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Old Yankee Stadium Information


 

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Yankee Stadium
Bronx, New York 10451
1-718-579-4495
www.Yankees.com
To order Yankees Magazine call 1-800-GO-YANKS

FAN MAIL
The Yankees offer a free fan package, containing team schedules, information, pictures and stickers, to all their loyal fans. Fans interested in receiving a package should send a postcard to:

Yankees Fan Mail Department
Yankee Stadium
Bronx, NY 10451

Fans interested in writing to a specific player or fans seeking player autographs must solicit the players directly. The player must be on the current season's player roster. Fans should include a postage-paid, return-addressed envelope for easy handling. Please keep in mind that items sent are done so at your own risk. Players receive a tremendous amount of fan mail, and they cannot guarantee they will respond to everyone. When writing to the player, address the letter to:
Name of Player
Yankee Stadium
161st and River Avenue
Bronx, NY 10452

Yankee Ticket Office
1-718-293-6013
For Group Sales Call 1-718-293-6000
Stadium is located at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx.
Northbound exit - I-87 Exit 4 or Exit 5
Southbound exit - I-87 Exit 6

-There are 15 Yankee Parking lots that surround the stadium that in run by the Kinney Company.
-A Subway is located at the corner of 161st. and River Avenue
-Buses are available to and from the Stadium. Call NYC Transit Authority at 1-718-330-1234 for more information
-A Ferry is also available to and from the stadium. Call 1-800-53- FERRY for more information.

Yankee Stadium

 

Dimensions

Left Field - 318

Left Center - 399

Center - 408

Right Center - 385

Right Field - 314

 

*Note - The field dimensions of Yankee Stadium in 1923 were different than most people realize.  For the inaugural season, the RF line was 257' 6' and the LF line was 257' 1".  I have attached an image from a NYT article from 1924 Feb 3 that discusses the new field dimensions for the 1924 season.  For several reasons, before the 1924 season began, home plate was moved up about 10 feet, and the diamond was angled slightly more towards the right.  The corner just left of dead CF (behind the flag pole) was 498-500 feet from the plate, dead CF would have been about 472 feet, and the RCF corner would have been about 437 feet.   (Credit: Matt O'Connor - See New York Times Article from February 3, 1924 below)

Yankee Stadium Information

MONUMENT PARK:
Contains historic monuments and plaques to former Yankee greats such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Park is open from the time the gates open until 45 minutes prior to the game. Access the park via staircase at the end of the aisles between Field and Main Level Section 36. The park is closed between doubleheaders and during inclement weather.

GATE OPENING TIMES
All gates open 1 1/2 hours prior to game time Monday through Friday for night games. All gates open 2 hours prior to game time on Saturday and Sunday.

PEDESTRIAN MALL:
Formerly East 157th St., the Sidewalk Cafe, Advance Ticket Sales, Day of Game and Reservation windows can be found in the Mall area.

CUSTOMER SERVICE BOOTHS:
The Guest Services area is located on the Loge Level, Section 3. It is staffed with knowledgeable guest service representatives who will be able to assist you with questions and concerns. Additional information booths: Sections 2, 9 and 33, Field Level; Section 3, Main Level; Section 7, Loge Level; Section 4, Tier Level

AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINES:
Section 9 and Section 20, Field Level

FIRST AID / MEDICAL:
First Aid Stations are located on the Field Level, Section 2, Main Level, Section 15 and Main Level, Section 28. If medical assistance is needed, please notify the nearest Security Guard or go to the nearest First Aid Station.

ADVANCE TICKET WINDOW:
Section 9, Field Level

ELEVATORS / ESCALATORS
The Yankees provide a permanently stationed elevator operator in each Stadium elevator used by the general public. Wheelchair disabled guests may take the elevators at Field Level, Section 13, Main Level, Section 13 or Loge Level Section 12 to access all levels of Yankee Stadium. The elevator at Field Level, Section 13 does not provide access to the Club Level Suites, you must take the elevator located in the Yankees lobby at Field Level, Section 2.

There are also three escalator locations at Yankee Stadium. Refer to the map for locations.

EMERGENCY EVACUATIONS
Yankee Stadium personnel have been trained in evacuation procedures. Should an emergency evacuation situation occur, emergency information would be displayed on the scoreboard and announced on the public address system.

TDD PHONES
TDD phones are located on the Field Levels. Ask any Guest Relations host for additional information.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE PARKING
Wheelchair accessible parking is available at all 11 Kinney Parking Lots surrounding Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have designated 75 parking spaces, 96 inches wide and include access aisles for this purpose. Twenty of the 75 spaces are also accessible to high top fans. Only vehicles with state-issued disabled parking plates or permits are permitted in these areas.

BOTTLES AND CANS:
A New York City ordinance prohibits fans from bringing cans, bottles (glass or plastic), jugs, coolers or hard containers of any kind into the Stadium. This is a safety measure to protect fans as well as team and Stadium personnel. If these items are found to be in your possession prior to entering the Stadium, personnel will ask you to dispose of the item(s). Once you enter the Stadium, canned or bottled goods will be confiscated and disposed of and coolers, jugs, etc. will be checked at the gate to be picked up as you leave the Stadium.

BANNERS AND SIGNS:
The following rules apply to the display of these items:

  1. They may not be hung in fair territory or any part of the playing field or as to obstruct the view of fans or Stadium signage.

  2. They may only be held up in, or paraded through, the general seating area between innings.

  3. The use of weights of any kind to keep a banner or sign in place is strictly prohibited.

Note: If any banner or sign interferes with the sight line of the players, the umpires may request its removal.

MAIN GIFT SHOPS:
Sections 24 and 25, Field Level

NON ALCOHOL SECTIONS:
Sections 13 and 14, Tier Reserved

NO SMOKING:
There is no smoking anywhere within the confines of Yankee Stadium.

DESIGNATED DRIVER BOOTH:
In return for promising responsibility for the safe and sober transportation of their group from the Stadium, a registrant will receive coupons for free sodas during the game at which they enroll. Designated drivers must be 21 years of age and have a valid driver's license. Section 4, Field Level

HALL OF FAME SUITES:
Sections 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 25, 31, 32, 33 and 34, Loge Level

LUXURY SUITES:
Club Level

GREAT MOMENTS ROOM:
Club Level

STADIUM CLUB:
Section 12, Field Level

YANKEE CLUB:
Club Level

PINSTRIPE PUB:
Section 8, Field Level


A little history of the Stadium....

Asked to leave the Polo Grounds when his Yankees began outdrawing the Giants in 1920, owner Jacob Ruppert seized the opportunity to build what would become the most famous stadium in all of baseball, a triple-decked wonder called Yankee Stadium.

Erected on the site of a Bronx lumberyard just across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium was quickly dubbed "The House That Ruth Built" to honor the Yankee whose home runs were revolutionizing the game (and filling Ruppert's coffers). On April 18, 1923 Ruth's three-run home run led the Yankees to a 4-1 win over the Red Sox in the stadium's first game.

The grandstand was extended around the foul poles by 1928, with wooden bleachers surrounding the rest of the outfield, and the top of the stadium was ringed with a distinctive white fence facade.

Like the stadium, the playing field itself was quite remarkable. The left- and right-field corners were only 281' and 295' in 1923, but left sloped out dramatically to 460' while center was a near-impossible 490' away.

Deep left and center fields became known as Death Valley as many a right-handed slugger watched towering fly balls die there. Eventually, stone monuments to Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Miller Huggins were erected in deep left center, and although considered to be in the field of play they were rarely reached by batted balls.

Lights were added in 1946, and the stadium remained virtually unchanged until 1973, when it was closed completely for two years of renovations and modernization.

The stadium was reopened in 1976 with major structural improvements.

Bulky support poles for the upper decks had been eliminated, along with the corresponding obstructed-view seats, and escalators improved access to the upper decks.

The left- and center-field fences were drawn in considerably, but were still a hefty 430' and 417' respectively. The monuments were relocated to Monument Park behind the left-field fence, open to fans before and after games, and numerous plaques have been added to the original trio of Yankee greats.

The field remains natural grass. Recently under the direction of George Steinbrenner the left- and center-field fences have been brought even closer, reducing Death Valley to a relatively timid 399'. Yankee Stadium's still-spacious outfield favors pitchers, even though it has little foul territory and a close right-field corner that is extremely inviting to left-handed sluggers.

Naturally, Yankee Stadium has been the scene of many of baseball's greatest moments.

Babe Ruth belted his 60th home run here in 1927, and Roger Maris broke Ruth's single-season record with his 61st in 1961.

It has hosted far more World Series than any other park. Two especially memorable World Series events took place here: Don Larsen's perfect game Oct. 8, 1956; and, on Oct. 18, 1977, Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches to win the Series in Game Six.

Despite the presence of sluggers like Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, and Jackson, no Major League batter has ever hit a fair ball completely out of the stadium, although legend says Negro Leaguer Josh Gibson pulled a home run over the left-field roof in 1934.

