Monday, April 28, 2014

An Imperial Stadium

After enduring one journey to New York (to Flushing, Long Island) my dad and I ventured once more into the heart of darkness, but this time to the Bronx to see that most dastardly imperial of teams, the New York Yankees. (Previous games from this trip are Pirates, Nationals, Phillies, Mets.) Any thought I might have had about the previous day's experiences with New York City being atypical were quickly put to rest and I renewed my resolve to make this my last visit.

 Because of how the schedule worked out, we once again got to see the Giants, this time starting a series with the Yankees since they had concluded their series against the Mets the previous afternoon. This time around they most certainly did not outnumber the native fans, but they were there in abundance once again. There was a young couple in the seats in front of me and my dad who were visiting from San Francisco on vacation and decided to see a game at Yankee stadium since the Giants were there anyway.
Once again, we had seats in left field, but though we were lower we were farther back from the fence than at the Mets. This game turned out to be the night they honoured Ichiro for getting 4,000 hits in professional baseball; 1,278 in Japan and 2,722 in the US. I'm a big fan of his from his days playing in Seattle so even though he was on an enemy squad it was nice to see him honoured for his accomplishment. If he plays another year or two, he's got a pretty good shot at making it to 3,000 hits in the US alone, which, considering he didn't start here until he was 27, would be an especially remarkable achievement.
This game was also notable for another milestone, Alex "Pay-Roid" Rodriguez hit a grand slam to break the tie he had been in with Lou "Iron Horse" Gehrig for the most in a career. So that was pretty disappointing. It's tough to see one of the classiest players in the game be upstaged in any way by one of the players with very little class.

The stadium itself was enormous. It was incredibly impressive, very tall, very big, very imposing, but also very cold and impersonal feeling. This was the flip side of the experience in Pittsburgh where the park was small, friendly, welcoming, and joyful. This was big, cold, corporate, and impersonal. (And, if you're a Sox fan, before you start rejoicing, you might want to wait for the next installment where we visited storied Fenway.)
The Yankees won this 5-1 on the strength of the aforementioned grand slam and were only the second home team to pull out a victory on this road trip. Ah, well. Into each life some rain must fall.