Tuesday night after work I went up to the Bronx to see the Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays as they were wrapping up their last home stand of the regular season with a three game set before they went to Houston for the final weekend. It was also farewell to Mariano Rivera as he was retiring at the end of the season. When I got off the subway I went to the Court Deli Restaurant & I bought myself a corned beef sandwich to take into Yankee Stadium.
When I got to the Stadium there was a mob of people looking to go inside. It was Mariano Rivera bobblehead doll night for the first 18,000 fans who entered the ballpark. Due to a transportation issue, the bobbleheads weren't at the ballpark when the gates opened. While they waited for them to arrive, the Yankees gave out a voucher to those who were able to get inside before they ran out of them. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't one of the lucky ones. I wasn't alone. There were many disgruntled fans at the guest services booth inside gate 6 in right field when I was trying to get my ballpark pass-port book stamped. I really didn't care if I got a bobblehead doll or not. There were plenty of other people who did but they got turned away when they ran of the vouchers which people were able to exchange during the game once they made an announcement that they finally arrived. I heard rumors that the people in the legends seats got theirs delivered to them by Yankee Stadium employees. Everyday people like myself got treated like second class citizens. That's just the way it is. In all fairness, they should given out the bobbleheads to all fans in attendance. That way if you were able to come to the ballpark that night you got rewarded with a bobblehead doll. That is the case in some ballparks but not here in the Bronx. After I survived the chaos in the Great Hall, I took the elevator upstairs like I always do.
When I finally arrived at my seat in section 420B row 7, I was greeted by William Frank Guthrie & Larry Peim who were present & accounted for that night. They both got vouchers since they were able to get to the ballpark early. However, they still had to go all the way out to left field to pick up their bobblehead dolls. I was told the line was wrapped around the ramps. It was a total inconvenience for those who indeed got the vouchers. With that being said, I'm glad I didn't get one. In that regard, I consider myself lucky. It wouldn't have been worth the hassle to miss part of the game just to get the bobblehead doll even if it was Mariano Rivera. I heard they were instantly being sold on e-bay for $65-$100 each. I wouldn't have minded getting the money for it if I was able to get one. I mainly came to see the game first & foremost. If I got a bobblehead it would have been a bonus for me.
Speaking of the game, it didn't start off well for the Yankees as the Rays scored three runs off of Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda in the first inning which included a lead off home run by Matt Joyce. It was a pop up that landed on the porch in right field. The Rays added insult to injury as they went on to beat the Yankees, 7-0. By doing so, they pushed the Yankees closer to the brink of elimination.
Wednesday night after work I returned to the Bronx for game two of the three game series between the Yankees & the Rays. Before I went into the Stadium, I stopped off at Burger King for dinner.
When I made up to my seat that night, I was joined by my pal Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich & fellow sports traveler Charlie O'Reilly who was also there.
As for the game we saw, the Rays had their hitting shoes on again as they beat the Yankees, 8-3. David Price started the game for the Rays & he threw seven strong innings allowing just two runs. He was aided by teammate Evan Longoria who hit two home runs, a three run blast in the sixth inning & a solo shot in the ninth for good measure. As a result, the Yankees were officially eliminated from the postseason for only the second time in 19 years. The other time they were knocked out was in 2008 that was the last year of the old Stadium that was across the street. The irony this time is that Andy Pettitte & Mariano Rivera are both retiring.
Thursday night after work I decided to pass up the opportunity to see Mariano Rivera's last game at Yankee Stadium. Instead I decided to go to Citi Field since the Mets were also home as they opened a four game season ending series with the Milwaukee Brewers. By doing so, I got to say hello to my pal Sam Citron upon entry to the Rotunda. In addition, I decided to have dinner at Shake Shack out in the area beyond the Apple in center field. It was a wise decision since there was nobody on line like they're normally is. I wound up getting myself a double cheese burger, an order of fries & a vanilla shake for $21.50. Thankfully I had some Citi Tuesday cards left over so I decided to splurge. It was really good but I don't think it's worth the money they charge for it. When I got done, I walked around to the other side of the ballpark then I took the elevator up to my usual perch on the promenade level. On this night I sat in section 515 along with Alan Gimpel, Frank Anichiarico, Pat Gorman, Vincent Ascanio & Manny Morales. Of course the King was also present & accounted for. In addition, later in the game I got a special visit from another ballpark chaser who happens to live on the Upper West Side here in NYC. I'm referring to David Schaffer who came up to meet & greet me. He said he was sitting downstairs on the field level with people he went to college with at Albany back in the day. I want to personally thank him for coming up. It was an absolute pleasure to meet & greet him. We got to exchange different travel stories from some of our adventures over the years. I hope our paths cross more often in the future.
As for the game we saw, the Brewers went on to beat the Mets, 4-2 in front of a sparse crowd who showed up that night. It was nice & relaxing to be there as opposed to the Bronx where it was jam packed due to Mariano Rivera's last game at Yankee Stadium.
|Rose honored at Citi Field before the game|
When I finished eating I went up to section 515 where I met up with Alan Gimpel, Al Linderman, Pat Gorman, Frank Anichiarico & Michael Carson.
As for the game we saw, the Mets fell to the Brewers again, 4-2. After the game, the King, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico & I went to Donovan's Pub where we met up with Charlie Casiano, the King's brother for a post game meal.
Saturday afternoon the King & I got to Citi Field early because it was season ticket holder appreciation day. We got to partake in a gathering in the center field area where they served us food & soft drinks. It was a nice social get together. When we got done we went upstairs to section 516 where we met up with some special guests. I'm talking about the King's father, Miguel Casiano who was celebrating his 83rd birthday along with his son & the King's brother, Charlie. In addition, Pat Gorman, Manny Morales, Marc Beck & Alan Gimpel were on hand for the festivities.
As for the game we saw, the Brewers beat the Mets again, 4-2 in ten innings as former Met Carlos Gomez delivered the game winning hit to give the Brewers the lead & Yuniesky Betancourt got a hit to provide insurance just in case.
After the game, we went to Donovan's Pub again to celebrate the special occasion which turned out to be a family reunion as Susan Casiano, their sister joined us for the post game celebration. It turned out to be quite a day.
|Mike Piazza gets inducted into Mets Hall of Fame|
As for people we knew, we had Mike Carroll, Michael Carson & Alan Gimpel there with us. In addition, a few fellow ballpark chasers who I met at Citi Field in the beginning of August were back. I'm referring to Stephanie aka Snarky Mamacita & her boyfriend Todd Dupee. It was nice to see them both again.
As for the game we saw, the Mets managed to salvage a game after losing the first three games of the series. The Mets took advantage of a few costly errors by the Brewers in the bottom of the eighth inning which helped the Mets score a pair of runs as they beat the Brewers, 3-2 to end the season on a high note.
Stay tuned for a number of special posts that will go into detail about my adventurous month of October.
Thank you for reading & following along.