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Posts Tagged ‘Monument Park’

Over the last few days, there were a lot of rumors in the online media outlets that Metallica was set to play “Enter Sandman” live at Yankee Stadium to honor Mariano Rivera on his special day. They were playing the Apollo Theater in Harlem the night before, so they were already in town. Those rumors were confirmed yesterday, as a concert stage was set up in front of Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. And they put on quite a performance. This is the best footage I could find (I’ll update it if I can find something better):

Metallica - Yankee Stadium - Mariano Rivera Day

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Many people have said that nobody throws a ceremony like the New York Yankees. It’s so true. The Yankees held a very emotional tribute for the Steinbrenner family, as they unveiled the monument dedicated to the late George M. Steinbrenner III.

The whole Yankees team walked out to center field, leading the Steinbrenner family and former Yankees players and staff into Monument Park. Joan Steinbrenner pulled the curtain covering the monument, and fans were stunned by how big it was. George would’ve liked it like that. His monument trumps all of the others in size, and stands in between Mantle and DiMaggio. According to Yankees PR, the monument is manufactured by US Bronze (Hyde Park, NY). It measures 7 ft. by 5 ft. high, not including the base. It weighs 760 lbs.

After everyone left the park, Mariano remained kneeling in front of the monument, paying tribute to The Boss.

Former New York Yankees pitcher David Wells, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, and Torre's wife Ali inspect baseball game

Members of New York Yankees attend unveiling of late team owner George Steinbrenner's monument

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 20: Mariano Rivera

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From the LoHud Yankees Blog:

“Just a reminder, the Yankees will hold a special ceremony to dedicate and unveil a monument in honor of George Steinbrenner in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park prior to tonight’s game against the Rays.

The Yankees are asking fans to arrive early and be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. Monument Park will be closed to fans prior to the game. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at approximately 7 p.m. with a special introduction behind home plate, followed by the unveiling of Mr. Steinbrenner’s monument in Monument Park.

Mr. Steinbrenner’s granddaughter Haley Swindal, who is currently performing in the musical Cabaret at the Surflight Theater in Beach Haven, N.J., will sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch in tribute to her grandfather. Frank Sinatra, Jr., will sing the national anthem prior to the game, while the colors will be presented by the West Point Color Guard.

Mr. Steinbrenner’s wife, Joan, and all four of the couple’s children – Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica – are scheduled to be in attendance.”

First pitch was even moved to 7:35PMET:

“The Yankees have announced the full schedule for tonight’s pregame ceremony.

Everything will begin at 7:05, pushing first pitch back to 7:35. There will be a video tribute, the family will got to monument park and the monument itself will be unveiled at 7:20.

I’m guessing the whole thing will be on the YES Network.”

Welcome Back, Joe Torre and Donnie Baseball

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The Dodgers have the day off on Monday, which will allow both of them to attend. I didn’t see this coming. This is great news.

From the NY Daily News:

So big is the Yankees’ commemoration of a monument to George Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium Monday night that Joe Torre and Don Mattingly are going to end their estrangement with the team to attend the ceremonies.

The Daily News has learned that Yankee brass extended an invitation to both Torre, the former Yankee manager who won four World Championships with the team before leaving under acrimonious circumstances after the 2007 season, and Mattingly, who joined Torre as batting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being passed over as Yankee manager for Joe Girardi that same year, agreed to attend.

Torre announced on Friday that he will be stepping down as skipper of the Dodgers at season’s end and Mattingly will be his replacement.

It will mark the first time since either Torre or Mattingly left the Yankees that they have been at Yankee Stadium, the old or the new.

Ceremonies in which Steinbrenner will join Yankee immortals Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins with a monument in Monument Park, will bring together many of the Yankee living greats, including Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, David Cone, David Wells, Greg Nettles, Goose Gossage, and Roy White.

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From the Yankees Official Website:

There’s no question that late former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner occupies an important space in Yankees history. In September, Steinbrenner will take his place among the club’s other legends in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.

Steinbrenner’s monument will be dedicated on Monday, Sept. 20, before that evening’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

At the news of the honor, the Steinbrenner family expressed its immense gratitude.

“We remain profoundly grateful and touched by the many expressions of sympathy and support from so many,” the Steinbrenners said in a written statement. “We wish to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers, which we continue to hold close. We are especially appreciative that our family’s privacy was respected as we grieved the loss of George.

“We know we will always share George’s memory with Yankees fans everywhere, and a monument in his honor to be located in Monument Park will reflect the special connection, appreciation and responsibility that George felt for New York Yankees’ fans everywhere as they were always uppermost in his mind.”

Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the New York Yankees since 1973, returned the storied franchise to prominence both on and off the field and won seven World Series titles. He passed away on July 14 at his home in Tampa, Fla., at age 80.

The Yankees are also planning a special tribute to Steinbrenner’s life in Tampa before the opening game of Spring Training in 2011.