 

More History !!

One word can describe Yankee Stadium, historical. Since its opening, Yankee Stadium has been home to more Hall of Famer’s, and more than two dozen World Championship teams, than any other stadium ever built. The New York Yankees then known as the New York Highlanders (1903-1912), began playing at 16,000 seat Hilltop Park in 1903. The team played at Hilltop Park until after the 1912 season, when the lease expired. The team

then accepted an invitation to play at Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants played. With the move to Polo Grounds, the Highlanders changed their name to the Yankees. However, the team only spent ten years at the Polo Grounds. With the Yankees’ Babe Ruth setting homerun records, and the Yankees drawing more fans than the Giants, the Giants served an eviction notice to the Yankees in 1921, that began after the 1922 season.

Immediately the Yankees’ owners began looking for land to build a new ballpark on. A 10 acre site, less than a mile from Polo Grounds in the Bronx was bought to build the stadium on. Designed by Osborn Engineering Company, originally, the plan was for a triple-decked stadium, with grandstands circling the field. But because the stadium seemed too foreboding, the original plans were scaled back. Instead, the ballpark became the first to have three tiers of seating consisting of 58,000 seats. Because of the size, the new ballpark became the first to be called a stadium. Construction of the stadium began on May 5, 1922. The stadium was built of mainly steel and concrete. The triple decked grandstand extended behind home plate and up the base lines. The lower deck continued until it met the wooden bleachers behind the outfield fence. A 15-foot copper facade was erected to adorn the stadium's third deck, which became one of the stadium's most recognized and grandest features.

The scoreboard was located beyond the bleachers, in right field. Completed in only 284 days, opening day came on April 18, 1923. The ballpark was given the name Yankee Stadium. Original dimensions at Yankee Stadium were 295 ft. (right), 490 ft. (center), and 281 ft. (left). Centerfield became known as "Death Valley" because of its distance from home plate.

It was only several years before any changes took place at Yankee Stadium. The triple decked grandstand was extended into left field in 1928, and the same extension was done in right field in 1937. Concrete bleachers replaced the wooden bleachers beyond the outfield fence. With the addition of the grandstands, the capacity of Yankee Stadium, grew to 80,000, but soon dropped to the 70,000’s. The first of many monuments and plaques was added in 1932, which became known as "Monument Park" in fair territory in dead center field, when a monument to former manager Miller Huggins was erected. Monuments of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and others were erected in years following 1932. Night baseball came to Yankee Stadium on May 28, 1946. A new scoreboard was installed in 1959. Other sports, such as boxing and football were played at Yankee Stadium until the early 1970's.

In the early 1970’s Yankee Stadium began showing its age. In 1971, Yankees owner Mike Burke, began talking about building a new stadium in New Jersey. But the mayor of New York City, John Lindsay announced that the city would buy and renovate Yankee Stadium. The city bought the stadium for $24 million in 1972. In the same year, George Steinbrenner bought the team. The Yankees played in Yankee Stadium for one more year, before drastic changes were made.

Renovations began immediately after the 1973 season. While Yankee Stadium was renovated, the Yankees played at Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets. Parts of Yankee Stadium were completely demolished. Jay Schwall of Invirex was in charge of the demolition of the stadium.  Many items from the demolition were reported to be seen in a Long Island warehouse in the early 1990's.  Changes to the stadium were made to eliminate posts and columns, which supported the upper deck. The copper facade atop the upper deck was removed, and replicated by a company called Unistress, that sat at the top of a new scoreboard, which runs from center field to right field. New 22 inch blue plastic seats replaced old 18 inch wooden green seats, thus reducing the capacity to 54,000. New luxury suites and concessions were added, along with the remodeling of the press box and restrooms. To eliminate climbs to the third level, escalators and elevators were added to parts of the exterior of the stadium. The exterior of Yankee Stadium was repainted, and a 138 foot tall replica of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat was placed near the entrance of the stadium. After two years of renovations Yankee Stadium was finally ready to reopen.

Yankee Stadium reopened on April 15, 1976. The stadium went from being known as "The House that Ruth Built" to "The House Steinbrenner Rebuilt". The thing which most people noticed, was that the monuments in centerfield were no longer there. They had been moved to "Monument Park" behind the centerfield wall. Since the late 1970's very few changes have taken place at Yankee Stadium. The stadium still remains the home to many great ballplayers, and an excellent place to see a game. Since its opening in 1923, Yankee Stadium has been home to 26 World Championship teams. In December of 2001, the Yankees and the City of New York tentatively agreed to build a new retractable roof stadium, adjacent to Yankee Stadium. If built the stadium would open in 2007.


The Famous Frieze - Facade - (Thanks to Paul Doherty for much of this information)


Regarding the original facade, it was copper.  It developed a patina (discoloring and erosion of sorts) and was painted white in the mid-1960's.  The Stadium was painted white/blue between Jan-March 1967 as part of a CBS designed “spruce up” of the original Stadium—CBS painted the seats the dark blue and the outfield fences black and the façade white. They redesigned the letters and numbers used on the seats, fences and other locales; painted the interior and exterior new colors (unfortunately they also painted the duo eagle emblems at the tops of each the gates entirely white thereby losing the unique multi-colored emblems of the original) and they completely replaced all of the wooden bleacher seats w/fiberglass ones. Additionally a new sound system was installed by noted acoustician Paul Veneklassen (this was the shorter flagpole like column in centerfield…the first of its kind). A Hammond organ replaced the Lowrey organ installed in 1965 as well…and Eddie Layton replaced Toby Wright for the first time; the next time was 1978). 

Although copper, the Osborn company called it Toncan metal.  That would suggest a copper-iron alloy. I believe this was written in the blue prints in 1922.  According to John Pastier, an architect and expert on stadiums, "The shape of it came from nowhere."  "It was quite original.  It's not like they copied a classical design." (NY Times)

The new frieze is steel coated with zinc to protect it from rust and it has two layers of white paint. The new one is 38 panels, all 11 feet deep, 12 feet high, and most of them 40 feet long.  The new frieze weighs in at 315 tons, including the columns between each panel. A mock up of each section was built in Long Island City before being transported to Quebec where it was painted at the Canam Group's plant.  Each panel was shipped separately and place one by one, starting in right field.

It was told the original frieze was sold as scrap to a guy in Albany who took all the frieze(facade). 
This was confirmed by Paul in a 1992 interview he conducted with Jay Schwall. Invirex kept the proceeds of the sale per their contract w/NYC. And that contract was all about tempus fugit. Between their time binds and the nascent memorabilia market of 1973 no wonder nothing made it out save for what little Jay saved and Bert Sugar grabbed…

The replica concrete version was smaller than the original 15 foot deep frieze.

It was Cary Grant that suggested to George Steinbrenner to add the outfield frieze(NY Times).  But Marty Appel said it was Michael Burke who was very upset that no frieze was included in the plans.  The new upper deck could not accommodate it, so it had to go into the outfield.  According to Marty, "The design was in place by the time George bought the team". 
Paul pointed out the following: The architects at Prager-K-W seemed to have an aesthetic and cultural aversion to replacing the façade and the larger grandstand roof. I believe the technology existed to replace it brand new and without vision impairing posts, but whether the technology existed or not there was a genuine modernist-driven “we-don’t-do-that-anymore-who would-want-it” attitude about these fancy and old-fashioned frills (hence these brutalist-inspired boobs designing so many plain Jane, butt-ugly, modernist, cement bowl, multi-use ballparks during this time that were deservedly blown to smithereens post 1994). It is true that Burke is ENTIRELY responsible for insisting the façade be replicated and placed atop the bleacher walls (although it’s wonderful that this feature was replicated, it’s unfortunate it was placed there because it ruined the subway platform views of the playing field and in effect the neighborhood connection to the Stadium that had existed prior to the panels’ installation in 1975).

According to one book, "
They also removed the famous frieze that lined the roof of the upper deck and put it into storage to be possibly used again when the stadium re-opened. It was promptly lost and never seen again. The theory was, it was stolen out of storage and sold for scrap metal."  I totally think this is false.  Evidence shows the facade was DESTROYED as it was being taken down.  I have never seen a photo or evidence of them placing the facade in storage for later use. It is pretty clear that no care was taken of the facade as it was being torn down as evidence of the photos below.  (Credit: Paul Doherty)  Paul added: "This is entirely true. I have photo evidence of the original façade being somewhat crushed flat to fit onto flatbed trucks to transport it to Albany during Oct-Nov 1973."



Nothing beat the great shadows the frieze cast on the field in the old stadium!

