This past year, I somehow managed to get my butt up to Yankee Stadium for at least one game in every series that they played during the regular season. And then because of the unexpected low prices for playoff tickets, I was able to attend games in both the ALDS and the ALCS. Unfortunately, for me, my run has ended as I will not be going to see any of the World Series matchups. MLB priced the tickets just out of my reach and so I won’t have the opportunity to attend another potentially incredibly long game.
But I had a good year, as I imagine most people with season ticket plans did one the dust from relocation finally cleared up.
It all got off on shaky ground, with the relocation process taking months longer than the Yankees initially said it would. Many people were upset with what they wound up being assigned but I was pretty pleased in the end after a few heart attacks. I even bought a plan from a friend who originally had a Saturday plan but was assigned a midweek plan that he couldn’t use, so in a way I benefited from the mess.
I wound up sitting in almost every level of Yankee Stadium III this year. Legends, Main, Terrace, Grandstand and Bleachers. Next year I’ll have to give the Field section a shot to see how it compares to the rest.
(If you’re wondering where my favorite place is—I love my Friday night Grandstand plan because it’s really hard to sit near people as awesome as the guys around me. So while other places might have a better view I’ll take the upper deck with people I feel comfortable around.)
Since I wound up with tickets to twelve extra games than I had originally planned (not accounting for on a whim excursions), I got to see a lot of awesome stuff this year. And a fair bit of not so awesome, of course, but mostly awesome. Some of the highlights:
- May 1st – Down 5 runs going into the bottom of the 8th inning, the Yankees come back to beat the Angels in the bottom of the 9th innning. The stadium is empty going into the late innings when the team was beginning their comeback. It’s so desolate that I move over to the section where some friends of mine sit and am able to recline across three seats.
- May 15th – Brett Gardner hits an inside the park homerun after the ball takes a weird bounce off the wall in shallow left field and the Yankees win in the bottom of the 9th against Minnesota.
- August 7th – 14 and a half innings of scoreless baseball between the Yankees and the Red Sox. While many people enjoy shootouts, a true pitcher’s duel like this one is, in my opinion, much more exciting (and nerve-wracking). AJ Burnett and Josh Beckett matched zeroes and made batters look silly, and then the bullpens for each came out and continued to match zeroes (though there was much less of the whole batters looking silly stuff going on).In the 14th with men on base, Eric Hinske hit a screaming line drive to right field which JD Drew somehow caught. Which was very irritating.
Then finally in the bottom of the 15th inning, Derek Jeter got on base. Johnny Damon tried to bunt but popped up. Which was more irritating than JD Drew catching Hinske’s line drive. The crowd, delirious and trying to remember what their families looked like at that point was instantly deflated. Big Teix came up and struck out and I started to wonder if the game would ever end.
And then it happened. A-Rod sent a pitch from Junichi Tazawa out of play into center field. Almost seven hours after entering Yankee Stadium, I was finally on my way home.
- ALCS Game 2 - It’s rainy, it’s cold and I’m sitting in the bleachers with my mom. AJ has a small meltdown but it’s nothing compared to the true Bad AJ who shows up.
It seemed like it was all over in the 11th inning when the Angels score but they foolishly decided to pitch to A-Rod who deposited a Brian Fuentes fastball into the right field seats. And so everyone who was in the process of packing up their stuff dropped it and screamed very loudly.
Finally, five hours after the game started, we were released from weather Hell as Macier Izturis and Chone Figgins screwed up a routine play and Jerry Hairston Jr scored on the error. The night ended with people hugging people they don’t know—always a sign that you have seen a good game.
I was there for seven of the regular season walkoff victories in total, which was more than I had been to in the rest of my baseball life combined. More blowout victories instead of heart attacks next year, please.
And again, I was there for some stinkers. I saw Mariano Rivera give up back-to-back homeruns for the first time ever, which was probably the lowlight of the year. I also sat through some total clunkers by AJ Burnett but that’s what happens when you see AJ Burnett start a bunch of times over the course of a season.
I’m really sad that I won’t be at any World Series games unless a miracle occurs, but I’ve seen my share of great and important baseball this year in person. And watching at home does have the added bonus of no conduct guidelines so I don’t have to worry about being inappropriate.