tech in 1929, and lost to Fordham in 1934 and 1935. In
the eighth game, in 1963, SyracuseUniversity beat Notre
Dame, 14-7. This was a rematch following the teams' controversial 1961 game won
by Notre Dame, 17-15.
The Gotham Bowl was scheduled to premiere at Yankee Stadium in 1960, but was
canceled when no opponent could be found for OregonStateUniversity. The 1961 game
was moved to the Polo Grounds, and when just 6,166 people came to Yankee Stadium
for the 1962 game, in which the University
of Nebraska defeated the University of Miami, 36-24, the Gotham Bowl was never
Starting in 1971, the Stadium hosted the Whitney M. Young Urban League
Classic, a game between historically black colleges, often featuring Grambling
State University of Louisiana, coached by Eddie Robinson, the first college
coach to win 400 games. The Classic helped to spread the fame of Grambling and
other similar schools. Yankee Stadium hosted its final Classic during the 1987
season, also the last time a football game was played there. Grambling lost to
Central State University of Ohio,
The Classic has been held at Giants Stadium in New Jersey's Meadowlands Sports Complex ever
since, though the Yankees remain a supporter of the event.
Professional football at Yankee Stadium
In 1926, after negotiations failed with the fledgling NFL and the Chicago
Bears, Red Grange and his agent C.C. Pyle formed the first American Football
League and fielded a team called the New York Yankees based in Yankee Stadium.
The league failed after only one year.
The New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference played their home
games at Yankee Stadium from 1946 to 1949.
The New York Giants of the National Football League played their home games
at Yankee Stadium from 1956 to 1973. On December 28, 1958, Yankee Stadium hosted
the National Football League championship game, frequently called "The Greatest
Game Ever Played." The Baltimore Colts tied the Giants, 17-17, on a field goal
with seven seconds left. Led by quarterback Johnny Unitas, the Colts won in
overtime, 23-17. The game's dramatic ending is often cited as elevating football
to one of the United States' major sports.
Soccer at Yankee Stadium
In 1971 and 1976, the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League
played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the latter year, the team's star
attraction was Pele. The
native, known as "The King of Football," was considered the best player in the
world. Bringing Pele to the United States
was a move intended to increase the popularity of soccer in
America, the same reason the high-profile player David
Beckham was brought to the USA 30
years after that initial effort.
Games at Yankee Stadium
On July 11, 1939, Major League Baseball held its seventh All-Star Game at
Yankee Stadium, in concert with the World's Fair being held at Flushing-Meadows
in Queens. Yankees manager Joe McCarthy loaded
his American League team with pinstripes: Bill Dickey (catcher), Joe DiMaggio
(outfield), Joe Gordon (second base), Red Rolfe (third base), George Selkirk
(outfield), and Red Ruffing (pitcher) were all in the starting lineup. Reserve
players included Frankie Crosetti (shortstop), Lou Gehrig (first base), Lefty
Gomez (pitcher), and Johnny Murphy (pitcher). The American League won, 3-1,
behind a home run by DiMaggio, in front of more than 62,000. This was the second
All-Star Game held in New York;
the Polo Grounds hosted the event in 1934.
From 1959 to 1962, Major League Baseball held two All-Star Games. On July 13,
1960, Yankee Stadium hosted baseball's second All-Star Game in three days. The
National League won both games. In the latter game, Whitey Ford was the starting
pitcher. Yogi Berra (catcher), Mickey Mantle (outfield), Roger Maris (outfield),
and Bill Skowron (first base) were in the starting lineup; Jim Coates (pitcher)
and Elston Howard (catcher) were reserves. The National League won the Yankee
Stadium game, 6-0, tying a record with four home runs, including one by hometown
favorite Willie Mays. The 38,000 fans who attended the game saw Ted Williams in
his final All-Star appearance.