Paul also added the following: "Extra added feature: The genuine beginning of the end for the original 1923/1928/1937/1946 Stadium occurred during the winter/early spring of 1962. At that time the equally beautiful (and truly as architecturally unique as the façade) ornamental lattice work that covered the steel and other structural elements of the Stadium’s main grandstands at the end of right and left fields was removed for what I’ve been told were fire-proofing reasons (I was also told this latticework was made of wood w/a metal covering; hence the fire issue). The latticework continued all the way down the far left and right field posts to the floor of the lower grandstand (the lattice was stripped from these posts too leaving the steel beams exposed like the others throughout the grandstand). The Stadium was never quite it’s perfect self after this. Practically no article or book has discussed this “rape” of the original Stadium. Eleven and a half years later all the other unique features were gone too as we know too well."

Back in the 1960's, many Yankees players stayed at the Stadium Motor Lodge.  Players who did not live in New York or near the stadium would stay here during the season.  The lodge was just a short walk to Yankee Stadium.  It still stands today but is used as a homeless shelter for men.


Yankee Stadium Attendance Records

REMODELED STADIUM, REGULAR SEASON

ALL-TIME STADIUM RECORDS

TOP 20 CROWDS AT NEW YANKEE STADIUM

TOP 20 REGULAR-SEASON CROWDS AT NEW YANKEE STADIUM


Yankee Stadium Facts

YANKEE HOME BALLPARKS
1903-1912   Hilltop Park, 168th St. & Broadway, Manhattan
1913-1922   Polo Grounds, 155th St. & 8th Ave., Manhattan
1923-1973   Yankee Stadium, 161st St. & River Ave., Bronx
1974-1975   Shea Stadium, 126th St. & Roosevelt Ave., Flushing
1976-             Yankee Stadium, 161st St. & River Ave., Bronx

YANKEE STADIUM GROUND RULES
Foul poles are outside the playing field. Any batted ball hitting a foul pole above the fence line is a home run. Bat racks are within the dugout.

Any thrown ball hitting dugout railing or foundation and rebounding on field is in play. Any ball going into dugout or hitting other parts of dugout is out of play.

NEW YANKEE STADIUM DIMENSIONS (1988-  )
Left field foul pole: 318 ft.
Right-center field: 385 ft.
Left-center field: 399 ft.
Right field foul pole: 314 ft.
Center field: 408 ft.

The height of the outfield fence is 7'5" in left field, 7'3" from left-center field to right-center field, and 9' in right field.

The distance between the left-center field fence and the front wall of both bullpens is 30 feet.

The distance between the right-center field fence and the front wall of the right field bleachers ranges from 3 feet (the center field end of the bleachers) to 12 feet (the right field end of the bleachers).

NEW YANKEE STADIUM DIMENSIONS (1985-1987)
Left field foul pole: 312 ft.
Right-center field: 385 ft.
Left field: 379 ft.
Right field: 353 ft.
Left-center field: 411 ft.
Right field foul pole: 310 ft.
Center field: 410 ft.

NEW YANKEE STADIUM DIMENSIONS (1976-1984)
Left field foul pole: 312 ft.
Right-center field: 385 ft.
Left field: 387 ft.
Right field: 353 ft.
Left-center field: 430 ft.
Right field foul pole: 310 ft.
Center field: 417 ft.

OLD YANKEE STADIUM DIMENSIONS
Left field foul pole: 281 ft. (1923-27), 301 ft. (1928-73)
Left field: 395 ft. (1923-27), 402 ft. (1928-73)
Left-center field: 460 ft. (1923-36), 457 ft. (1937-73)
Center field: 490 ft. (1923-36), 461 ft. (1937-66), 463 ft. (1967-73)
Right-center field: 429 ft. (1923-36), 407 ft. (1937-73)
Right field: 370 ft. (1923-36), 344 ft. (1937-73)
Right-field foul pole: 295. ft (1923-38), 296 (1939-73)

FIRSTS
Game: April 18, 1923 (4-1 win over Boston Red Sox)
Ceremonial First Pitch: NY Governor Al Smith
Pitch: Bob Shawkey (ball)
Victory: April 18, 1923 (4-1 over Boston)
Loss: April 22, 1923 (4-3 to Washington)
Batter: Boston's Chick Fewster (grounded to short)
Yankee Batter: Whitey Witt
Hit: Boston's George Burns (April 18, 2nd-inning single)
Yankee Hit: Aaron Ward (April 18, 3rd-inning single)
Run: Bob Shawkey (April 18, on Joe Dugan's single in 3rd)
Home Run: Babe Ruth (April 18, three-run homer in 3rd)
Error: Babe Ruth (April 18, dropped fly ball in 5th)

LASTS (original Stadium)
Game: September 30, 1973 (8-5 loss to Detroit Tigers)
Attendance: 32,969
Batter: Mike Hegan (flied out to CF)
Home Run: Yankees' Duke Sims (September 30 off Detroit's Fred Holdsworth)
Pitch: Detroit's John Hiller
Victory: September 29, 1973 (3-0 over Detroit Tigers)
NYY Winning Pitcher: Doc Medich (September 29, 3-0 CG over Detroit)



More Information !!

Bronx, New York

Tenant: New York Yankees (AL)
Opened: April 18, 1923
Closed: September 30, 1973
Reopened: April 15, 1976
First night game: May 28, 1946
Surface: Merion Bluegrass

Architect: Osborn Engineering (1923); Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury (1976)
Construction: White Construction Company (1923).
Owner: New York Yankees (1923-1971); City of New York (since 1971)
Cost: $2.5 million (1923); renovation: $48 million, but some estimate the actual cost with debt service at over $160 million (1976).

Capacity: 58,000 (1923); 62,000 (1926); 82,000 (1927); 67,113 (1928); 62,000 (1929); 71,699 (1937); 70,000 (1942);67,000 (1948); 67,205 (1958); 67,337 (1961); 67,000 (1965); 65,010 (1971); 54,028 (1976); 57,145 (1977); 57,545 (1980).

Location: Left field (NE), East 161st Street; third base (NW), Doughly Street, later Ruppert Place; home plate (W), Major Degan Expressway/Interstate 87 and Harlem River; first base (SW), East 157th Street; right field (SE), River Avenue and IRT elevated tracks; in the southwest Bronx.

Dimensions: Left field: 280.58 (1923), 301 (1928), 312 (1976), 318 (1988); left side of bullpen gate in short left-center: 395 (1923), 402 (1928), 387 (1976), 379 (1985); right side of bullpen gate: 415 (1937); deepest left-center: 500 (1923), 490 (1924), 457 (1937), 430 (1976), 411 (1985), 399 (1988); left side of center-field screen: 466 (1937); center field: 487 (1923), 461 (1937), 463 (1967), 417 (1976), 410 (1985), 408 (1988); deepest right-center: 429 (1923), 407 (1937), 385 (1976); left side of bullpen gate in short right-center: 350 (1923), 367 (1937), 353 (1976); right side of bullpen gate: 344 (1937); right field 294.75 (1923), 295 (1930), 296 (1939), 310 (1976), 314 (1988); backstop: 82 (1942), 80 (1953), 84 (1976); foul territory: large for the catcher behind home plate, but small for fielders down the foul lines.

Fences: Left-field foul line: 3.92 (3 wire above .92 concrete, 1923), 8 (canvas, 1976); left-center, left of visitors’ bullpen: 3.58 (3 wire above .58 concrete); right of visitors’ bullpen: 7.83 (3 wire above 4.83 concrete), 7 (canvas, 1976); center field, left screen when up for hitters’ background: 20 (1953), 22.25 (1959), 22.42 (1954); screen when down: 13.83, (canvas, 1976); right-center, right of screen: 14.5 (3 wire above 11.5 concrete, 1923); left of home bullpen: 7.83 (3 wire above 4.83 concrete, 1923); right of home bullpen: 3.58 (3 wire above .58 concrete, 1923), 8 (canvas, 1976), 9 (canvas, 1979); right field foul line: 3.75 (3 wire above .75 concrete, 1923), 10 (canvas, 1976).

Trivia:

 

Yankee Stadium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yankee stadium

"The House That Ruth Built"
"The Big Ballpark in the Bronx"
"The Stadium"

Location

E. 161st Street and River Avenue
Bronx, New York 10451

Coordinates

40°49′37″N 73°55′41″W / 40.82694, -73.92806

Opened

April 18, 1923
reopened April 1976

Closed

1974-1975 (renovations)

Owner

City of New York

Operator

New York Yankees

Surface

Grass

Construction cost

$2.5 million (1923)
$167 million (1976)

Architect

Osborne Engineering Corp. (1923); Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury (1976)

Tenants

New York Yankees (MLB) (1923-1973, 1976-present)
New York Yankees (NFL) (1926-1928)
New York Yankees (AAFC) (1946-1949)
New York Yanks (NFL) (1950-1951)
New York Giants (NFL) (1956-1973)
New York Generals (USA/NASL) (1967-1968)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (1971,1976)
Gotham Bowl (NCAA) (1962)

Capacity

58,000 (1923) • 62,000 (1926) • 82,000 (1927)
67,113 (1928) • 62,000 (1929) • 71,699 (1937)
70,000 (1942) • 67,000 (1948) • 67,205 (1958)
67,337 (1961) • 67,000 (1965) • 65,010 (1971)
54,028 (1976) • 57,145 (1977) • 57,545 (1980)

Field Dimensions

Left Field - 318 ft (96.9 m)
Left-Center - 399 ft (121.6 m)
Center Field - 408 ft (124.3 m)
Right-Center - 385 ft (117.3 m)
Right Field - 314 ft (95.7 m)

Yankee Stadium is a baseball stadium in New York City that is the home of the New York Yankees, a Major League baseball team. Located at East 161st Street and River Avenue in The Bronx, it has hosted Yankees home games since 1923 and has a capacity of 57,545. It was formerly the home of the New York Giants football team, and once hosted dozens of boxing's most famous fights.

