Babe Ruth Would Be Proud As New Stadium Opens

As the “House That Ruth Built” sits so gracefully across the street from the “House That George Built”, the 2009 New York Yankees christened the new Yankee Stadium in very high fashion winning the first ball game played in this new “cathedral” 7-4 against Lou Piniella’s Chicago Cubs.

Even though it was only an exhibition game, it had the feel of a regular season matchup watching the grand opening on the YES Network.

The new Stadium has a very similar look to the old renovated Yankee Stadium, at least on the field, as the field dimensions are exactly the same distances from home plate. There is more foul territory on both the first and third base sides of the field, and home plate is 20 feet closer to the back stop, though. But, other than those changes the players said when they are on the field it reminds them a lot like the old Stadium.

The main differences are beyond the fences, in the stands, and within all surrounding areas.

And, the most dominate feature of the new ballpark is the huge 59′ high – 103′ wide centerfield scoreboard. From all reports this wide screen “true high-def” scoreboard projects the clearest pictures imagineable and is the main focal point of everyone’s sight as it ceates a brand new skyline towering over the centerfield area in the middle of the bleachers in between both foul poles.

The “frieze” or “facade” is the other dominate feature as it brings the new Stadium back to its original 1923 look, with the classic white hanging facade wrapping around the roof levels just above the upper deck seating. 

This beautiful feature always brings to mind the famous homerun that Mickey Mantle almost hit out of Yankee Stadium, on May 22, 1963, against the Kanas City Athletics … a soaring, majestic, powerful shot that slammed high off the upper rightfield “facade”, just inches short of traveling into the Bronx streets surrounding the Stadium.

No player has ever hit a fair ball out of the old Yankee Stadium. Will a player ever hit one out of the new Stadium?  

 

 

Another great new feature, which is really a retro look going back to 1923, are the two manual scoreboards, one in leftfield and one in right, that are part of the outfield walls. These additions will be part of many new memories this year and in future years, and we will see classic pictures like the famous Don Larsen Perfect Game photo from the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  

 

Those are some of my first impressions of the new Yankee Stadium. There is a full season ahead of us, and hopefully at some point I will get a chance to vist the new ballpark. But, based on everything I have seen so far, on television and in the many pictues that have been published, the new Yankee Stadium is very simply “beautiful” and an instant “classic”.

Oh, yes, there also was a ball game during the Friday April 3, 2009 grand opening at the new state-of-the-art Yankee Stadium.

It did not look like a game would be played because of all the rain we had in the New York area Friday morning into the late afternoon. The rain did stop around 4:00 p.m. ET, though, and the newly improved and advanced drainage system worked as advertised, delivering almost perfect field conditions for the start of the game.

The National Anthem was played; Reggie Jackson threw out the first pitch; and, it was time to play ball.

The first pitch by Yankees starter, Chien-Ming Wang was a strike. But, the lead-off batter for the Cubs, Aaron Miles, did end up getting a single in this at-bat, the first hit at the new Stadium. Kosuke Fukudome followed with another single moving Miles to third. Then, Derrek Lee hit a RBI, sac-fly to center, giving the Cubs the early 1-0 lead as Miles crossed the plate.

Derek Jeter, the new lead-off hitter for the Yanks, who got the final hit at the old Yankee Stadium, started things off for the Bronx Bombers by stroking a double, the first Yankee hit at the new Stadium. But, Cubs starter, Ted Lilly, easily retired the next three batters, Damon, Teixeira, and Matsui, moving the game into the top of the second inning.

The Cubs added two more runs off Wang, on a walk to Soto, single to Gathright, and a two-out double to Miles, increasing their lead to 3-0.

After Jorge Posada led off the bottom of the second with a single, Robinson Cano cut the Cubs lead to 3-2, blasting a line-drive two-run homerun into the rightfield bleachers.

Jose Molina hit the final homer at the old Yankee Stadium; Cano now has the honor of hitting the first homerun at the new Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees took a 4-3 lead in this game in the bottom of the third, when Derek Jeter led off the inning with a single, and scored on Hideki Matsui’s two-out, two-run homerun which christened the rightfield foul pole.

Wang allowed the Cubs to tie the score 4-4 in the top of the 4th inning on a triple by Reed Johnson, and an RBI grounder to Jeter at short by Ryan Theriot. The Yankees had the infield back at regular depth which helped Johnson to score without a throw to the plate.