Showcasing its new renovation, Yankee Stadium hosted the All-Star Game on
July 19, 1977. With the Yankees defending their 1976 pennant, Billy Martin
managed the American League team on his home field. The National League won its
sixth consecutive All-Star Game, 7-5, in front of more than 56,000 fans; the
senior circuit's streak would reach 11. Reggie Jackson (outfield) and Willie
Randolph (second base) started for the American League; Sparky Lyle (pitcher),
Thurman Munson (catcher), and Graig Nettles (third base) also made the team. Jim
Palmer was the game's starting pitcher because Nolan Ryan refused to play when
Martin asked him.
Yankee Stadium is scheduled to host its final All-Star Game in 2008 in honor
of its last year before the club moves to New Yankee Stadium.
Other events at Yankee Stadium
Beginning in 1950, the stadium began holding religious conventions of the
Jehovah's Witnesses. The first convention attracted 123,707 people, more in a
single day than any other stadium event up to that time.
These conventions would continue on until the late 1980s. When room ran out in
the stands, the ladies were asked to remove their heels, and people were brought
in to sit in the outfield. There was also a makeshift camp nearby where the
program was broadcast for hundreds others to listen to.
Francis Cardinal Spellman (1957), Pope Paul VI (1965), and Pope John Paul II
(1969 as a cardinal, 1979 as pope) all celebrated Mass at the ballpark. Pope
Benedict XVI is scheduled to make a trip to the United States in April 2008, as part
of his agenda, he plans to say mass at the Stadium, making him the third Pope to
do so. On June 21, 1990, a rally was held at Yankee Stadium for Nelson Mandela
upon his release from prison following the end of apartheid in South Africa.
On September 23, 2001, Yankee Stadium hosted a memorial service for victims of
the September 11 terrorist attacks in
New York City.
The first concert ever held there was an ensemble R&B show on June 21, 1969,
put together by the Isley Brothers; the first rock concert held at the stadium
was on June 22, 1990, by Billy Joel. It was also the site of two dates of U2's
ZOO TV tour in 1992. During one song, Bono paid tribute to the show's setting
with the line "I dreamed I saw Joe DiMaggio/Dancing with Marilyn Monroe...".
Pink Floyd also performed two sold-out shows at this venue on their 1994 tour in
support of The Division Bell album.
National Hockey League (NHL) executives had inquired about the possibility of
using the field for a Heritage Classic type event with a New York Islanders vs
New York Rangers ice hockey match during the 2006-07 NHL season. A similar event
took place in Edmonton,
in which the Edmonton Oilers played against the Montreal Canadiens.
Such a game did not take place during the 2006-07 season, and while again
considered for 2007-08, it seemed to fall by the wayside as the league began
looking to other markets, perhaps to boost ratings or ensure cold weather. Based
on the initial rumors, such a game would likely have been played on New Year's
Day and serve as the kickoff for NBC's NHL coverage for that season.
On March 10, 2006, Yankee Stadium saw its first and only wedding at home
plate. Blind sportswriter Ed Lucas, who has been a member of the Yankee family
for over 40 years, got special permission from the Yankees, the City of New
York, and Major League Baseball to exchange vows with his fiancée, Allison
Pfieffle, on the same spot where Lou Gehrig made his famous farewell speech,
among the many notable events. Over 400 people, including present and former
members of the Yankee family were in attendance to see the happy couple united,
and the ceremony was broadcast on ESPN, the YES Network, NBC's Today show and
other national media outlets. Ed and his bride were introduced years before by
longtime friend and baseball Hall of Fame Member Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto.
During the reception at the Stadium Club, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner
surprised the crowd with an announcement that he would be picking up the entire
tab for the wedding and honeymoon.
World Series at Yankee Stadium
Due to the Yankees' frequent appearances in the World Series, Yankee Stadium
has played host to more postseason games than any stadium in baseball history.
The Stadium, since its 1923 opening, has played host to 37 of 84 World Series
(heading into 2008), with the Yankees winning 26.