Yankee Stadium is one of the most famous sports venues in the United States, due to its primary occupants having won more World Series championships than any other team. Its nickname, "The House that Ruth Built", comes from the iconic Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the beginning of the Yankees' winning history.

In 2006, the Yankees began construction on a new $1.3 billion stadium in public parkland adjacent to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are expecting to open the 2009 season in their new home. Once the new stadium opens, most of the old stadium, including all of the above ground structure, is to be demolished to become parkland.[1]

History and Design

Upon its opening, Yankee Stadium soon came to be known as "The House that Ruth Built", a play on the nursery rhyme "The House that Jack Built", and in reference to the Yankees' star player, Babe Ruth. Ruth's power as a drawing card had enabled the Yankees to build their own stadium in the Bronx after their rivals across the Harlem River, the New York Giants, were threatening to evict them. In the first game at Yankee Stadium, April 18, 1923, Ruth hit the first home run at the Stadium, a three-run shot to help defeat his former team, the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. Boston Red Sox first baseman George Burns got the first hit ever in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees also won their first World Series during the Stadium's inaugural season, a rare coincidence that would not occur again until the St. Louis Cardinals did it in 2006.

When Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston and Jacob Ruppert, the team's owners since January 1915, footed the bill for construction of a $2.5 million stadium, they did so at considerable financial risk and speculation. Baseball teams typically played in 30,000-seat facilities. Huston and Ruppert invoked Ruth's name when asked how the Yankees could justify a ballpark with 60,000 seats. Many people felt three baseball teams could not prosper in New York City, but Huston and Ruppert were confident the Yankees could outlast the more established Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants of the National League. (This doubt was amplified by baseball's sagging popularity after the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, in which eight Chicago White Sox players were expelled for conspiring with gamblers to fix that year's World Series.)

Huston and Ruppert were undeterred, and they also had little choice but to relocate. In 1920, Ruth's first with his new team, the Yankees drew 1.3 million fans to the Polo Grounds--outdrawing the Giants. In 1921, the Yankees won their first American League pennant (they lost to the Giants in the World Series). This exacerbated Giants owner Charles Stoneham's resentment of the Yankees and precipitated his insistence that the Yankees find another place to play their home games. The Giants derisively suggested that the Yankees relocate "to Queens or some other out-of-the-way place."

Huston and Ruppert explored many areas for Yankee Stadium. Of the other sites being considered, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, at Amsterdam Avenue and 137th Street in Manhattan, nearly became reality. Consideration was also given to building atop railroad tracks in Manhattan (an idea revived in 1998) and to Long Island City, in Queens.

The area Huston and Ruppert settled on was a 10-acre lumberyard within walking distance from, and in sight of, Coogan's Bluff. The Polo Grounds was located on the Manhattan side of the Harlem River, at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue. Huston and Ruppert purchased the site from William Waldorf Astor for $600,000. Construction began May 5, 1922, and Yankee Stadium opened to the public less than 11 months later. When it did, Fred Lieb of the New York Evening Telegram dubbed it "The House That Ruth Built". (Critics of its cozy right field dimensions would sometimes call it "The House They Built for Ruth", although Ruth also lost many homers to the cavernous left and center field area.) New York Governor Alfred E. Smith (who would become the Democratic Party's candidate for president in 1928) threw out the first pitch. John Philip Sousa led one of his famed marching bands. In 1962 a Rice University Alum John Cox '27 gave Yankee Stadium to Rice University. In 1971 the city of New York forced (via eminent domain) Rice to sell the stadium for a mere $2.5 million. During the period in which Rice owned the stadium, the stadium was painted blue and white.

As originally built, the stadium seated 58,000. For the stadium's first game, the announced attendance was 74,217 (with another 25,000 turned away); however, Yankees business manager Ed Barrow later admitted that this number was likely heavily overestimated. Regardless of what the figure was, it was undoubtedly more than the 42,000 fans who attended game five of the 1916 World Series at Braves Field, baseball's previous attendance record. However, during the 1920s and 1930s, the Yankees' popularity was such that crowds in excess of 80,000 were not uncommon. It was referred to as "The Yankee Stadium" (with the "s" in "stadium" sometimes lowercase) until the 1950s.

The Stadium as it looked during 1928-1936

The Stadium as it looked during 1928-1936

Yankee Stadium was the first three-tiered sports facility in the United States and one of the first baseball parks to be given the lasting title of stadium. Baseball teams typically played in a park or a field. The word stadium deliberately evoked ancient Greece, where a stadium was unit of measure--the length of a footrace; the buildings that housed footraces were called stadiums. Yankee Stadium was one of the first to be deliberately designed as a multi-purpose facility. The field was initially surrounded by a (misshapen) quarter-mile running track, which effectively also served as a warning track for outfielders, a feature now standard on all major league fields. The left and right field bleacher sections were laid out at right angles to each other, and to the third base stands, to be properly positioned for both track-and-field events and football. The large electronic scoreboard in right-center field, featuring both teams' lineups and scores of other baseball games, was the first of its kind.

As Yankee Stadium owed its creation largely to Ruth, its design partially accommodated the game's left-handed-hitting slugger. Initially the fence was 295 feet from home plate down the right-field line and 350 feet to near right field, compared with 490 feet to the deepest part of center field, nicknamed Death Valley. Because bleacher fans in left-center field were considerably farther away from home plate (460 feet) compared with the right-field bleachers, those who sat in the former were considered "out in left field", another phrase that originated at Yankee Stadium. The right-field bleachers were appropriately nicknamed Ruthville. Through the 2007 season, Yankee Stadium has hosted 37 World Series, far more than any other baseball stadium. The Stadium has also hosted the major-league All-Star Game three times: 1939, 1960, and 1977. As part of its curtain call, Yankee Stadium is scheduled to host the 2008 All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium underwent major renovations from 1936 through 1938. The wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete bleachers, shrinking the "death valley" area of left and center substantially, although the area was still much deeper than in most ballparks; and the second and third decks were extended to short right center. Gradually, all of the outfield bench seats were replaced with chair seats in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1966-67 offseason, the stadium's green exterior was painted white, and the interior was also repainted.

 1974-75 Renovation/"Yankee Stadium II"

  The stadium interior. The Yankees made extensive changes during the 1974-1975 renovations of the Stadium, including the moving back of the infamous "Pennant Porch" to a more modest distance of 314ft.

The Yankees made extensive changes during the 1974-1975 renovations of the Stadium, including the moving back of the infamous "Pennant Porch" to a more modest distance of 314ft.

By the late 1960s, Yankee Stadium's condition had badly deteriorated, and the surrounding neighborhood had gone downhill as well. In 1971, CBS, which owned the Yankees at the time, proposed extensive renovations to Yankee Stadium. However, this would require the Yankees to play their home games at Shea Stadium in Queens, the regular home of the New York Mets. The Mets, as Shea's primary tenants, refused to sign off on letting the Yankees play there as well--effectively delaying the renovations. CBS then gave serious thought to building a stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands before selling the Yankees to George Steinbrenner in 1972.

Finally, in mid-1972, Mayor John Lindsay stepped in and announced the city would buy Yankee Stadium for $24 million (by comparison, it cost $2.4 million to build in 1923, not adjusting for inflation) and lease it back to the Yankees. Since the city owned Shea Stadium as well, the Mets had little choice but to agree. Yankee Stadium closed on September 30, 1973 for the two-year facelift; the Yankees played the 1974 and 1975 seasons in Shea Stadium.

Since a significant portion of the stadium was demolished and rebuilt, some consider the rebuilt Yankee Stadium a different facility from the pre-renovation stadium. For example, the ESPN Sports Almanac considers the renovated stadium to be "Yankee Stadium II," and the pre-renovated facility to be "Yankee Stadium I". Textbooks on the subject, such as Green Cathedrals, make no such distinction, since much of the original structure was retained and re-used, in contrast to the total demolition of facilities such as Cleveland Stadium or Wembley Stadium, whose in-place replacements were totally new structures. The most noticeable difference resulting from the renovation was the removal of the 118 columns that reinforced each tier of the Stadium's grandstand. The Stadium's roof, including the distinctive, 15-foot copper frieze that circled its interior, was replaced by the new upper shell; new lights were also added. A white replica of this frieze was built at the top the wall behind the bleachers. The playing field was lowered by about seven feet and moved forward slightly.

