Awe man, where do I even begin? To say that September 12, 2016 was an amazing day would be a huge understatement. From beginning to end, not one thing about that day could have happened more perfectly. As always, here’s my first hand account of the epic-ness that happened on that very awesome and memorable day.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
The morning of the game, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of excitement as I put on my Dodger jersey. The two days prior had been so much fun and eventful BUT this, the game, was the main reason why I had traveled all the way from California to New York.
YANKEE STADIUM & TOUR
1 E 161st Street,
Bronx, NY 10451
Classic Group Tour
$18.00 Per Adult
$16.00 Children 14 & Under & Seniors 60+
Free to Children 4 & Under
I don’t usually get this excited to tour other stadiums, but when Pantone 294 bought out a large number of stadium tours for that day, I quickly signed up to take one.
I have always been a Dodger fan, but like many others, I also have a huge appreciation and respect for the Yankees. They have been an extremely successful team having won 27 World Series Championships, 18 division titles and 40 AL pennants. The Yankees have also been home to some of the most legendary players in MLB history such as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Don Mattingly, Mariano Rivera, and my personal favorite, Derek Jeter.
While this stadium is fairly new, it is filled with history and representation of what their former home used to be and what their new home continues to be.
- The original Yankee Stadium was located in the Bronx. It opened in 1922 and had its last game in 2008 before it was demolished in 2010. It was called many names such as “The House That Ruth Built”, “The Cathedral of Baseball”, “The Stadium”, and “The Big Ballpark in the Bronx”.
- The new Yankee Stadium, also located in the Bronx, opened in 2009. It is already known as “The House That Jeter Built” and “The House That George Built.”
- 2009 was also the year that the Yankees won their 27th World Series against the Phillies.
- The song New York, New York by Frank Sinatra is played at the end of every game.
- In 2010, there was a rally held for Nelson Mandela after his release from prison. There is now a plaque located in Monument Park in his honor.
- On the site of the Old Yankee Stadium, New York city officials built Heritage Field, a 10.8 acre ballpark that pays homepage to the Yankees former playing field. It consists of three youth baseball fields and a connecting track and soccer field. (I would have liked to have seen the same homepage paid to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, but that’s another story.)
New York Yankees Museum
Located at Gate Level 6, one of the cooler things about the new Yankee Stadium is the museum that features some really awesome baseball memorabilia for the Yankees.
Baseball Wall: An autograph baseball collectors dream! This wall consists of hundreds of autographed baseballs by former and current Yankee players.
Tribute to Don Larsen: Located in the center of the museum you will find statues of Larsen pitching to Yogi Berra during his perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Monument Park: Another museum located inside the stadium that honors 37 distinguished members of the New York Yankees Organization.
856 River Ave
Bronx, NY 10452
One of the first things people ask when going to a game is “Where’s the pregame happening?” Located right across the street from Yankee Stadium is a pregame gem called Billy’s. While I’m sure this bar is normally filled with Yankees fans, Pantone 294 let it be known that this was going to be the pregame headquarters for the day. After taking the stadium tour, I had a couple of hours to kill before the stadium opened so I headed right over to join the fun
Billy’s is huge! It’s a two level sports bar and grill. The first level has an open layout with lounge style seating in the middle, tables around the walls and a giant “L” shaped bar equipped with many flat screen tv’s and one big projection screen. The second level had plenty of indoor seating as well as an outside rooftop patio with an additional bar and seating area. This place couldn’t have been more perfect to accommodate the hundreds of us that showed up to pregame.
I enjoyed every minute of being at Billy’s. The atmosphere was lively and energetic as Dodger fans ate, drank and mingled amongst one another making friends, telling stories and hyping each other up before the game.
A few minutes before the stadium doors were to open, Pantone 294 said a few words over the loud speaker, thanking everyone for coming and getting us a little more hyped for the game. They also instructed us to close our tabs so that we could all walk over to the stadium together. Who knew, such a simple act such as walking over to the stadium would be the start of something amazing!