The Bombers battled right back in this game in the bottom of the 4th, on back to back singles by Cano and Nady; then, Alex Rodriguez’s replacement, Cody Ransom, lofted a high shot down the third base line, that christened the leftfield foul pole for a three-run homer, and 7-4 Yankees lead.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched a scoreless 5th inning, but was not very effective in this start, allowing four runs, on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts, while throwing 71 pitches.

Mariano Rivera delivered another soild performance, easily retiring the side in order in the top of the 6th.

And, relievers, Veras (7th), Ramirez (8th), and Albaladejo (9th), closed out the rest of the game for the Yankees, each throwing a scoreless inning to help preserve the Yanks 7-4 victory. To view boxscore, click on: Game One       

But, Ransom’s three-run homer completed the scoring in this game … and, I’m sure Babe Ruth had a big smile on his face, as the Yankees hit “three” homeruns in honor of “The Babe’s” #3, and rang the bell on both foul poles — a sound that surely carried throughout the universe, the “Yankees Universe”, as new memories were made and the great Yankees tradition continued at the “new” Yankee Stadium.

 

 

Rare Moment Of The Game …

Two of the Yankees three homeruns were shots that hit one of the “foul poles”, which is rare enough. But, when was the last time you seen homeruns hit off each foul pole by players on the same team, in the same game?

Well, I can’t remember the last time I seen this extraordinary event happen.

In the first game at the new Yankee Stadium this rare event did occur, when Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homerun off the the rightfield foul pole in the 3rd inning; and, Cody Ransom hit a three-run homer off the leftfield foul pole in the bottom of the 4th.

The New York Yankees christened the new Yankee Stadium in style, with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs; and, with two special homeruns that christened both foul poles.  

 

Photo Credits …

* Mickey Mantle homerun —  4.bp.blogspot.com/…/s400/Mick%27s+moonshot.jpg   

* Don Larsen / Billy Martin — BestSportsPhotos.com      

* Babe Ruth — http://www.gallerym.com/work.cfm?ID=278  

 

— Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”

 

Update: Sunday, April 5, 2009 …

In the second game of the two-game exhibition series against the Chicago Cubs, on Saturday, April 4th, at the new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees ended their 2009 Spring Training with a 10-1 victory over the Cubs.

The ball seems to be flying out of the new ballpark, as the Yankees hit seven homeruns in these two games …

Three homers in game one — Robinson Cano (two-run homer); Hideki Matsui (two-run homer); and Cody Ransom (three-run homer) — accounting for all of the Yankees seven runs in their 7-4 win …

Four homeruns in the second game — Derek Jeter (three-run homer in the 3rd inning); two homeruns by Mark Teixeira (solo shot in the 3rd; and, three-run homer in the 4th inning); and Shelley Duncan (solo homer in the 8th) — adding up to eight of the Yankees ten runs in their 10-1 victory. 

In Game Two … Andy Pettitte started for the Yanks and pitched four solid innings, allowing the only Cub run, on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts … A.J. Burnett replaced Pettitte in the 5th inning and also delivered a solid effort on the mound, pitching four innings, allowing zero runs, on two hits, one base-on-ball, and six strkeouts … Brian Bruney (two strikeouts), and Phil Coke (one strikeout), closed out the game and Yankees victory, pitching a scoreless 9th inning.  

To view “box score”, click on:  Game Two: Yanks 10, Cubs 1 

 

The new 2009 Basball Season is finally here …

Enjoy “Opening Day”, everybody !!!

— Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

 

 

  

 

 

 

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19 comments

  1. letsgoyankees

    Reggie Jackson shouldn’t have thrown out the first pitch. I love Reggie, and he did a great job in those World Series for us, but come on. He’s in the HOF as an Oakland A. He only played five years for us. Yogi deserved to throw out the first pitch. He’s the greatest living Yankee.

