I was not supposed to write about visiting the new Yankee Stadium, on my list of things-to-do-before-I-leave-New York City, until AFTER I attended this Sunday’s game. But two days ago, I was invited to stop by tonight to sip cocktails made with Tommy Bahama Rum at Tommy Bahama’s Bar at the new Yankee Stadium then take a private stadium tour. I didn’t let the fact that I already had tickets for an upcoming game and had a Mets’ game that afternoon stop me from saying yes. Complimentary cocktails (I write about cocktail trends and research is a must) and a private tour don’t come along often.
But by this afternoon I was tired and in desperate need of a nap after the Mets’ game and my Empire State Building visit. I figured the sugar from the cocktails would temporarily wake me up. I took the D train to 161st Street and, for the first time, went up the stairs that said “Exit. No transfer.” I never went to the old Yankee Stadium but for the past 11 months saw it when I changed trains at 161 Street or when I walked my dog north. Now it was time to go inside the spanking new ballpark that I had watched being built.
While I was dazzled by the Mets’ new Citi Field just hours before, I can’t say the same about the new Yankee Stadium. I found it too sterile and cold with all of the concrete and steel. But I did love Monument Park, where former Yankee greats such as Babe Ruth, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle are remembered. I love that the Yankees honored Jackie Robinson here since his number 42 is retired throughout baseball. There’s even a plaque to remember those whose lives were lost in 9/11. And there’s a pretty cool shrine that pays homage to Don Larsen’s perfect game, has trophies and other phenomenal memorabilia in it as well. From a historical standpoint, it’s fantastic. But there is no charm like at Citi Field.
I’m sure I’ll have a better take on Yankee Stadium once I go back on Sunday for the game against the (gulp) Los Angeles Angels. (What was wrong with calling them the California Angels???) Maybe the stadium will appear warmer with bodies in it. Still, visiting it with just a handful of people was pretty cool. And it made for a great ending to my trifecta countdown: the Empire State Building, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium all in one day.
Jackie Robinson is one of the many players honored in Monument Park
No one wins like the Yankees.