“Let’s Go Dodgers” could be heard every which way as our sea of blue grew bigger and louder as we filled the streets and made our way to the stadium. Cars waited impatiently for us to walk by, pedestrians marveled in admiration and Yankee fans stopped in their tracks while their jaws dropped in disbelief as we walked by. Till that day, they had never seen nor experienced what it was like to be invaded by Pantone 294 but they were about to find out.
DODGERS VS YANKEES
For many years, Yankee Stadium has had an ongoing tradition done by their fans in right field pavilion or better known as the “Bleacher Creatures,” where they do a “roll call” of sorts to greet their starters of the game. One thing to know about us Dodger fans is that we are all about tradition AND we are also all about being heard. Being at Yankee Stadium, definitely gave us the opportunity to take part in that long time tradition, whether we had permission to or not.
Normally, fans that visit opposing team stadiums are outnumbered and rarely have the ability to be heard or seen but that day was different. That day the bleachers were filled with a different shade of blue and all 1,300 of us sitting in left field together decided to try our luck at the roll call. We chanted out our first beloved players name, hoping for the slightest bit of acknowledgement from him. To our surprise, we were given that and so much more. One by one, we continued to chant each players name, not moving on until they too acknowledged us in some way, cheering and clapping like giddy children with every success. To onlookers, this might have seemed like we were mocking the tradition, but to us, that wasn’t the case. This was a unique and different way to let our team know that we were there for them and to let the rest of the stadium know that the Dodgers fans were in the house. By no means was our version of the roll call ill intentioned but merely a playful and well spirited attempt at connecting with our team.
It wasn’t long after the roll call that we unveiled our first flag. Normally this doesn’t happen so early in the game but we were all energized and super excited to be there. Having our team acknowledge our presence and knowing that they were hearing us made all the difference. As the flag raised above our heads, the cheering got louder, people reached up to support it and for a few brief seconds, we were lost in our own moment of shared happiness.
The Dodgers put on a great show for us. The more they scored, the louder we got and the louder we got, the more they scored. More flags were unveiled and the intensity of our enthusiasm soared throughout the stadium.
For a moment, I couldn’t help but think that our presence had something to do with their amazing performance. That maybe, just maybe, us being there helped them in some way. As a fan, you often wonder if you your attendance at a game matters and if the players appreciate that you are there for them. Well, if this game was any indication of that, the answer is yes! Our presence does matter, our support does help and we, the fans, are appreciated by our team.
The Dodgers ended the game victoriously with a score of 8-2. While the win was definitely a plus to our trip, it was a simple gesture by Dave Roberts that sealed the epic-ness of everything. His tip of the hat to us sent everyone into a frenzy. It was the last piece of greatness that we needed to end the game with a bang.
How does one celebrate a win in New York? Well, that’s simple. You tell everyone to meet you in Time Square for a Dodger blue takeover.
Out of every trip I have ever taken with Pantone 294, this is by far the best and for so many reasons I can’t put into words. Exploring New York, the yacht cruise at sunset, the stadium tour, the roll call, team acknowledgements, the win, and the amazing atmosphere of being surrounded by fans alike, will stay with me for a lifetime. The friendships I’ve made with people who were strangers to me just days ago and the memories that are instilled in my mind forever are things that I can not thank Pantone 294 enough for.
No amount of money can give you what I’ve gained in the past few days but it can buy you tickets to their next trip. When they say “it’s more than a ticket, it’s an experience!” they mean it!
In case you missed it, there were a lot of people who had a whole lot to say about out recent New York takeover. I have attached some quotes and links below for your further reading pleasure.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.
Stay tuned for more ultimate fan experiences.
“It was as energetic as I’ve ever seen…The energy picked us up.” – Dave Roberts (New York Times)
“Even the Red Sox, they don’t have maybe as big a following or aren’t as rowdy. It’s a little bit different, but I thought it was a good atmosphere…”- Brett Gardner (New York Times)