Sixteen of those World Series were clinched at Yankee Stadium:
York Yankees, in 1927, 1938, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1953,
1977, 1996, and 1999
Louis Cardinals, in 1926 and 1942
Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1955, their only World
Championship won in Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles.
in 1957, the only World Series won by a
Reds, in 1976
Angeles Dodgers, in 1981
Marlins, in 2003
The entrance into the
monument section of MonumentPark
MonumentPark is a section of Yankee Stadium which
contains the Yankees' retired numbers, a collection of monuments and plaques
pertaining to the New York Yankees and other events to take place at the stadium
and in the city.
The Facade over the wall
behind the bleachers
The Retired Numbers section
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Yankee Stadium was the
copper frieze (painted white in the 1960s) that ran around the roof of the
grandstand's upper deck. However, the 1974-75 renovation saw the roof replaced,
and the facade was removed. A white replica was run along the bleacher
billboards and scoreboard, where it stands to this day. In the new stadium, the
facade is to return to the upper deck roof.
"The Facade," as it is called, is used as an icon for both the stadium and
the team. This can be clearly seen in its major use in graphics for the YES
While it is called "the Facade" by fans, broadcasters, and Yankees officials,
the correct term for the feature, "frieze," is used very sparingly. Even more
technically, as these features served to cover up the ends of cantilevered beams
that projected out towards the field from the outer walls of the stadium, they
comprise a fascia.
The Louisville Slugger
shaped exhaust pipe
Outside the stadium's main entrance gate, stands a 138-foot tall exhaust pipe
in the shape of a baseball bat, complete with tape at the handle that frays off
at the end. It is sponsored by Louisville Slugger, which leads to many people
referring to it as "The Louisville Slugger", which is specifically designed to
look like a Babe Ruth model. The bat is also often used as a designated meeting
spot for fans to meet their ticket holding friends before entering the stadium.
Asymmetry inside and outside
Yankee Stadium was built on a five-sided, irregular plot of land. This gave
it a very distinctive asymmetrical shape. For many years, and even today after
remodeling, left field and center field were and are much more difficult areas
to hit home runs than right field. The designers' plans to extend the right
field upper tiers compelled a short right field area. There would have been
ample room for a "normal" right field if that design element had been omitted
and the bleachers had been made much narrower. Nonetheless, this feature is one
of many that makes Yankee Stadium fairly intimate, despite its size.
Since 1951, Bob Sheppard has been the public address announcer at Yankee
Stadium. His distinctive voice (Yankee legend Reggie Jackson has called him "the
Voice of God"), and the way he announces players for over half a century has
made him a part of the lore of the stadium and the team. Before a player's first
at-bat of the game, Sheppard announces his uniform number, his name, his
position, and his number again. Example: "Number 2... Derek... Jeter...
Shortstop... Number 2..." For each following at-bat, Sheppard announces just the
position and name: "The shortstop, Derek Jeter." Sheppard's long-term back-up is
The Hammond Organ was installed at Yankee Stadium in 1967, and was primarily
played by Eddie Layton from its introduction until his retirement after the 2003
season. The playing of the organ has added to the character of the stadium for
many years, playing before games, introducing players, during the national
anthem and the rendition of "Take me out to the ball game" during the seventh
inning stretch. After Layton's
retirement, he got to pick his replacement, Paul Cartier.
In recent years, the use of the organ has been decreased in place of recorded
music between innings and introducing players. Since the 2004 season, the
national anthem has rarely been performed by the organists, opting for military
recordings of the Star Spangled Banner. In 2005, a new Hammond Elegante was
installed replacing the Hammond Colonnade which Eddie Layton played for all
The Owner's Box is a personal suite belonging to New York Yankees owner
George Steinbrenner. It is located behind home plate on the second deck along
with the two broadcasting booths of the YES Network and WCBS Radio 880/Yankees
Radio Network, the Press Box, and some other luxury suites. The owner sits in
the box along with guests and occasionally Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Yogi Berra
is known to watch Yankees games from there.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, all American Major League Baseball
stadiums started playing God Bless America during the seventh-inning
stretch for the remainder of the 2001 season. Many teams ceased this practice
the following season, although it has continued in post-season events at many
cities and become a tradition at Yankee Stadium alongside Take Me Out to the
Ballgame. Usually, a recording of the song by Kate Smith is played, although
sometimes there is a live performance by Irish tenor Ronan Tynan. For part of
the 2005 season, the Yankees used a recording of Tynan, but the Kate Smith
version was reinstated due to fan complaints.
