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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Shearn’

Yesterday, I skipped school to go to my very first home opener at Yankee Stadium. Here is a rundown of how it went:

I woke up early in the morning to head down to the stadium so I wouldn’t miss any of the festivities. I got there before the gates opened and had a chance to walk around. While walking past Gate 4, I noticed Chris Shearn recording one of his pre-game segments for the YES Network. After he was done, I introduced myself, took a photo with him and spoke for a couple of minutes. He’s a really nice guy. Than I waited on line for the gates to open.

The Pre-Game:

Got in a few minutes after the gates opened, and I went directly to Monument Park. I wanted to take pictures with some of the monuments that I didn’t get a chance to take the first time around. I walked around the ballpark after that and saw Harlan Chamberlain, but I didn’t get a chance to meet him. He was kind of busy talking to some people, so I moved on. I also noticed Mark Feinsand of the Daily News near the press elevator, but he too was busy talking to someone..so I didn’t bother. The halls of the stadium were jam-packed and the atmosphere was terrific. Stopped off at Nathan’s for some food and went up to my seats for the ceremony.

The Food & Merchandise:

Before the game: Nathan’s Hot Dog and Fries Middle of the 5th inning: Johnny Rocket’s Double Burger, Souvenir Yankees Cup (Pepsi). I also bought a 2010 NY Yankees Yearbook, Media Guide and home opener program.

Festivities:

I was very pleased with the way the ring ceremony was done. Watching Yogi and Whitey hand out the rings to the players was a pretty cool moment. The player introductions were great, and it was really nice to see Gene Monahan and Hideki Matsui return. All the players in the dugout gave Geno a standing ovation, and it was very emotional moment for him. The Yankees also put The Boss on the centerfield scoreboard during the ceremony, and the Yankees gave him a nice ovation as well. Matsui got the biggest ovation of them all, and he certainly deserved it.

The championship flags for each of the Yankees’ 27 WS titles, the giant unfurled American flag in the outfield, and the “Fighting Omars” fly over were really a sight to see. Kristen Chenoweth (National Anthem) and Mary May Messenger (“God Bless America”) did a fine job with their performances. Bernie Williams bounced the ceremonial first pitch, but I was still happy to see him there.

The Game:

I sat in Section: 329 Row: 2 Seat (Terrace ††). The view from my seat was pretty good.

  • The Bleacher Creatures did their first roll call of the season, and everyone was watching to see how Curtis Granderson would salute them.
  • I give major props to Andy Pettitte for stepping off the mound when Matsui came up to the plate, so the fans could give him his due.
  • Nick Johnson was stepping up to the plate to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” song, because his little daughter was in the building. A lot of the fans around me were making fun of him, and I thought that was interesting. He shut them all up when he went yard in the 1st inning.

Andy Pettitte pitched a hell of a game, throwing six shutout innings while striking out 6 batters.. There is no other guy on the team that I would’ve rather had starting that game than him.

Interestingly enough, many fans started to head for the exit when the Yankees took a 7-1 lead heading into the 9th. I stayed for the last out, as I always do. I kind of got that feeling that something was going to happen, and that the home opener wouldn’t be complete without The Sandman. I was right about that. David Robertson gave up a grand slam to Bobby Abreu, and the Angels trailed by only two runs. When Mo came in, you pretty much knew the game was over and there was nothing to worry about. Mariano did what he does best and nailed down the 2-out save for the victory. Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it – New York, New York…

The Press Gate:

After the game was over, my friend and I walked over to the press gate in the back of the stadium. I wasn’t actually prepared to get autographs this time around, so I was just looking to take some photos with anyone I met. Next time, I’ll be sure to bring a ball and a pen.

We waited for the players, front office staff, broadcasters and celebrities to walk out. Who did we miss? Mayor Bloomberg, Jay-Z, John Sterling, Michael Kay and Suzyn Waldman. I stayed there for about an hour, and we saw pretty much all of the Yankee players roll out in their cars. Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes, Tony Pena, Fransisco Cervelli, and many other strolled out of the gate in their cars. You couldn’t identify many of them because of the tinted windows on their cars. Hal Steinbrenner walked out of the Yankees offices, signed some autographs for the fans and was on his way. The rest of the Steinbrenner clan followed (including Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal).

Nick Johnson also showed up with his family. His little daughter stood right next to him, as he signed autographs and took some quick photos with the fans. I got a chance to meet and take a photo with Randy Levine, Bob Lorenz, and Kim Jones. They were all glad to take a photo with me. Bob took the time to chat with me, and I really appreciated that. We spoke about the game, twitter, and our respective blogs. Unfortunately, my photo with Mr. Levine came out terrible so I had to delete it. Haha

Torii Hunter came out of the gate and signed autographs and posed for a photograph with anyone who wanted one. I don’t think he said no to one fan. He was doing this all for Yankee fans, so I thought that was pretty cool. You don’t see that out of many all-star caliber ball players these days. Ervin Santana, Eric Aybar, Bobby Abreu and Richard Gere (donning a Yankees cap) all walked out as well. I tried to get Gere’s attention by yelling out his name, but he didn’t want to be bothered and that’s fine with me. No hard feelings.

All in all, it was a great day.

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