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Could C.C. reach 300 wins? He’s got 149 career wins and he just turned 30 last month. I don’t think it’s out of the question. If he really wants it, a few extra years in the major leagues should do the trick. If he plays until he’s 40, he’s going to have to average about 15 wins a year for the next 10 years.   

Is Monument Park big enough? When the new Yankee Stadium was built, you heard many complaints about how you couldn’t see Monument Park from your seat in the stadium. The old stadium’s park was wide open and was visible from basically any seat in the house. The new one is more closed in. Nobody is arguing whether it’s good looking or not, but is it big enough to house all the Yankees greats?

At the moment, Yankees security guards need to count fans and send them in certain group numbers. As a person whose been to the new one several times, I can say that it gets pretty crowded in there. Sometimes it’s a struggle to even get a camera shot with all the fans walking all over the place. You have to figure that one day, Monument Park will have to be expanded. But how? There’s the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar overhead, and the bullpens/bleachers on both side of it.

Monuments: Steinbrenner, (Will Jeter get a monument? How about Rivera? They both rank at the top with the greatest players to ever put on the pinstripes)

Retired numbers: Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte, Rodriguez, Torre, Williams (You might think it’s crazy now, but Sabathia, Teixeira [both thought to be franchise players] and Cano will likely have their numbers retired when it’s all said and done).

Plaques: You have to figure that some of the players who get their number retired, will also get a plaque up on the wall.

Here are a few more photos: Photo 1 – Photo 2 – Photo 3 – Photo 4 

Joe Girardi to the Cubs? Many have debated the topic, with Cubs manager, Lou Piniella, recently stating that he will be retiring at the end of the season. Girardi grew up in the Chicago area, went to college there and was even drafted by the Cubs. As Mike Axisa discussed, this will give him leverage with the Yankees when contract negotiations are brought up. Does it make sense for Joe? He would be leaving a World Series caliber ball club, for a team that hasn’t won a World Series in 102 years and is a total disaster.

If Joe was to leave (he never dismissed the possibility)….who would replace him as manager?

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    Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

    Do you remember that Yankee Stadium security guard who retrieved the 600th HR ball in Monument Park? Well, Jack Curry has his back-story:

    From Jack Curry:

    Frankie Babilonia was the 23-year old security guard who retrieved A-Rod’s 600th homer in Monument Park. “That was really cool,” he said.

    Babilonia was filling in on the Monument Park post for another security guard so that’s why he was in position to get A-Rod’s 600th homer.

    Frankie Babilonia told me that scooping up A-Rod’s 600th HR in Monument Park was “one of the coolest things in my life.” Kid was elated.

    Frankie Babilonia has worked security at Stadium for 2 years, but has never met A-Rod. By day’s end, my guess is that will change.

    As I spoke to Frankie Babilonia about retrieving A-Rod’s homer ball, someone joked he should have kept it. He said that was never a choice

    As you can see from the picture above, Babilonia was invited to the press conference and he got the chance to meet Alex. He shook his hand, was given a autographed bat and posed for photos on the stage. I guess he was in the right place at the right time.

    NEW YORK- AUGUST 04: Alex Rodriguez

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    NEW YORK- AUGUST 04: Alex Rodriguez

    On a 2-0 pitch, Alex Rodriguez launched a 2-run home run (off a 85mph fastball from Shuan Marcum) in the bottom of the 1st inning to put the team up 2-0 over the Blue Jays. It was the highly anticipated home run that everyone has been waiting for. It took him 46 at-bats, but he’s finally in the 600HR club, joining Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Griffey and Sosa. Alex is now the youngest player to ever hit 600HR’s, just 8 days past his 35th birthday. He actually hit in on the same day (August 4, 2007) that he hit HR #500.

    Funny enough, the ball landed in Monument Park and a Yankee Stadium security guard picked up the ball.  I guess that belongs to the Yankees now, and it will go directly to Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees organization was prepared to give the fan a autographed baseball, jersey, hat and bat from Rodriguez. If that wasn’t enough, they were going to offer the person lunch with A-Rod and Cameron Diaz. (Via Jack Curry: Michael Kay passed this along during the YES Network broadcast).

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    We all know Joe Torre left the Yankees on bad terms, but one has to think that his #6 will eventually be retired by the Yankees organization. Mr. T donned the #6 on his uniform for 12 years with the Yankees before getting let loose by them after the 2007 season.

    Joe’s overall record with the club was (W-L) 1173–767. He won four World Series’, three of them in a row, and made it to six Fall Classic’s in total. He won 10 AL East titles, a Manager of The Year award, and a record-setting (W-L) 113-48 regular season record in 1998. Not only that, but he never failed to bring them to the playoffs during his tenure with the Yankees. With 2,246 wins (through the end of the 2009 season), he presently ranks 5th in all-time Major League Baseball all-time managerial wins list.

    The guy is not only a beloved manager in New York, but he is widely considered a Hall of Fame manager. Some predict Torre will even be a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Famer upon his eligibility. He loved his players and the game of baseball, he handled the media very well, and shined on the biggest stage in the sports world. (more…)

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