Yankee Stadium installed the first instant-replay display in baseball. All seats in the old stadium were replaced with wider, more modern plastic seats, and the upper deck was expanded upward by approximately nine rows, as modern building techniques allowed them to do so. There appears to be an extra guardrail in the upper seating of the modern stadium where the original runways to the upper level concourse once ran.

A new upper concourse was built above where the old concourse existed and the old exits were closed in by new seating. The old, closed-in upper-deck concourse still exists to this day and is used by stadium employees for transport. A new "loge/ middle-tier" section was also built for the new stadium with far fewer seats to create a larger press box and 16 luxury boxes. About half of the bleachers seats were eliminated; the middle portion was converted to what is today called "the black," a dark, unused area that serves as the batter's eye. A wall was built behind the bleachers, preventing strap-hangers from watching the game perched on the elevated subway platform above River Avenue. All told, the Stadium was reduced to a listed capacity of 57,545.

The Stadium's dimensions were narrowed, leaving the monuments and plaques that today comprise Monument Park behind an inner fence (they had been in fair territory). Also, deep center was significantly reduced to a distance more consistent with modern parks.

Several new restrooms were added throughout the stadium, along with three elevators. The southern border of the Stadium, 157th Street, was closed to cars and became part of the Stadium's property. The city also seized property on the southern side of this street for a four-story parking garage (about 2,300 parking spaces) to suit the increasingly suburban crowd who the Yankees were hoping to attract. No money was spent to help the residents and business owners of the neighborhood, fueling the sometimes uneasy relationship between the Yankees and their neighbors.

The cost of the 1970s renovations, $160 million, was originally borne by New York City and is now being paid off by New York State. At the time, many referred to Yankee Stadium as the House That Lindsay Rebuilt, because the costly renovations were approved by New York City's Board of Estimate, based on the insistence of Mayor John Lindsay. Lindsay had orchestrated the city's purchase of Yankee Stadium from Rice University (the university in Houston, Texas owned the stadium thanks to a bequeathment from John William Cox '27) and the nine-acre parcel of property the Stadium occupies from the Knights of Columbus, also the recipients of a gift by Cox.

The Stadium reopened on April 11, 1976. More than 54,000 fans saw the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 11-4, and the "new Stadium" hosted its first playoff and World Series games that October.

In the 1980s, the fence was moved in on the left field side, allowing for the retired numbers row that currently exists as a lead-in to Monument Park.

 Boxing at Yankee Stadium

When Yankee Stadium opened in 1923, the Polo Grounds continued to host boxing matches. But Yankee Stadium soon encroached on that territory. Benny Leonard retained the lightweight championship in a 15-round decision over Lou Tendler on July 24, 1923, in front of more than 58,000 fans. It was the first of 30 championship bouts to be held at the Stadium. (This excludes dozens of nontitle fights.) The boxing ring was placed over second base; a 15-foot vault contained electrical, telegraph, and telephone connections. In July 1927, the aging former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey came from behind to defeat heavily favored Jack Sharkey by delivering several questionable punches that were deemed illegal. Sharkey had similarly bad luck in a July 1930 heavyweight championship bout at Yankee Stadium, when his knockout punch to Max Schmeling was ruled illegal; Schmeling won by default. In July 1928, Gene Tunney upheld the heavyweight title against Tom Heeney at Yankee Stadium, and then retired as champion.

Perhaps the most famous boxing match ever was held at Yankee Stadium on June 22, 1938, when Joe Louis, a black American, squared off against Schmeling, a German. With the Nazi Party on the verge of taking over much of Europe, Adolf Hitler followed the rematch carefully, imploring Schmeling to defeat Louis, whom Hitler publicly berated. This left some with a moral predicament: root for the black fighter or for the Nazi. Schmeling had defeated Louis in 1936, but in defense of his title Louis knocked out Schmeling in the first round. This was one of eight championship fights the "Brown Bomber" fought at Yankee Stadium.

On July 1, 1939, Max Baer defeated Lou Nova at Yankee Stadium, in the first televised boxing match in the United States. The event was broadcast by television station W2XBS, forerunner of WNBC-TV. (The World Series was not televised until 1947.) On September 27, 1946, Tony Zale knocked out New York native Rocky Graziano for the middleweight crown; it was the first of three bouts between Zale and Graziano.

On June 25, 1952, middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson sought his third title against light-heavyweight champ Joey Maxim at Yankee Stadium. More than 47,000 saw Robinson outfight Maxim but lose due to heat exhaustion in round 14 (due to the 104-degree weather). The referee who declared Maxim the winner was the second that night; the first had left the fight due to heat exhaustion.

After its 1970s renovation, Yankee Stadium hosted only one championship fight. On September 28, 1976, a declining Muhammed Ali defended his heavyweight crown against Ken Norton. To that point, Norton was one of only two boxers who had beaten Ali (in 1973); this was their third and final meeting. Norton led for most of the fight, but Ali improved in the later rounds to win by unanimous decision.

 College Football at Yankee Stadium

When an ill Ruth could not lead the Yankees to the World Series in 1925, college football took center stage at Yankee Stadium that fall. The fiercely competitive Notre Dame-Army game moved to Yankee Stadium, where it remained until 1947. In the 1928 game, with the score 0-0 at halftime, legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne gave his "win one for the Gipper" speech (with reference to All-American halfback George Gipp, who died in 1920); Notre Dame went on to defeat Army, 12-6. The 1929 game between the two teams had the highest attendance in the series at 79,408.[2] The 1946 Army vs. Notre Dame football game at Yankee stadium is regarded as one of the 20th century college football Games of the Century.[3]

Notre Dame played 24 games at Yankee Stadium, going 15-6-3. Army played 38, compiling a 17-17-4 record. New York University played more games there than any other school, 96, using it as a secondary home field from 1923 to 1948, with a record of 52-40-4. Nearby Fordham University played 19 games there, going 13-5-1.

Eight college football games were played at Yankee Stadium on Thanksgiving Day, the first seven by New York University. NYU beat Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1931 and 1932, defeated Fordham in 1936, lost to Oregon State in 1928, lost to Carnegie Tech in 1929, and lost to Fordham in 1934 and 1935. In the eighth game, in 1963, Syracuse University beat Notre Dame, 14-7. This was a rematch following the teams' controversial 1961 game won by Notre Dame, 17-15.

The Gotham Bowl was scheduled to premiere at Yankee Stadium in 1960, but was canceled when no opponent could be found for Oregon State University. The 1961 game was moved to the Polo Grounds, and when just 6,166 people came to Yankee Stadium for the 1962 game, in which the University of Nebraska defeated the University of Miami, 36-24, the Gotham Bowl was never played again.

Starting in 1971, the Stadium hosted the Whitney M. Young Urban League Classic, a game between historically black colleges, often featuring Grambling State University of Louisiana, coached by Eddie Robinson, the first college coach to win 400 games. The Classic helped to spread the fame of Grambling and other similar schools. Yankee Stadium hosted its final Classic during the 1987 season, also the last time a football game was played there. Grambling lost to Central State University of Ohio, 37-21.[4]

The Classic has been held at Giants Stadium in New Jersey's Meadowlands Sports Complex ever since, though the Yankees remain a supporter of the event.

Professional football at Yankee Stadium

In 1926, after negotiations failed with the fledgling NFL and the Chicago Bears, Red Grange and his agent C.C. Pyle formed the first American Football League and fielded a team called the New York Yankees based in Yankee Stadium. The league failed after only one year.

The New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference played their home games at Yankee Stadium from 1946 to 1949.

The New York Giants of the National Football League played their home games at Yankee Stadium from 1956 to 1973. On December 28, 1958, Yankee Stadium hosted the National Football League championship game, frequently called "The Greatest Game Ever Played." The Baltimore Colts tied the Giants, 17-17, on a field goal with seven seconds left. Led by quarterback Johnny Unitas, the Colts won in overtime, 23-17. The game's dramatic ending is often cited as elevating football to one of the United States' major sports.

Soccer at Yankee Stadium

In 1971 and 1976, the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the latter year, the team's star attraction was Pele. The Brazil native, known as "The King of Football," was considered the best player in the world. Bringing Pele to the United States was a move intended to increase the popularity of soccer in America, the same reason the high-profile player David Beckham was brought to the USA 30 years after that initial effort.