"New York, New York"
Another tradition for Yankee Stadium is that after each home game, the
classic song "New York, New York" is played over the loudspeakers; Frank
Sinatra's version regardless of a win or loss. (In the past, Liza Minnelli's
version was played after a loss.)
When the Yankees score a run, a version of the Westminster chime plays as the last player to
score in the at-bat gets to home plate. The version of the chime is the
beginning of Workaholic by the music group 2 Unlimited. The only time the
chime is not always played is if the Yankees score a run to record a walk-off
win, when "Theme from New York,
New York" by Frank Sinatra may ensue.
While some elements of the Stadium are decidedly modern, its asymmetry,
monuments in left-center field and exterior arches give fans a reminder of the
Stadium during its most golden period. Even the blue YANKEE STADIUM letters over
the main gate are longtime features; they're the same letters that first
appeared there in the 1950s; the letters were originally white before being
painted blue in the 1960s. The proximity to the 4 train makes it a part of the
stadium, and there is a large gap in the walls behind the right field bleachers
where fans and commuters can get a peek at each other.
After the first pitch is thrown at the top of the first inning, the "Bleacher
Creatures" in Section 39, usually led by a man nicknamed Bald Vinny, begin
chanting the names of every player in the defensive lineup (except the pitcher
and catcher, with some rare exceptions), starting with the center fielder (ie:
"JOH-nee DA-mon, clap, clap, clap clap clap"). They do not stop chanting the
player's name until he acknowledges the Creatures (usually with a wave or a
point), who then move on to the next player. Other names called out during roll
call from time to time have included Yankee broadcasters John Sterling and
Michael Kay, or Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, and Babe Ruth when the Yankees host the
rival Boston Red Sox. Sometimes, after a long rain delay, the Creatures start
another Roll Call for comedic effect. Often when a player is replaced in the
field, their replacement is also welcomed with a chant.
Yankee Stadium can be reached via the 161st Street–Yankee
Stadium station of the New York City Subway, along the IRT Jerome Avenue Line
(4) and IND Concourse Line (B D).
The view of Yankee Stadium
from the 161st Street–Yankee Stadium station.
Since the 1970s renovation, there has been discussion to add a Metro-North
station on the Hudson Line tracks that run behind the Stadium's south parking
garage, but the Yankees have never been willing to pay for the station. In 2006,
the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it plans to pay for a
station after the Yankees relocate to a new stadium north of
161st Street in 2009. The station is expected to cost
$45 million. The MTA said it will use money that had been earmarked to explore a
subway expansion to La Guardia Airport in Queens.
The MTA also has buses that run to the stadium. Lines Bx1, Bx6, and Bx13 all
have stops near Yankee Stadium.
Yankee Stadium has 15 official parking lots around the stadium for those
wishing to travel by car. The main auto route to the stadium is the Major Deegan
Expressway (I-87). Connections to I-95, I-278, and several other major highways
are within a few exits of the stadium.
NY Waterway runs a ferry service to Yankee Stadium from various piers in
Manhattan and New Jersey. This service
is called "The Yankee Clipper" and serves food and alcohol while fans enjoy
Since it opened, Yankee Stadium has changed its dimensions several times.
This chronology is derived from a variety of sources. Green Cathedrals,
by Phil Lowry, is a good basic reference. Baseball annuals, starting with
editions in the 1920s, routinely gave dimensions of the major league ballparks.
