New Yankee Stadium Dazzles: Opening Day Approaches
It’s been seven months since the world bowed one last time to the House that Ruth Built as it played host to the final game inside its mystic confines. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place; and I still think “The Babe” smirked the final home run in the stadium that night long after the lights dimmed. But with every love story, the loyal have to move on. And that they did.
I’d say it’s a corporate masterpiece. Haven’t been there yet, but when you consider this is one of the most controversial moves in cathedral history (sorry Rome), the appeal to the fans as well as the respect for history were executed with the class and tribute Yankee history deserves. I’ve seen pictures and heard testimonies, and sincerely doubt it will be possible for the new digs not to meet my already high expectations.
Are you kidding me? Lou Gehrig’s final speech can be heard as you walk into the stadium through Gate 4. Didn’t have that across the street, and to me that would be high up there behind Bob Sheppard’s “Welcome to Yankee Stadium” monologue on the I’m really in Yankee Stadium realization chart.
Derek Jeter will never be walking around in drag late for batting practice, either. An intranet touch screen in each player’s locker informs them what uniform to wear on which day, and the daily batting practice schedule. Sorry, A-Rod, you’re gonna have to figure out dosages and read labels yourself; because the marquee around the perimeter of the clubhouse doesn’t display your “recovery injection” schedule.
So much for the other teams’ scheduled march through the narrow hallways past the Yankee clubhouse to take batting practice. Two state-of-the-art hitting facilities are located next to both dugouts underneath the stands, along with the weight-rooms. And if you still don’t wish you were a Yankee, just think of the spreads they have for dinner after home games. I’d assume they’re not take-out.
So many interactive displays adorn the New Yankee Stadium and contribute to the fan-friendly cathedral. Thurman Munson’s original locker was transported from the old stadium to be on display, and they’ve added a marquee above it that can display your own name in lights. There are posters of Yankee greats from past to present, and everywhere you turn will be a magical sight of Yankee lore.
The Yankees have moved, but as Jeter told the fans after that final game in Ruth’s House last September, the memories will be “moved across the street, and passed on from generation to generation.” The official Opening Day at Yankee stadium will be on April 16 th as they play host to the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees promise the biggest bash New York has ever seen.
Why not? They’ve already floored me and I haven’t been there yet!
By Tim Gaffney
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