Sunday, June 22, 2014

New York Yankees

Few landmarks in America are as iconic as Yankee Stadium. It has been in film, print, television and the dreams of wanna be Yankee players. It was the House that Ruth Built...and it was George Costanza’s place of employment. It was THE symbol of pure New York baseball prowess. Until they tore it down.

I was fortunate enough to have seen a game in Old Yankee Stadium. In the 90s I went there on a date with a certain woman from Massachusetts during a sweltering summer day game. We ended up doing things with ice cubes from our drink that were reminiscent from scenes in 9 ½ Weeks. I think everyone that loves baseball probably has some sort of life story that involves Yankee Stadium. That’s mine. At least the PG-13 version.

The replacement Yankee Stadium reminds me of the old version. It is built from polished concrete slabs and the round ballpark looks like a hybrid of an old Roman coliseum and the metropolitan museum. A real gothic beauty. Inside the upper edge is lined with white picket fence type lattice which pays homage to its predecessor. It is the gemstone of the Bronx and a fan magnet. The game I attended was practically sold out. It was Old Timers Day, so that may have factored in the huge crowd. It did drive up ticket prices which stung...a lot. Did I mention I am on a fixed income?

Bun-fresh. Just the way I like it.
Taste-the Nathan’s Famous frank did not let me down. It earns top score.
Toppings-I love it when they ask if you want kraut or onions before they give you the dog. It saves on waste, but more importantly, it keeps me from having to put it on myself.
Price-$6 is pricey. Not as pricey as the $8 dog in St Louis (no, St Louis, I have not forgotten).
Portability-a new twist on portability. The Nathan’s dog was laid to rest in a firm cardboard boat that has a flip-over lid. Sort of a like a miniature coffin.
It Factor-I was surprised at the lack of diversity in hot dogs in a city that prides itself in diversity. I have been to some minor league parks that had a better selection of specialty dogs.

Location-downtown Bronx.
Access-Subway, train, walk, bike, you name it. I was staying with a friend in Poughkeepsie and the MTA runs special “Yankee Clipper” trains from the northern towns directly to the ballpark. It was pricey at $30, but you would have to sell a child to afford parking near the stadium, as well as fight some of the world’s most famous traffic. All of a sudden $30 didn’t seem so bad.
Cleanliness-absolutely splendid job keeping Babe Ruth’s house in order.
GA Ticket Price-For the first time I ordered my ticket online (what the hell is a convenience fee?). I was afraid that the Old Timers Game would sell out. And it did. I paid $50 for my seat in the bleachers with no backs. Normally those are $22, which is what I rate the Yankees on, and it is still too damn much for a bleacher seat. Why can the Rockies offer $4 seats at every game, the Nationals the same for $5, Pirates for $13 but the Bronx Bombers for $22? Derek Jeter ain’t that handsome.
Fans-packed full with rowdy and loyal fans.
Ambiance-I know it would make Babe Ruth would roll over in his grave but Yankee Stadium doesn’t exude the ambiance that I thought it would. It’s a concrete manufacturer’s dream that falls short of the charm many of the newer ballparks have.

The concourses also need to be wider. They would probably be ok as is but there is a metric shit ton of kiosks and the like in the middle that makes it hard to get around. It was also one of the harder stadiums to navigate...and I am no stranger to exploring ballparks. This was my 21st MLB venue THIS SEASON. What has impressed me were the people of New York. I have been there on business before as well as other ventures into the city. New Yorkers get a bad rap for being rude and obnoxious. While they can come across a bit short and crass, I have found them to be helpful and mainly polite. They treat most tourists quite well, and that takes a monumental effort. Well, except for that cab driver thing...but that’s a global problem.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price3
It Factor3.5Fans5

While the hot dog/baseball experience at Yankee Stadium scored well, I was again surprised at how the vaunted venues don’t quite score as high as ones I didn’t think would. Price has a lot to do with it. No one can enjoy a dog at the park when they know they could have made a car payment with what it cost to down a tube of processed meat in the bleachers. Teams need to start considering that. In the meantime, I am headed to Philadelphia tomorrow. And then sleeping in my car so I can afford and enjoy yet another dog in bleachers.


  1. Great blog! I saw the story they had on it in the Daily News yesterday so I had to check it out. Your review of the dog and ballpark was spot on. Keep up the good work! If you need to find some cheap booze along the way, be sure to pick up some bum wine! Visit my blog at!

  2. Thanks BWB. Glad you enjoy it! I'll be sure to chug some bum wine soon.