Last weekend I attended a season ticket holder event at Yankee Stadium, and I got to bring three guests. Here they are:
In the photo above, from right to left, you’re looking at:
1) my girlfriend, Hayley
2) my friend and fellow ballhawk Chris Hernandez
3) Chris’s fiancée, Natalie
The official name of this event was the “Legacy Club Open House,” and as you can see below, we entered the stadium through the Legends Club:
Chris had never been inside the Legends area, so it was quite a thrill for him.
Upon entering, we saw some tables with brochures about various season ticket plans . . .
. . . but everyone’s attention shifted here instead:
That was a line for free food, and while it wasn’t nearly as fancy as the standard, in-season selections in the Legends area, I must say that it was quite good. There were salads and wraps . . .
. . . along with burgers, fries, chicken tenders, and pizza:
Here’s what I got. If you look VERY closely, you can see a bit of salad hiding under the fries and pizza:
Hayley, Chris, and Natalie loaded up their plates as well, and eventually we found an empty table beside the 100 Level concourse.
After the meal, I saw some fans getting their pictures taken with a World Series trophy:
Cool stuff. But that’s not what we were interested in. For us the main attraction was the opportunity to be ON the field, which, unfortunately, was set up for football (snore), but hell, this was still a major league stadium, so why pass up the chance?
Here I am walking down into the 100 Level seats:
Here’s what it looked like in the front row behind the area occasionally known as home plate:
In the photo above, did you notice that the protective netting was down. That was weird. Also, do you see the two yellow signs? Here’s a closer look:
That’s right — for the bargain price of $1,300 PER GAME, that seat could be yours for the entire 2015 season. Let’s do a little math, shall we?
$1,300 x 81 home games = $105,300.
But of course you can’t just buy one of those two seats because the Yankees won’t break up a perfectly good pair, so if you want to sit there every day next season, they’ll cost $210,600, or roughly speaking, a little bit more than Alex Rodriguez will earn per game.
For some reason, even though everyone was allowed to go on the field, we all needed wristbands. Here’s a guard putting them on people . . .
. . . and here I am with mine:
Hayley, admittedly, isn’t much of a baseball fan, but she was still excited to step out onto the field. Here’s a photo she took of her feet touching grass and dirt:
Here’s an odd sight:
That’s the Yankee dugout. As you can see, it was enclosed by an auxiliary padded wall, and the steps that normally lead to it were covered by a platform with grass on top.
Here’s the field goal:
Chris and I photographed 1st base . . .
. . . and then played catch in an area that normally would’ve been shallow right-center field:
In the middle of the field, dozens of fans were running all over the place, throwing and kicking footballs, which had been provided by the Yankees, so what was the harm in carefully tossing a baseball off to the side? Right?
Less than a minute later, a security guard approached Chris:
He told us we weren’t allowed to play catch with a baseball, which was especially frustrating because several other fans did the same thing without incident.
After our aborted throwing session, we wandered out to the right field wall:
Then THIS happened:
The red arrow is there to draw your attention to my amazing snow-cone (fake) catch. It’s hard to see the ball against the white lettering of the Modell’s ad in the background, but look closely. It’s there.
Chris and I posed near the “408” marker in dead center . . .
. . . and then took a moment to fondle it:
We’re such dweebs. But seriously, in the future, whenever I see the “408” on TV, it’ll make me happy to think about the time when I stood on the field and touched it.
Next up, we got to check out the visitors’ bullpen. Here we are walking inside:
Here’s something you’ll never see on TV:
I’m talking about the huge chunk missing from the bottom step — and guess what? That was done intentionally so that the door can swing all the way open. Here’s another look at it:
Let’s not forget that Yankee Stadium cost $1.5 billion. For that much money, you’d think they could’ve afforded a better architect.
Here I am with Chris in the bullpen:
Here we are on the elevated platform overlooking the field:
Here’s Chris showing off his dazzling pitching mechanics . . .
. . . and here I am posing:
Don’t get me wrong — it was really cool to be on the field and in the bullpen. It was nice of the Yankees to invite me and provide that access. I *do* appreciate it. But it was nothing compared to the time I got to take batting practice on the field at PNC Park. In order to get to take BP at Yankee Stadium, you need to be a season ticket holder for 15 years.
Anyway, here’s Hayley on the warning track:
Here are a few fans lining up for their chance to attempt to kick a field goal:
I gave it a shot — my first lifetime attempt at kicking one — and yanked it far wide. My first thought was, “Screw everything about football,” but then I decided to try again. Here’s a short video that shows how it played out:
Feeling great about my newfound athletic prowess, I grabbed the nearest football and told Chris to go long:
The result was disappointing. I think I could’ve thrown my Legacy Club brochure farther and better than that stupidly-shaped faux pigskin “ball,” but whatever. I had a plan to redeem myself. I headed through the Legends section . . .
. . . and when I reached the left-field foul line, I got Chris to throw me a baseball, as if he were a player and I were a fan. Here he is before chucking it . . .
. . . and here I am after catching it:
What do you think? Should I count this ball in my collection? I snagged it in the stands of a major league stadium, so why not?!
Chris and Natalie eventually caught up with us, and then we all walked through this desolate concourse . . .
. . . to the right field seats. Here I am getting photo-bombed by Hayley:
While roaming through the seats, I caught up with two Yankees ticket reps who’ve been extremely kind and helpful — George Stone, pictured below on the left, and Josh Giffin on the right:
Chris, Natalie, Hayley, and I found our way inside something called the MVP Club. I’d never even heard of it, let alone seen it. Here’s the entrance . . .
. . . and here’s what the bar looked like on the left:
Around the corner, I was delighted to find this:
Free ice cream! Here’s what I got:
There was a small scoop of chocolate buried in there.
After dessert, Chris and I checked out some baseball memorabilia that was on display. Here he is photographing a home run ball that was supposedly hit 700 feet by Mickey Mantle:
That’s what the nice, young, floppy-haired man behind the table told us, but I was skeptical because (a) the ball inexplicably lacked any trace of stamping or a logo, and (b) 700-foot home runs don’t exist on this planet. Sorry to be a party pooper, but wouldn’t you rather hear the harsh truth than live your life under the pretense of a feel-good fairytale?
Inside the frame pictured above, there was a Babe Ruth autograph and tickets from all the World Series games in which he homered.
Here’s a closeup of a ticket from the game in which The Babe famously called his shot:
Other pieces of memorabilia on display included a prototype for one of the Yankees World Series rings, a cap that Andy Pettitte wore in the World Series, and the bat that Reggie Jackson used when he hit one of the last home runs of his career.
The Yankees were having a sale in the team store, so on our way out, we stopped by to take a look:
In the photo above, Chris was checking out a selection of one-dollar T-shirts, which featured memorable players and events in recent Yankees history such as Yangervis Solarte and the 2012 ALCS. But you know what? Even though the shirts were dopey, it’s still pretty cool that they were being sold so cheap. Buying anything at Yankee stadium for a dollar is unheard of.
Chris and Natalie went to Madison Square Garden for the Rangers game. (That’s hockey, by the way. I don’t know anything about it, but evidently some people are quite fond of it.) Hayley and I went home and got on with our otherwise sports-less off-season.