  2. mptalk

    I believe that this is our year, I have had this feeling only once that was when we went to the sries in 03, It is time to end the quest. Also I beleive Reggie Jackson was a great choice to throw out the first pitch but they couldve had Yogi there too. The ghosts are going to protect our new stadium from failure and the team will pay them back with a ring. Y_A_N_K_E_E_S…. Here come the Yankees!
    Nick
    Monument Park Talk
    http://monumentpark.mlblogs.com

  3. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, letsgoyankees …

    Yeah, I agree, I was surprised that Reggie Jackson threw out the first pitch at the first game at the new Yankee Stadium … Usually, that honor goes to Yogi Berra or Whitey Ford … I’m sure Yogi will throw out the first pitch at the first regular season game at the Stadium on April 16th vs. Cleveland !!!
    .
    But, even though Yogi Berra should always be a part of all New York Yankee ceremonies, I do think Reggie Jackson is a big part of the Yankees organization, and when he was enshirned into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1993, he did go in as a Yankee, wearing a Yankees cap on his Hall of Fame plaque … To view Reggie’s Hall of Fame plaque, click on:
    http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers/detail.jsp?playerId=116439
    .
    Reggie Jackson had many great years playing for the Championship Oakland A’s teams in the 1970’s, but none of those years compare to his great 1977 World Series with the Yankees against the L.A. Dodgers … Reggie’s three-homerun game in that Series is an all-time classic, which will always make him “Mr. October” and a great Yankees legend … With all that said, I still agree with you, letsgoyankees, Yogi Berra, or, really, George Steinbrenner, should have thrown out the first pitch on “opening night” at the new Yankee Stadium !!!
    .
    Thanks for your visit, and comments !!!
    The regular season opening day is almost here; I can’t wait !!!
    “Go Yankees” !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  4. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Nick …

    I agree, the Yankees look like they have a great team this season; and, I have the same feeling that they will win their 27th World Champinship in 2009 !!! … It wasn’t the same without Yogi Berra at “Opening Night” at the new Stadium; but, Yogi will be at the grand opening on April 16th, and will throw out the first pitch, I’m sure … And, if not Yogi Berra, then, the first pitch should be thrown out by Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner !!!
    Take care, Nick; thanks for the visit !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY],”BY&L”

  5. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, shortporch …

    Mark Teixeira has the perfect Yankee Stadium swing when he bats lefthanded, so I envision a .300+ BA; 40+ HR; 125+ RBI, MVP season for Tex in 2009, leading the Yanks to a World Series victory, their 27th in ’09 !!!
    .
    Also, I do agree he will have a nice homecoming in Baltimore on opening day … There will be a lot of Yankee fans in the stands during opening day and througout that series … I’ll sign up for “two” Teixeira opening day homeruns; and, 10 K’s by CC, in a Yankees victory !!! … Sounds good to me !!!
    .
    “Go Yankees” !!!
    Take care, shortporch !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  6. juliasrants

    Hey Jimmy – we missed you in Boston but I did my best to show Scott a great Boston welcome! I think you’ve done a great job adding pictures to you blog! I am so very excited that the season is finally starting! Our game could be rained out tomorrow – but I know it is only a matter of time! Go Baseball and is it okay to say “Go Red Sox” here ? 😉 I am so ready for this! Have a great night!

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  7. crazy19canuck

    Hi Jimmy! I’ve been wondering how the new stadium would fare. I love the stories, and I hope the Yankees and their fans will make this stadium as grand as the old one. As a fan of one of New York’s rivals, I still believe that some of the greatest baseball moments were made in Yankee Stadium. Play Ball!
    Canuck
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  8. scofid

    Jimmy, you did an outstanding job weaving the old Cathedral into the new one! When I first heard that they were going to build a new stadium, I had mixed feelings because I was obviously sad to say goodbye to the House That Ruth Built. But the Yankees did a tremendous job in re-creating a bigger and better Yankee Stadium that still captures the magic and feel of the original one. It’s an exciting time to be a Yankees fan!

    Scott
    http://fotr.mlblogs.com

  9. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Julia …

    I’m sorry I could not make the trip to Boston this past weekend … Maybe sometime in the summer? … Thanks for the kind words about the pictures on my blog !!! … I do think the pictures and address links add a special dimension to the posts, and are fun to put together [thanks again for your help] !!! … The Yankees didn’t have a good “Opening Day”, but there are 161 games to go, and it can only get better as the season goes on !!! … The Red Sox were rained out, so I will be watching their game today [Tues. April 7th]; and, since the Yankees lost their first game, I’ll accept your “Go Red Sox” chant [here], Julia, but I can’t root for the Sox to win !!! … I hope it’s a good game, though; at least, if the Sox win, they will be winning against the Rays !!!
    “Go Baseball” and the new season !!!
    Take care, Julia !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  10. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Canuck …

