You can blame the Morning Toast for this one.
In the comments to yesterday’s post about Yankee Satdium’s final game, tMT said I should start a series about the times I’ve been to Yankee Stadium.
I don’t mind if I do.
I wrote a rather lengthy, but somewhat general post about my memories of Yankee Stadium. While it was a nice look back, there are more to the stories than what I wrote. At least I hope they are. So in an effort to expand the blog content, I give you the very first post in an ongoing series called When I Was There.
Memorial Day, 1997
Orioles 8, Yankees 6
While my father took my brother and I to Yankees games numerous times growing up, our most prolific attendance came during the ’97 and ’98 seasons, when we had the “Sunday Plan,” which gave us tickets to every Sunday home game, as well as a number of other games throughout the season. The three of us had a routine every gameday from the time we left our house, to what tollbooth to use on the GWB to what food stand to hit first.
It was a great two-year run for the team, and we had pretty damn good seats- the third row back in the second level in Section 22. Here’s an attempt at showing you what it was like (keep in mind these two pictures were taken more than ten years ago, and had I known I would’ve needed to make a photo montage, I would have taken better pictures.):
Memorial Day was one of those bonus days we got as part of the plan. The third-place Yankees were taking on the first-place Orioles, and the game was scheduled to be on ESPN, so there was something in the air that day.
Before the game started, the three of us went to Sausages, Etc., the sausage stand right behind the Yankee offices and stadium pressbox. While it served as lunch for my brother and my father, for me, it was typically the first of many food stops on any given game day. We liked to start off at Sausages, Etc., because the lines were usually short and the staff more friendly than other stadium locations.
The line this Memorial Day was actually a bit long. The three of us were standing behind a short guy in a suit. I whispered to my father “I think that’s Joe Morgan,” when without skipping a beat, the guy turned around and said “Yes, I’m Joe Morgan–and don’t be afraid to say hello…I don’t know why people never want to talk to me here!”
Joe was actually pretty gracious. He shook my hand and we talked about the season as the line progressed. While he placed his order, he turned around and said that of the three sausages he ordered, two were for [broadcast partner] Jon Miller. Before he headed back to the booth, I got an autograph (which I think my brother is in possession of). Throughout the whole few minutes, neither my father nor my brother said a word. When I asked my father why he didn’t say anything, he said simply “I hate Joe Morgan.” (Of course, this was back before everyone else had the same opinion of Morgan as my father and way before he said Billy Beane shouldn’t have written that book).
The game itself wasn’t that memorable (and I’m probably saying that because the Yankees lost) outside of a Tim Raines triple, Bernie Williams home run and Derek Jeter driving in two with a bases-loaded single.
Last night, when talking with my father about the TV coverage of the Stadium’s final game, my father said he was disappointed that when asked his favorite stadium memory, Morgan didn’t mention his sausage stand run-in with the King, and a silent King Classic and t-shirt boy.
You know what Dad? Me too.