 All-Star Games at Yankee Stadium

On July 11, 1939, Major League Baseball held its seventh All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, in concert with the World's Fair being held at Flushing-Meadows in Queens. Yankees manager Joe McCarthy loaded his American League team with pinstripes: Bill Dickey (catcher), Joe DiMaggio (outfield), Joe Gordon (second base), Red Rolfe (third base), George Selkirk (outfield), and Red Ruffing (pitcher) were all in the starting lineup. Reserve players included Frankie Crosetti (shortstop), Lou Gehrig (first base), Lefty Gomez (pitcher), and Johnny Murphy (pitcher). The American League won, 3-1, behind a home run by DiMaggio, in front of more than 62,000. This was the second All-Star Game held in New York; the Polo Grounds hosted the event in 1934.

From 1959 to 1962, Major League Baseball held two All-Star Games. On July 13, 1960, Yankee Stadium hosted baseball's second All-Star Game in three days. The National League won both games. In the latter game, Whitey Ford was the starting pitcher. Yogi Berra (catcher), Mickey Mantle (outfield), Roger Maris (outfield), and Bill Skowron (first base) were in the starting lineup; Jim Coates (pitcher) and Elston Howard (catcher) were reserves. The National League won the Yankee Stadium game, 6-0, tying a record with four home runs, including one by hometown favorite Willie Mays. The 38,000 fans who attended the game saw Ted Williams in his final All-Star appearance.

Showcasing its new renovation, Yankee Stadium hosted the All-Star Game on July 19, 1977. With the Yankees defending their 1976 pennant, Billy Martin managed the American League team on his home field. The National League won its sixth consecutive All-Star Game, 7-5, in front of more than 56,000 fans; the senior circuit's streak would reach 11. Reggie Jackson (outfield) and Willie Randolph (second base) started for the American League; Sparky Lyle (pitcher), Thurman Munson (catcher), and Graig Nettles (third base) also made the team. Jim Palmer was the game's starting pitcher because Nolan Ryan refused to play when Martin asked him.

Yankee Stadium is scheduled to host its final All-Star Game in 2008 in honor of its last year before the club moves to New Yankee Stadium.

Other events at Yankee Stadium

Beginning in 1950, the stadium began holding religious conventions of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The first convention attracted 123,707 people, more in a single day than any other stadium event up to that time.[5] These conventions would continue on until the late 1980s. When room ran out in the stands, the ladies were asked to remove their heels, and people were brought in to sit in the outfield. There was also a makeshift camp nearby where the program was broadcast for hundreds others to listen to.

Francis Cardinal Spellman (1957), Pope Paul VI (1965), and Pope John Paul II (1969 as a cardinal, 1979 as pope) all celebrated Mass at the ballpark. Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to make a trip to the United States in April 2008, as part of his agenda, he plans to say mass at the Stadium, making him the third Pope to do so. On June 21, 1990, a rally was held at Yankee Stadium for Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison following the end of apartheid in South Africa. On September 23, 2001, Yankee Stadium hosted a memorial service for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

The first concert ever held there was an ensemble R&B show on June 21, 1969, put together by the Isley Brothers; the first rock concert held at the stadium was on June 22, 1990, by Billy Joel. It was also the site of two dates of U2's ZOO TV tour in 1992. During one song, Bono paid tribute to the show's setting with the line "I dreamed I saw Joe DiMaggio/Dancing with Marilyn Monroe...". Pink Floyd also performed two sold-out shows at this venue on their 1994 tour in support of The Division Bell album.

National Hockey League (NHL) executives had inquired about the possibility of using the field for a Heritage Classic type event with a New York Islanders vs New York Rangers ice hockey match during the 2006-07 NHL season. A similar event took place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in which the Edmonton Oilers played against the Montreal Canadiens.[6] Such a game did not take place during the 2006-07 season, and while again considered for 2007-08, it seemed to fall by the wayside as the league began looking to other markets, perhaps to boost ratings or ensure cold weather. Based on the initial rumors, such a game would likely have been played on New Year's Day and serve as the kickoff for NBC's NHL coverage for that season.

On March 10, 2006, Yankee Stadium saw its first and only wedding at home plate. Blind sportswriter Ed Lucas, who has been a member of the Yankee family for over 40 years, got special permission from the Yankees, the City of New York, and Major League Baseball to exchange vows with his fiancée, Allison Pfieffle, on the same spot where Lou Gehrig made his famous farewell speech, among the many notable events. Over 400 people, including present and former members of the Yankee family were in attendance to see the happy couple united, and the ceremony was broadcast on ESPN, the YES Network, NBC's Today show and other national media outlets. Ed and his bride were introduced years before by longtime friend and baseball Hall of Fame Member Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto. During the reception at the Stadium Club, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner surprised the crowd with an announcement that he would be picking up the entire tab for the wedding and honeymoon.

 The World Series at Yankee Stadium

Due to the Yankees' frequent appearances in the World Series, Yankee Stadium has played host to more postseason games than any stadium in baseball history.

The Stadium, since its 1923 opening, has played host to 37 of 84 World Series (heading into 2008), with the Yankees winning 26.

Sixteen of those World Series were clinched at Yankee Stadium:

*                      New York Yankees, in 1927, 1938, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1977, 1996, and 1999

*                      St. Louis Cardinals, in 1926 and 1942

*                      Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1955, their only World Championship won in Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles.

*                      Milwaukee Braves, in 1957, the only World Series won by a Milwaukee team.

*                      Cincinnati Reds, in 1976

*                      Los Angeles Dodgers, in 1981

*                      Florida Marlins, in 2003

 Distinguishing characteristics

The entrance into the monument section of Monument Park

The entrance into the monument section of Monument Park

 Monument Park

Monument Park is a section of Yankee Stadium which contains the Yankees' retired numbers, a collection of monuments and plaques pertaining to the New York Yankees and other events to take place at the stadium and in the city.

The Facade over the wall behind the bleachers

The Facade over the wall behind the bleachers

The Retired Numbers section of Monument Park.

The Retired Numbers section of Monument Park.

 The facade

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Yankee Stadium was the copper frieze (painted white in the 1960s) that ran around the roof of the grandstand's upper deck. However, the 1974-75 renovation saw the roof replaced, and the facade was removed. A white replica was run along the bleacher billboards and scoreboard, where it stands to this day. In the new stadium, the facade is to return to the upper deck roof.

"The Facade," as it is called, is used as an icon for both the stadium and the team. This can be clearly seen in its major use in graphics for the YES Network.

While it is called "the Facade" by fans, broadcasters, and Yankees officials, the correct term for the feature, "frieze," is used very sparingly. Even more technically, as these features served to cover up the ends of cantilevered beams that projected out towards the field from the outer walls of the stadium, they comprise a fascia.

The Louisville Slugger shaped exhaust pipe

The Louisville Slugger shaped exhaust pipe

The Big Bat

Outside the stadium's main entrance gate, stands a 138-foot tall exhaust pipe in the shape of a baseball bat, complete with tape at the handle that frays off at the end. It is sponsored by Louisville Slugger, which leads to many people referring to it as "The Louisville Slugger", which is specifically designed to look like a Babe Ruth model. The bat is also often used as a designated meeting spot for fans to meet their ticket holding friends before entering the stadium.

Asymmetry inside and outside

Yankee Stadium was built on a five-sided, irregular plot of land. This gave it a very distinctive asymmetrical shape. For many years, and even today after remodeling, left field and center field were and are much more difficult areas to hit home runs than right field. The designers' plans to extend the right field upper tiers compelled a short right field area. There would have been ample room for a "normal" right field if that design element had been omitted and the bleachers had been made much narrower. Nonetheless, this feature is one of many that makes Yankee Stadium fairly intimate, despite its size.

 Bob Sheppard

Since 1951, Bob Sheppard has been the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium. His distinctive voice (Yankee legend Reggie Jackson has called him "the Voice of God"), and the way he announces players for over half a century has made him a part of the lore of the stadium and the team. Before a player's first at-bat of the game, Sheppard announces his uniform number, his name, his position, and his number again. Example: "Number 2... Derek... Jeter... Shortstop... Number 2..." For each following at-bat, Sheppard announces just the position and name: "The shortstop, Derek Jeter." Sheppard's long-term back-up is Jim Hall.

 Hammond Organ

The Hammond Organ was installed at Yankee Stadium in 1967, and was primarily played by Eddie Layton from its introduction until his retirement after the 2003 season. The playing of the organ has added to the character of the stadium for many years, playing before games, introducing players, during the national anthem and the rendition of "Take me out to the ball game" during the seventh inning stretch. After Layton's retirement, he got to pick his replacement, Paul Cartier.[7] In recent years, the use of the organ has been decreased in place of recorded music between innings and introducing players. Since the 2004 season, the national anthem has rarely been performed by the organists, opting for military recordings of the Star Spangled Banner. In 2005, a new Hammond Elegante was installed replacing the Hammond Colonnade which Eddie Layton played for all those years.

 The Owner's Box

The Owner's Box is a personal suite belonging to New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. It is located behind home plate on the second deck along with the two broadcasting booths of the YES Network and WCBS Radio 880/Yankees Radio Network, the Press Box, and some other luxury suites. The owner sits in the box along with guests and occasionally Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Yogi Berra is known to watch Yankees games from there.