    The new Stadium looks very beautiful, and very much like the original 1923 Yankee Stadium, with the same look on the outside — and, with the facades surrounding the roof, the same look on the inside … Also, the Stadium has the same look on the field as the 1976 renovated Yankee Stadium with the same field dimensions … And, of course, all the state-of-the-art features make this new Yankee Stadium a “masterpiece” !!! … There were many great moments and memories at the old Yankee Stadium; and there will be many more new special moments and memories made at the new Yankee Stadium !!! …Yes, the sound of “Play Ball” sounds great !!!
    Take care, Canuck !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  11. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, neal07 [William] …

    Yes, I would say the new Yankee Stadium is very beautiful, and, I think, the greatest Stadium ever built up to this date !!! … It is a classic, and feels like “home”, already, even after only two exhibition games have been played there !!!
    Take care, neal07 [william] !!!
    “Go Yankees” !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  12. jimmy27nyy

    Many thanks, Scott …

    Seeing the new Yankee Stadium for the first time brought back many great memories that took place in the old Yankee Stadium throughout the years, and was my inspiration for my above post !!! … This is a “state-of-the-art” Stadium, and like you said, “still captures the magic of the original one” … I totally agree, it is “a very exciting time to be a Yankees fan” !!!
    .
    Scott, I hope you had a great trip to Boston; I look forward to your posts, pictures, and stories on your blog about your visit !!!
    Take care, Scott !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  13. jimmy27nyy

    Many thanks, Scott …

    Seeing the new Yankee Stadium for the first time brought back many great memories that took place in the old Yankee Stadium throughout the years, and was my inspiration for my above post !!! … This is a “state-of-the-art” Stadium, and like you said, “still captures the magic of the original one” … I totally agree, it is “a very exciting time to be a Yankees fan” !!!
    .
    Scott, I hope you had a great trip to Boston; I look forward to your posts, pictures, and stories on your blog about your visit !!!
    Take care, Scott !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, letsgoyankees …

    I think it was important for Reggie Jackson to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee because he had most of his great moments, especially, in the 1977 World Series, as a member of the New York Yankees !!! … And, if Reggie did go in the “Hall” as a member of the Oakland A’s, I don’t know if the Yankees [George Steinbrenner] would have retired his #44, or if he would be a Yankees V.P. today !!! … Reggie Jackson earned these honors with the Yankees, and I’m happy that he is still part of the Yankees organization !!! … Look at the situation with Dave Winfield, who didn’t win any Championships during his time with the Yankees, and decided to go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the S.D. Padres, and didn’t have his #31 retired here with the Yankees !!! … Mr. October will always be remembered as a Yankee, first, than, as a member of the Oakland A’s, second !!! … But, I still agree, Yogi Berra should always be part of all major Yankee ceremonies, and should have thrown out the first ball at the grand opening of the new Stadium !!! … I’m sure Yogi will throw out the first pitch at the regular season home opening day on April 16th against the Cleveland Indians !!!
    — Take care, letsgoyankees, and, thanks, once again, for the visit !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  15. letsgoyankees

    Believe me, I loved and appreciated Reggie. I just think that in terms of contributions to the Yankees it still should’ve been Yogi or maybe Whitey. I’m sure Yogi will throw out the first pitch on the reg. season opener. Or perhaps Whitey will throw it to Yogi.

  16. jimmy27nyy

    Yes, we are in total agreement, letsgoyankees !!!

    I was surprised that Reggie threw out the first pitch at the opening of the new Stadium … I def expected Yogi Berra or Whitey Ford to be granted that honor … and, your idea of Whitey throwing the pitch to Yogi is even more perfect !!! … There will be plenty of games throughout the year that Reggie Jackson can throw out the first pitch; but, these opening games should always be reserved for Yogi Berra, and, or, Whitey Ford … Also, if George Steinbrenner is healthy enough to be on the field, he should be part of the grand opening ceremonies on April 16th !!! … Maybe after the first couple of games, the Yankees Organization will ask some Yankee fans throw out the first pitch? How about it? Maybe one or both of us will get the call to throw out a first pitch in one of those games !!! … Anyway, it will be good to see the Yankees at the Stadium for a full home stand …The ball was really carrying at the new Stadium over the weekend in the two game series vs. the Cubs … I hope the Yankees continue that production when they return home for their regular season games this year !!!
    — Take care, and have a great night, letsgoyankees !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

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