Photos are also a good source, as the Yankees were among the first to post
distance markers on the outfield walls. Among the many book sources of photos
are Yankee Stadium: Fifty Years of Drama, by Joseph Durso; and Yankee
Stadium: 75 Years of Drama, Glamour and Glory, by Ray Robinson and
Christopher Jennison. In general, Yankee Stadium has been considered a
pitcher-friendly ballpark, especially compared to others in the American League.
Left Field Line
Right Field Line
The team's magazines indicate that there may still be an area of center field
as deep as 417 feet. If so, it is unmarked. The most recent field dimensions
were reached primarily by moving the Yankee bullpen to left-center from right
and making a few other changes so as to bring the left-center field wall in. The
left-center field wall locations from earlier years of the remodeled stadium can
still be seen in a few spots, although the walls are not covered with blue
padding as the current one is.
The New Stadium
A new stadium for the Yankees is currently under construction on part of the
former site of Macombs Dam Park. The new stadium's design is to incorporate the
design of Yankee Stadium from its original 1923 exterior as well as from the
1970s renovation. As for the current stadium, The above-ground portion is to be
completely demolished, with the existing clubhouses, which are underground,
remaining in use for replacement park facilities.  Three baseball fields are
to be built atop the Yankee Stadium field after the Yankees' new stadium
opens. These new recreation facilities were designed to alleviate the loss of
parkland to the Yankees' new stadium. MonumentPark is to be relocated in the new
The exterior of Yankee
Stadium on June 16, 2007. Notice the cranes behind the Stadium.
Before building their $1.3 billion stadium, the Yankees secured $425 million
in public subsidies and permission to tear down 400 trees and take over 22 acres
of public parkland north of the team's East 161st Street
home; New York City
retains ownership of the Yankees' new tract of land. The public costs include
acquiring land for the stadium, building parking garages, tearing down Yankee
Stadium, lost rent and parking revenue from Yankee Stadium, and tax breaks. It
does not include a $91 million Metro-North station, which will be paid for
entirely by the public (with money shifted from other parts of the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority's capital-spending budget). Of the stadium's remaining
cost, up to 40 percent may be subsidized through reduced revenue-sharing
contributions. The Yankees' $200 million payroll is consistently the highest in
baseball, making them the largest contributor to the league's revenue-sharing
pool. It has been estimated that the Yankees will contribute one-third of their
new stadium's cost.
The Yankees' stadium and free-parkland acquisition were proposed in June 2005
without input from the community but with pre-approval from pertinent
legislative bodies. The plan was approved within days of its announcement,
setting underfunded community groups and parks advocates back from the
beginning. Even as fierce opposition mounted, they were left with no room to
maneuver to save the neighborhood's parkland. One year after the Yankees'
new-stadium news conference, the team cleared all legislative, financial,
procedural, and legal hurdles. Construction began in the summer of 2006. The
Yankees expect to begin the 2009 season in their new stadium. As part of Yankee
Stadium's last trip around the block, it is scheduled to host the 2008 Major
League Baseball All-Star Game, with the final regular season game scheduled to
be played September 21, 2008 against the Baltimore Orioles. Coincidentally, the
Yankees came from Baltimore, Maryland
in 1903, when the current Orioles were the St. Louis Browns.
The Old Players Entrance - Taken April 18, 2010 - Credit: Mike Hagan
Thanks to Tom N. of New Jersey for forwarding me this photo. It was taken on
June 15, 1928 during the construction of Gate 2.
to: Joey Cooperman
- Here is a great shot of Old Yankee Stadium casting a shadow on New Yankee
Stadium. This was taken by Tom N. of New Jersey in December of 2009.
Old Yankee Stadium - September 1959
The following photos are from September 1959 of Old Yankee Stadium.
These photos were taken by Lynn Harrington. These photos are shown in
their original format as taken and are being used with permission by Sherwood
Harrington, the copyright holder.
Thank you Sherwood for sharing these incredible shots.
