The night before I went to the game which ended just before 1AM as the Yankees lost to the Rays, 10-5 in 14 innings. That's just what I needed knowing I had to get up earlier than usual Saturday morning. It worked out as I did meet Andy shortly after 10AM at the Stadium. When arrived the line to go inside was around the corner. Thankfully it was organized well so we were able to get inside in a timely fashion. We wound up standing on the warning track which was roped off. Shortly thereafter, all the Yankees players eventually passed by us as they walked out from the dugout. Some actually stopped along the way to take pictures with the fans. Those included Alfonso Soriano & Carlos Beltran to name a select few. Most of them like CC Sabathia waved hello and/or scooted on by. Not surprisingly, most of them really didn't care one way or the another. It's was an obligation for them. As for Andy & I, we couldn't get any really good pictures of them because they were moving too fast. It was cool to see them close up though. In addition, it was also really neat to stand on the actual playing field too. After the players finished walking around, we walked back into the seating area.
Since we had a few hours to kill before the game started, Andy & I decided to do something different. Believe it or not, I had never been to Monument Park before here at the New Yankee Stadium or at the Old Stadium. The reason being I usually come from work so I arrive shortly before game time. On the weekends, I usually like to catch up on lost sleep. With that being said, I never made the time to get to the Stadium early enough to line up to experience it. For that matter, neither did Andy.
They only allow fans into Monument Park which is located behind the center field fence up until 45 minutes before the game starts. We got on line & shortly thereafter we got inside. We walked around reading the plagues of Yankee Legends who have either had their uniform number retired and/or warranted a special place in Yankee lore. Here's a sample of those who reside there. They are as follows: #1Billy Martin #3 Babe Ruth #4 Lou Gehrig #5 Joe DiMaggio #7 Mickey Mantle #8 Yogi Berra #9 Roger Maris #10 Phil Rizzuto #15 Thurman Munson #16 Whitey Ford #23 Don Mattingly #42 Mariano Rivera #44 Reggie Jackson & #49 Ron Guidry among a handful of others. They also had a special plague for owner George Steinbrenner, PA announcer Bob Sheppard, Nelson Mandela & Pope John Paul who visited & one to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11. All in all, it was a moving experience to read about these all time great ballplayers & influential people over the history of time.
|Yankees remember 9/11/01|
In addition, the King & our pals Bryan Gilligan & Phil Butleman were present & accounted for as well that day.
As for the game we saw, the Yankees fell behind 3-0 as Desmond Jennings hit a solo homer off of starter Masahiro Tanaka in the first inning then Wil Myers added a solo shot in the fourth inning. The Yankees got a two run blast from Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the fourth inning to slice the lead to 3-2. In the fifth inning, they got even thanks to a run scoring double by Jacoby Ellsbury to knot the score at three. In the sixth inning, Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer to give them the lead, 4-3. They tacked on two more in the seventh & three more in the eighth as they went on to beat the Rays, 9-3. Tanaka went seven innings, he allowed the three runs & he struck out five as he won another game.
After the game, I said good bye to Andy. I wound up going to Philadelphia with Bryan who drove the King, Phil & I there. We saw the Phillies host the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park that night.
We wound up meeting people we know who live down there. I'm referring to Phil Bruskin who was there with his brother Danny along with his son Benjamin. It was nice to see them all again.
As for the game we saw, the Phillies got a three run homer from Ryan Howard in the first inning off of Nationals' starter Tanner Roark which set the tone. Cody Asche added a solo homer in the second inning as the Phillies cruised to a 7-2 victory. They got a quality start from starter A.J. Burnett who allowed one run in six innings to earn the win while Tanner Roark suffered the loss giving up four runs in seven innings.
Stay tuned for a special post that will go into detail about this year's installment of the Subway Series between the Mets & the Yankees.
Thank you for reading & following along.