The Cathedral of Baseball: Yankee Stadium

Just a quick ride from Manhattan on the B or D trains take you to 161st Street. Home of 27 World Championships, the New York Yankees call the Bronx home.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing games both in the old Yankee Stadium and the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. The first memory I have of a Yankees game is a good one — way back on June 13, 2004. It was heralded as the return of David Wells to the Bronx. Wells was pitching for San Diego in ’04, and I remember walking up to the ticket booth with my dad and buying two tickets on the very last row in the upper box in right field. There wasn’t a bad seat in old Yankee Stadium, and we had a bird’s eye view of David Wells’s return. The game, a Sunday 1 p.m. start, went extras and saw the Yankees walk off for the win, and spoil the David Wells reunion.

Fast forward to 2012 and my first game at the new Yankee Stadium. I had come up for a few days in the summer to see my Braves play for the first time in the new stadium, and was blown away. A few notes about the game: Sabathia threw a complete game, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira went yard, and Derek Jeter drove in the game-winning run to take the first game of the series against Atlanta, 6-2.

The game was simply a bonus to experiencing the grandiose stadium that is baseball’s cathedral.

A must-see is Monument Park. Talk about history. Monument Park, located beyond the center field wall, is where all the Yankee greats are honored if their numbers are retired. Greats like Ruth, DiMaggio, Maris, Mantle, Berra and Gehrig are never forgotten as they are forever cemented in Yankee lore in Monument Park. There are monuments to historic moments of the past not to do with baseball in Monument Park, as well. Popes that have visited Yankee Stadium are represented, and a moving monument to the September 11th attacks sits in the corner of the outdoor area.

If you get to the stadium early enough, make sure to stop by the Yankees Museum. A new edition for the new ballpark, the museum features rotating exhibits put together by the curator. A centerpiece of the museum is a wall that holds baseballs signed by nearly anyone to ever done the pinstripes. This is the largest collection of Yankee autographs ever, and caps a gorgeous museum that includes several World Series trophies and rings.

As for food, the stadium houses a steakhouse, but I opted for the Italian sausage. You really couldn’t go wrong here, as there is literally anything you could want in the stadium.

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