The Monuments Moving to the New Stadium Photos by: Uli Seit for The New York Times
It will only grow with time, like
Lou Gehrig’s farewell,
Don Larsen’s masterpiece and
Reggie Jackson’s third home run in a World Series game. Untold thousands
will say they were there the night the curtain fell on baseball’s grandest
It happened Sunday night in the Bronx, when Yankee Stadium hosted a
baseball game for the last time. It went out the way it opened, with a
victory, this one by 7-3 over the
Baltimore Orioles. Babe Ruth hit the first home run, in 1923, and José
Molina hit the last, a two-run shot to left that broke a tie in the fourth
Yankees held off elimination with the victory, the eighth in their final
nine games at Yankee Stadium.
Andy Pettitte, the winning pitcher, worked into the sixth inning, waving
his cap to the fans, who never stopped cheering until he took a curtain
“The way I feel emotionally right now, and just physically so drained, it
feels like a huge postseason win for us,” Pettitte said, standing on the
infield grass after the game. “I kind of feel embarrassed saying that,
because unless a miracle happens, we’re not going to the postseason. But it
Joe Girardi compared it to the seventh game of the World Series, because
the Yankees could not afford to lose, and it felt that way for many reasons.
From the bunting along the upper deck, to the
United States Army Field Band, to the mix of excitement and anxiety
bubbling up in the guts of the uniformed Yankees, there was no doubt this
night would be special.
“I feel as nervous as I was before a playoff game,” said
Bernie Williams, back in pinstripes at last, one of more than 20 former
Yankees who returned for the pregame ceremonies.
The Yankees opened the gates seven hours early, allowing fans to stroll
the warning track for one last walk in the park. Closer to game time, the
team unveiled the American League championship flag that was raised on the
first opening day, in 1923.
Bob Sheppard recorded an introduction, promising to be there to christen
the new Yankee Stadium next April 16. A team of stand-ins, dressed in
old-time uniforms, processed into center field, representing some of the
late Yankees legends. They might as well have come in from the cornfields;
the “Field of Dreams” overtone was palpable.
One by one, the living greats took their positions, all to heartfelt
cheers. The children of other standouts — Randy Maris, Michael Munson, David
Mantle and others — took their fathers’ places.
Willie Randolph slid into his position, second base, and rubbed dirt on
his jersey, reveling in his return to the Yankees. Whitey Ford pretended to
lift out the pitcher’s rubber. The fans reprised chants that rang through
the walls years ago — “Bob-by Mur-cer!” “Ti-no! Ti-no!” and so on.
The bench was so stuffed that some of the Yankees sat on the dugout roof
Jorge Posada stood on the field, taking photos with a digital camera,
just another fan with rich memories of a stadium that always seemed to give
his team an edge.
“Especially in 2001,” Posada said. “We were helped by Yankee Stadium, the
fans coming here, playing for something more meaningful.”
The former players mingled in the clubhouse before the game, in full
uniform, right down to
Yogi Berra’s stirrups. Current Yankees scurried around collecting
snapshots and autographs.
“It’s remarkable,” said Phil Coke, a rookie pitcher with three weeks in
the majors. “Totally and completely blows my mind. I turn around and look
over and see Goose Gossage walking around our clubhouse. Wow.”
Derek Jeter said he would miss the walk from the clubhouse to the dugout
— down a tunnel, with the
Joe DiMaggio sign hanging above. “I want to thank the good Lord for
making me a Yankee,” it says, and Jeter tapped it before every game. Jeter
would not say, but there seems to be a strong chance the sign will be his.
On Saturday night, Jeter said, he spoke with Jackson about their shared
emotions. Both built their legends at Yankee Stadium, but they agreed they
would be filled not with sadness, but with pride for having been a part of
“Make sure you enjoy this,” Jeter said his parents told him recently.
“You don’t want to look back and wish you’d done something different.”
Jeter’s parents and sister joined him on the field before the first
pitch, as two of
George Steinbrenner’s children presented him with a crystal bat for
breaking Gehrig’s record for hits at the Stadium.
Jeter would get no more hits on Sunday, going 0 for 5, but he went down
as the last Yankee ever to bat at Yankee Stadium, with a groundout to third
in the eighth inning. Girardi pulled him for defense with two outs in the
top of the ninth, so the fans could give one last curtain call.
