Second day in New York, and privileged to see a Canadian team play the NY Yankees
That first nights sleep kind of sucked. While the Holiday Inn was in a great location, it was almost TOO good of a location. Trying to sleep off a hangover during your first night in New York, not a good idea. It would have been a better idea for me to just keep on drinking at that point.
I could hear the iconic honking, some music from nearby bars, and I could even hear the subway. That being said, we were central to 3 or 4 different stations within walking distance and that should have been expected. I think the first night was the only night that I had actually set an alarm for. I was excited to see my first Yankee game in their new stadium.
The game itself didn’t start until 1:30, but we were headed for the subway by 10:30 a.m., as I had no idea how busy it would be. Before we left, I had mapped out all of the subway routes we would be taking, and I even double checked the maps from the hotel. Sadly, I managed to get us going in the opposite direction towards the financial district.
Even though we were on the wrong train, it was incredibly easy to just get off and run to the other side of the following platform to catch the right train. That’s something that rarely happens in Edmonton, as our trains are spread out and horribly planned out. Before we knew it we were on the right train listening to 3 gentleman sing “Have Your Ever Seen The Rain”, with heavy Spanish accents. I would end up seeing the same group of guys on a few different occasions, and managed to ignore them every time.
It wasn’t very busy on the train and I guess you could say there was a lack of excitement from others that were travelling to the same destination as us. Regardless, I was overjoyed as we pulled into the station, seeing the top of the stadium looming over the tracks ahead.
Obviously, a lot of pictures I will be sharing from New York, aren’t mine. I figured it would be easy enough to find similar snaps online, so I rarely found myself taking my own pictures on this trip. Just think of how many people go there every year and imagine each one of them taking multiple pictures of everything. So put your phone away unless you plan on being in the shot yourself.
Lineups to get into the stadium were almost non-existent. We went right up to get my Mom’s bag checked, which she gladly turned over to the security guard. As a result, she was teased for doing so. All you have to do is open the zipper so they can look. All I can remember the guard saying was “You should never willingly hand your bag over to a black man in NYC”, as he smiled and gave it back. Hey, I didn’t say it! That’s EXACTLY what he said, so don’t hate.
Once inside, I was impressed by the space in the entrance. The paths were wide enough to fit hundreds of people walking in different directions at once. That’s something that would be lacking at stadiums in Edmonton. Anyways, we headed straight to the team store where we quickly spent well over $100 on shirts. I made sure to pick a Mariano Rivera shirt, as I knew it would be his last season as a Yankee.
I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I knew what Mariano Rivera brought to the team (and the league), and he is guaranteed to be in the Hall of Fame. The preferred nicknames for Rivera were “Mo” and “Sandman”, and I could only hope to see him close out the game. In order for that to happen, I knew the Yankees would have to be leading the Jays near the end of the game and that made me conflicted.
We still had an hour before game time, so we took our time walking around the stadium and taking in each vantage point. It was virtually empty, and taking a moment to see the stadium was really cool. It was only a few years old at that point, so it was clean. That’s probably the best thing the stadium has going for itself. I wish I could have had the chance to see the old stadium, because the new stadium only seemed more “grand” and clean.
Even though I have only been to 2 MLB ballparks in my life, I would have to say that the Jays stadium trumps Yankee stadium when the roof is open. In Toronto, you at least have the view of the CN Tower and some other buildings. In New York, you can’t really see anything other than planes.
Skip forward to the food and drank. Expensive as f-. Whether it was worthwhile was debatable. I got the garlic fries and accidentally ordered the fake cheese on top of it and IT WAS BLOODY AWFUL. I will never get that again. The beer was just as expensive as an NHL game in Edmonton. $11 got us close to a schooner of beer. Because we spent $11/beer, we kept the cups as a memento of the ridiculous prices in major league sports.
The crowd was okay. I would say it was close to 70% full, which isn’t bad considering it was a Sunday afternoon game. However, I think the Blue Jays game I had seen years before was a lot more exciting (crowd wise).
Skip forward to the 6th where it was 2-1 for the Jays. I was quietly happy for them as I had no idea how Yankee fans would react to a Blue Jays fan. They are really nice by the way, certainly safer than a hockey game…anywhere. Part of me was upset because I was worried I wouldn’t get to see Rivera pitch. Luckily, a former Blue Jay homered for the Yankees in the 7th, and they were up 3-2. Skip forward to the top of the 9th, Blue Jays last chance to tie up the game. I heard an all too familiar sound:
Note: the video was recorded from his last game at home (much later), but it was essentially the same experience.
You wouldn’t have to hear his name. You wouldn’t have to see him running to the mound. As soon as “Enter Sandman” started playing, you knew you were going to be in for a treat. Even with the smaller crowd, it was never as loud as when Rivera entered the game. He shut down the Jays, and the Yankees ended up winning 3-2.
For one inning, I was a true Yankee fan. I knew he didn’t have much time left and I am glad I was able to see him pitch. The atmosphere was raised once he went out. He meant as much to the Yankees as Magic Johnson meant to the Lakers fans. Maybe it’s not the greatest comparison, but everyone has a team with a player that has managed to stick around for most of his career. Regardless of how good those players are, you get overcome with emotion when you know they are on their last leg.
Overall, I would give the game a 4/5. I would give it a 4 because I got to see “Mo” pitch. I only wish it was a playoff game that I was watching. However, besides it’s size and cleanliness, Yankee stadium has taken a bad turn towards profits, rather than experience. There are plenty of other MLB teams that have better stadiums today.
On our way to the train, I stopped abruptly to take one last snap of the stadium (it was awful). We missed the first train because it was so packed, but the next one came 2 minutes later. We were off to finish our first day in New York, and I was excited.