 "God Bless America"

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, all American Major League Baseball stadiums started playing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch for the remainder of the 2001 season. Many teams ceased this practice the following season, although it has continued in post-season events at many cities and become a tradition at Yankee Stadium alongside Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Usually, a recording of the song by Kate Smith is played, although sometimes there is a live performance by Irish tenor Ronan Tynan. For part of the 2005 season, the Yankees used a recording of Tynan, but the Kate Smith version was reinstated due to fan complaints.

 "New York, New York"

Another tradition for Yankee Stadium is that after each home game, the classic song "New York, New York" is played over the loudspeakers; Frank Sinatra's version regardless of a win or loss. (In the past, Liza Minnelli's version was played after a loss.)

 Westminster chime

When the Yankees score a run, a version of the Westminster chime plays as the last player to score in the at-bat gets to home plate. The version of the chime is the beginning of Workaholic by the music group 2 Unlimited. The only time the chime is not always played is if the Yankees score a run to record a walk-off win, when "Theme from New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra may ensue.

 Other characteristics

While some elements of the Stadium are decidedly modern, its asymmetry, monuments in left-center field and exterior arches give fans a reminder of the Stadium during its most golden period. Even the blue YANKEE STADIUM letters over the main gate are longtime features; they're the same letters that first appeared there in the 1950s; the letters were originally white before being painted blue in the 1960s. The proximity to the 4 train makes it a part of the stadium, and there is a large gap in the walls behind the right field bleachers where fans and commuters can get a peek at each other.

 Roll call

After the first pitch is thrown at the top of the first inning, the "Bleacher Creatures" in Section 39, usually led by a man nicknamed Bald Vinny, begin chanting the names of every player in the defensive lineup (except the pitcher and catcher, with some rare exceptions), starting with the center fielder (ie: "JOH-nee DA-mon, clap, clap, clap clap clap"). They do not stop chanting the player's name until he acknowledges the Creatures (usually with a wave or a point), who then move on to the next player. Other names called out during roll call from time to time have included Yankee broadcasters John Sterling and Michael Kay, or Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, and Babe Ruth when the Yankees host the rival Boston Red Sox. Sometimes, after a long rain delay, the Creatures start another Roll Call for comedic effect. Often when a player is replaced in the field, their replacement is also welcomed with a chant.

 Access

Yankee Stadium can be reached via the 161st Street–Yankee Stadium station of the New York City Subway, along the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4) and IND Concourse Line (B D).

The view of Yankee Stadium from the 161st Street–Yankee Stadium station.

The view of Yankee Stadium from the 161st Street–Yankee Stadium station.

Since the 1970s renovation, there has been discussion to add a Metro-North station on the Hudson Line tracks that run behind the Stadium's south parking garage, but the Yankees have never been willing to pay for the station. In 2006, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it plans to pay for a station after the Yankees relocate to a new stadium north of 161st Street in 2009. The station is expected to cost $45 million. The MTA said it will use money that had been earmarked to explore a subway expansion to La Guardia Airport in Queens.

The MTA also has buses that run to the stadium. Lines Bx1, Bx6, and Bx13 all have stops near Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium has 15 official parking lots around the stadium for those wishing to travel by car. The main auto route to the stadium is the Major Deegan Expressway (I-87). Connections to I-95, I-278, and several other major highways are within a few exits of the stadium.

NY Waterway runs a ferry service to Yankee Stadium from various piers in Manhattan and New Jersey. This service is called "The Yankee Clipper" and serves food and alcohol while fans enjoy New York skylines.

 Outfield dimensions

Since it opened, Yankee Stadium has changed its dimensions several times. This chronology is derived from a variety of sources. Green Cathedrals, by Phil Lowry, is a good basic reference. Baseball annuals, starting with editions in the 1920s, routinely gave dimensions of the major league ballparks. Photos are also a good source, as the Yankees were among the first to post distance markers on the outfield walls. Among the many book sources of photos are Yankee Stadium: Fifty Years of Drama, by Joseph Durso; and Yankee Stadium: 75 Years of Drama, Glamour and Glory, by Ray Robinson and Christopher Jennison. In general, Yankee Stadium has been considered a pitcher-friendly ballpark, especially compared to others in the American League.

Year

Left Field Line

Straightaway
Left Field

Left Center

Straightaway
Center Field

Right Center

Straightaway
Right Field

Right Field Line

Backstop

1923

285 ft.

395 ft.

460 ft.

490 ft.

425 ft.

350 ft.

295 ft.

82 ft.

1937

301 ft.

402 ft.

457 ft.

461 ft.

407 ft.

344 ft.

296 ft.

82 ft.

1976

312 ft.

387 ft.

430 ft.

417 ft.

385 ft.

353 ft.

310 ft.

84 ft.

1985

312 ft.

379 ft.

411 ft.

410 ft.

385 ft.

353 ft.

310 ft.

84 ft.

1988

318 ft.

379 ft.

399 ft.

408 ft.

385 ft.

353 ft.

314 ft.

82 ft.

The team's magazines indicate that there may still be an area of center field as deep as 417 feet. If so, it is unmarked. The most recent field dimensions were reached primarily by moving the Yankee bullpen to left-center from right and making a few other changes so as to bring the left-center field wall in. The left-center field wall locations from earlier years of the remodeled stadium can still be seen in a few spots, although the walls are not covered with blue padding as the current one is.

The New Stadium

A new stadium for the Yankees is currently under construction on part of the former site of Macombs Dam Park. The new stadium's design is to incorporate the design of Yankee Stadium from its original 1923 exterior as well as from the 1970s renovation. As for the current stadium, The above-ground portion is to be completely demolished, with the existing clubhouses, which are underground, remaining in use for replacement park facilities. [5] Three baseball fields are to be built atop the Yankee Stadium field after the Yankees' new stadium opens.[6] These new recreation facilities were designed to alleviate the loss of parkland to the Yankees' new stadium. Monument Park is to be relocated in the new stadium.

The exterior of Yankee Stadium on June 16, 2007. Notice the cranes behind the Stadium.

The exterior of Yankee Stadium on June 16, 2007. Notice the cranes behind the Stadium.

Before building their $1.3 billion stadium, the Yankees secured $425 million in public subsidies and permission to tear down 400 trees and take over 22 acres of public parkland north of the team's East 161st Street home; New York City retains ownership of the Yankees' new tract of land. The public costs include acquiring land for the stadium, building parking garages, tearing down Yankee Stadium, lost rent and parking revenue from Yankee Stadium, and tax breaks. It does not include a $91 million Metro-North station, which will be paid for entirely by the public (with money shifted from other parts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's capital-spending budget). Of the stadium's remaining cost, up to 40 percent may be subsidized through reduced revenue-sharing contributions. The Yankees' $200 million payroll is consistently the highest in baseball, making them the largest contributor to the league's revenue-sharing pool. It has been estimated that the Yankees will contribute one-third of their new stadium's cost.

The Yankees' stadium and free-parkland acquisition were proposed in June 2005 without input from the community but with pre-approval from pertinent legislative bodies. The plan was approved within days of its announcement, setting underfunded community groups and parks advocates back from the beginning. Even as fierce opposition mounted, they were left with no room to maneuver to save the neighborhood's parkland. One year after the Yankees' new-stadium news conference, the team cleared all legislative, financial, procedural, and legal hurdles. Construction began in the summer of 2006. The Yankees expect to begin the 2009 season in their new stadium. As part of Yankee Stadium's last trip around the block, it is scheduled to host the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, with the final regular season game scheduled to be played September 21, 2008 against the Baltimore Orioles. Coincidentally, the Yankees came from Baltimore, Maryland in 1903, when the current Orioles were the St. Louis Browns.

Information provided by: www.wikipedia.org

Yankee Stadium Photo Gallery

Here is what the stadium looked like on Opening Day in 1923.  Even the President of the United States was there!  Notice that the Ceremonial Pitch was thrown from the stands back then.

More Historical Photos!!!

            The Old Players Entrance - Taken April 18, 2010 - Credit: Mike Hagan

Thanks to Tom N. of New Jersey for forwarding me this photo. It was taken on June 15, 1928 during the construction of Gate 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Credit to: Joey Cooperman

- Here is a great shot of Old Yankee Stadium casting a shadow on New Yankee Stadium. This was taken by Tom N. of New Jersey in December of 2009.


Old Yankee Stadium - September 1959

The following photos are from September 1959 of Old Yankee Stadium. 
These photos were taken by Lynn Harrington.  These photos are shown in their original format as taken and are being used with permission by Sherwood Harrington, the copyright holder.
Thank you Sherwood for sharing these incredible shots.

           


 

The Monuments Moving to the New Stadium Photos by: Uli Seit for The New York Times

                            

 

Click here for photos from my trip on April 2, 2008 versus the Toronto Blue Jays

 

Click here for pictures from Pope Benedict's visit to Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2008

 

Click here for pictures from Old Timers Day 2008

 

Click here for a special thanks to Paul Doherty for sharing his pictures of his visit to Yankee Stadium in April of 2008.