It was Jeter who had the memorable line in 2006, when the Yankees broke
ground on the new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium, saying that the ghosts from
the old place would simply move across the street. Others are not so sure.
Alex Alicea, a 37-year-old fan from Union City, N.J., brought his
16-month-old son, Justin, on Sunday. As he walked the warning track before
the game with his wife and son, he lamented the passing of the game’s
“I would have been happy being 80 or 90 years old and still coming to
this stadium,” Alicea said. “The new stadium is beautiful, but I don’t know
if the ghosts are going to be there. You can feel that, standing here — Babe
Ruth, DiMaggio. It’s not going to be the same.”
There was a sense of sadness and loss amid the celebration. Berra, who
had dismissed the renovated Stadium as nothing like the original, nearly
broke down at a pregame news conference as he invoked the names of former
teammates who have died.
He made jokes, too, saying he wanted to take home plate, and complaining
that the yellowed, wool uniform he was given did not quite feel authentic.
But Berra, born two years after the Stadium opened, seemed to feel he was
losing a part of himself.
“It will always be in my heart, it will,” he said, adding later, “I’m
sorry to see it over, I tell you that.”
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Julia Ruth Stevens, the daughter
of the Babe, who beamed as she bounced her toss to Posada. “To Be Continued
...” it said on the scoreboard, beneath a photo of a winking Bambino.
In Ruthian style, the Yankees went ahead twice on home runs. Johnny Damon
hit the first, a three-run shot in the third inning that erased a 2-0
When the Orioles tied it in the fourth, Molina came up in the bottom of
the inning with a man on second and one out. He had just two homers in 259
at-bats, but he lifted his third onto the netting above the retired numbers,
pumping his fists as he put the Yankees ahead, 5-3, with the last homer the
Stadium will ever see.
“Nobody thought it was going to be me,” Molina said. “We have A-Rod, we
have Abreu, we have Giambi, we have so many guys that can hit home runs, and
look who it was — the guy that probably nobody expected.”
After a leadoff single in the sixth, Pettitte gave way to four relievers,
Mariano Rivera at the end. He worked a 1-2-3 inning, with Cody Ransom
making the final putout at first base on a grounder by Brian Roberts at
11:41 p.m. Ransom put the ball in Rivera’s glove, and Rivera earmarked it
“Mr. George, he gave me the opportunity and he gave me the chance,”
Rivera said. “The least I can do is give the ball to him.”
As horses carried police onto the field, several Yankees and Orioles
gathered at the mound to scoop dirt as souvenirs. Soon, all of the Yankees
converged there. Jeter took the microphone, praising the fans as the
greatest in the world.
“And we are relying on you to take the memories from this stadium, add
them to the new memories to come at the new Yankee Stadium, and continue to
pass them on from generation to generation,” Jeter told the crowd.
Then all of the Yankees lifted their caps to the crowd and took a final
lap around the field, waving all the way, to the sounds of Sinatra. Not much
has gone according to plan for the Yankees this season, but that worked just
“It was more the people than the stadium,” Williams said. “You talk about
the magic and the aura, but what really made the Stadium was the fans.
Concrete doesn’t talk back to you. Chairs don’t talk back to you. It’s the
people that are there, that root for you day in and day out. That’s what
makes this place magical.”
The legacy of Yankee Stadium, it turns out, was never the title fights or
N.F.L. championships, the papal visits or the World Series. It was the
fans. In its final season, the Yankees set a record for attendance,
4,298,543. At the end, the fans were drawn to Ruth’s house in ways he never
could have dreamed.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 23, 2008 An article in some copies on Monday about the Yankees’ 7-3 victory
over the Orioles in the last scheduled game at Yankee Stadium misstated
the timing of shortstop Derek Jeter’s departure. It was with two outs in
the top — not the bottom — of the ninth inning.
The box score of the last regular season game ever at