 

September 22, 2008
Yankees 7, Orioles 3

A Long Goodbye to an 85-Year Run

By TYLER KEPNER

Correction Appended

It will only grow with time, like Lou Gehrig’s farewell, Don Larsen’s masterpiece and Reggie Jackson’s third home run in a World Series game. Untold thousands will say they were there the night the curtain fell on baseball’s grandest stage.

It happened Sunday night in the Bronx, when Yankee Stadium hosted a baseball game for the last time. It went out the way it opened, with a victory, this one by 7-3 over the Baltimore Orioles. Babe Ruth hit the first home run, in 1923, and José Molina hit the last, a two-run shot to left that broke a tie in the fourth inning.

The Yankees held off elimination with the victory, the eighth in their final nine games at Yankee Stadium. Andy Pettitte, the winning pitcher, worked into the sixth inning, waving his cap to the fans, who never stopped cheering until he took a curtain call.

“The way I feel emotionally right now, and just physically so drained, it feels like a huge postseason win for us,” Pettitte said, standing on the infield grass after the game. “I kind of feel embarrassed saying that, because unless a miracle happens, we’re not going to the postseason. But it was special.”

Manager Joe Girardi compared it to the seventh game of the World Series, because the Yankees could not afford to lose, and it felt that way for many reasons. From the bunting along the upper deck, to the United States Army Field Band, to the mix of excitement and anxiety bubbling up in the guts of the uniformed Yankees, there was no doubt this night would be special.

“I feel as nervous as I was before a playoff game,” said Bernie Williams, back in pinstripes at last, one of more than 20 former Yankees who returned for the pregame ceremonies.

The Yankees opened the gates seven hours early, allowing fans to stroll the warning track for one last walk in the park. Closer to game time, the team unveiled the American League championship flag that was raised on the first opening day, in 1923.

Bob Sheppard recorded an introduction, promising to be there to christen the new Yankee Stadium next April 16. A team of stand-ins, dressed in old-time uniforms, processed into center field, representing some of the late Yankees legends. They might as well have come in from the cornfields; the “Field of Dreams” overtone was palpable.

One by one, the living greats took their positions, all to heartfelt cheers. The children of other standouts — Randy Maris, Michael Munson, David Mantle and others — took their fathers’ places.

Willie Randolph slid into his position, second base, and rubbed dirt on his jersey, reveling in his return to the Yankees. Whitey Ford pretended to lift out the pitcher’s rubber. The fans reprised chants that rang through the walls years ago — “Bob-by Mur-cer!” “Ti-no! Ti-no!” and so on.

Many of the stars not there were shown on the video board in right-center field — Rickey Henderson and Chuck Knoblauch, Sparky Lyle and Orlando Hernández. No mention of Roger Clemens.

The bench was so stuffed that some of the Yankees sat on the dugout roof to watch. Jorge Posada stood on the field, taking photos with a digital camera, just another fan with rich memories of a stadium that always seemed to give his team an edge.

“Especially in 2001,” Posada said. “We were helped by Yankee Stadium, the fans coming here, playing for something more meaningful.”

The former players mingled in the clubhouse before the game, in full uniform, right down to Yogi Berra’s stirrups. Current Yankees scurried around collecting snapshots and autographs.

“It’s remarkable,” said Phil Coke, a rookie pitcher with three weeks in the majors. “Totally and completely blows my mind. I turn around and look over and see Goose Gossage walking around our clubhouse. Wow.”

Derek Jeter said he would miss the walk from the clubhouse to the dugout — down a tunnel, with the Joe DiMaggio sign hanging above. “I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee,” it says, and Jeter tapped it before every game. Jeter would not say, but there seems to be a strong chance the sign will be his.

On Saturday night, Jeter said, he spoke with Jackson about their shared emotions. Both built their legends at Yankee Stadium, but they agreed they would be filled not with sadness, but with pride for having been a part of history.

“Make sure you enjoy this,” Jeter said his parents told him recently. “You don’t want to look back and wish you’d done something different.”

Jeter’s parents and sister joined him on the field before the first pitch, as two of George Steinbrenner’s children presented him with a crystal bat for breaking Gehrig’s record for hits at the Stadium.

Jeter would get no more hits on Sunday, going 0 for 5, but he went down as the last Yankee ever to bat at Yankee Stadium, with a groundout to third in the eighth inning. Girardi pulled him for defense with two outs in the top of the ninth, so the fans could give one last curtain call.

It was Jeter who had the memorable line in 2006, when the Yankees broke ground on the new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium, saying that the ghosts from the old place would simply move across the street. Others are not so sure.

Alex Alicea, a 37-year-old fan from Union City, N.J., brought his 16-month-old son, Justin, on Sunday. As he walked the warning track before the game with his wife and son, he lamented the passing of the game’s shrine.

“I would have been happy being 80 or 90 years old and still coming to this stadium,” Alicea said. “The new stadium is beautiful, but I don’t know if the ghosts are going to be there. You can feel that, standing here — Babe Ruth, DiMaggio. It’s not going to be the same.”

There was a sense of sadness and loss amid the celebration. Berra, who had dismissed the renovated Stadium as nothing like the original, nearly broke down at a pregame news conference as he invoked the names of former teammates who have died.

He made jokes, too, saying he wanted to take home plate, and complaining that the yellowed, wool uniform he was given did not quite feel authentic. But Berra, born two years after the Stadium opened, seemed to feel he was losing a part of himself.

“It will always be in my heart, it will,” he said, adding later, “I’m sorry to see it over, I tell you that.”

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Julia Ruth Stevens, the daughter of the Babe, who beamed as she bounced her toss to Posada. “To Be Continued ...” it said on the scoreboard, beneath a photo of a winking Bambino.

In Ruthian style, the Yankees went ahead twice on home runs. Johnny Damon hit the first, a three-run shot in the third inning that erased a 2-0 Baltimore lead.

When the Orioles tied it in the fourth, Molina came up in the bottom of the inning with a man on second and one out. He had just two homers in 259 at-bats, but he lifted his third onto the netting above the retired numbers, pumping his fists as he put the Yankees ahead, 5-3, with the last homer the Stadium will ever see.

“Nobody thought it was going to be me,” Molina said. “We have A-Rod, we have Abreu, we have Giambi, we have so many guys that can hit home runs, and look who it was — the guy that probably nobody expected.”

After a leadoff single in the sixth, Pettitte gave way to four relievers, with Mariano Rivera at the end. He worked a 1-2-3 inning, with Cody Ransom making the final putout at first base on a grounder by Brian Roberts at 11:41 p.m. Ransom put the ball in Rivera’s glove, and Rivera earmarked it for Steinbrenner.

“Mr. George, he gave me the opportunity and he gave me the chance,” Rivera said. “The least I can do is give the ball to him.”

As horses carried police onto the field, several Yankees and Orioles gathered at the mound to scoop dirt as souvenirs. Soon, all of the Yankees converged there. Jeter took the microphone, praising the fans as the greatest in the world.

“And we are relying on you to take the memories from this stadium, add them to the new memories to come at the new Yankee Stadium, and continue to pass them on from generation to generation,” Jeter told the crowd.

Then all of the Yankees lifted their caps to the crowd and took a final lap around the field, waving all the way, to the sounds of Sinatra. Not much has gone according to plan for the Yankees this season, but that worked just right.

“It was more the people than the stadium,” Williams said. “You talk about the magic and the aura, but what really made the Stadium was the fans. Concrete doesn’t talk back to you. Chairs don’t talk back to you. It’s the people that are there, that root for you day in and day out. That’s what makes this place magical.”

The legacy of Yankee Stadium, it turns out, was never the title fights or the N.F.L. championships, the papal visits or the World Series. It was the fans. In its final season, the Yankees set a record for attendance, 4,298,543. At the end, the fans were drawn to Ruth’s house in ways he never could have dreamed.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 23, 2008
An article in some copies on Monday about the Yankees’ 7-3 victory over the Orioles in the last scheduled game at Yankee Stadium misstated the timing of shortstop Derek Jeter’s departure. It was with two outs in the top — not the bottom — of the ninth inning.

The box score of the last regular season game ever at Yankee Stadium.

New York Yankees Postgame Alert

September 21, 2008

Baltimore 3, N.Y. Yankees 7 at Yankee Stadium
Baltimore Record: (67-87) N.Y. Yankees Record: (85-71) 

Winning pitcher - Andy Pettitte (14-14)
Losing pitcher - Chris Waters (3-4)

Baltimore Runs: 3, Hits: 7, Errors: 1
N.Y. Yankees Runs: 7, Hits: 9, Errors: 1

HR: BAL -
HR: NYY - J. Damon (16) J. Molina (3)

 

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