|Winter is rough for a baseball fanatic. It’s been more than two months since the last Yankees game and spring training doesn’t start for another four. By January we’ll be so desperate for team sports we will take a (very) brief interest in hockey (where did Wayne Gretzky go?) and in February we’ll be prematurely calling our cable companies to get a jump on ordering the Extra Innings package. By the time March finally rolls around we’ll be so excited for spring training we’ll even watch the Royals’ warm-up – hey, it’s something!
Short of following football or obsessively clicking the “refresh” button on ESPN in hopes of some sort of updates, there are options for a hardcore Yanks fan to get their fix during these lean months. There’s always blogs (subliminal message: read mine), and plenty of baseball-themed movies to waste an afternoon with. Of course, those who live in Yankee-Ville have an edge over the rest of us: they can go see the stadium. That’s right folks – for those of you who weren’t aware, the Yankees offer a shriek-worthy tour of the stadium daily!
I went on the tour last year during a visit to the Big Apple, and if you live in NY and haven’t been yet you are missing out on a great experience. The tour costs just fourteen dollars and is very comprehensive: we saw the stadium, the press boxes, the field, Monument Park, and the dugout. I made sure to sit exactly where Torre sits in the dugout, and also checked out where Jim Kaat and the rest of the YES crew sits. Seeing Monument Park and all the retired numbers was amazing; I felt like I was stepping into a little piece of history. The most exhilarating part though, even more so than being on the field or in the dugout, was getting to see the clubhouse. Seeing all the lockers and what the different players keep in there felt like I was being let in on a secret. They don’t allow any picture taking in the clubhouse, though, so I’ll have to report what I saw from memory:
- Tanyon Sturtze had a copy of US Magazine
- Randy Johnson’s jersey looks like it could fit King Kong
- Bernie has the best, biggest locker (the tour guide informed us that when the Unit came to pick out his locker, he told the Yankees that he wanted to be right next to Bernie!)
- Giambi had no less than four pairs of shoes in his locker
The tour guide was great as well. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what his role with the Yankees was, but he was very knowledgeable. Surprisingly, he had nothing but good things to say about his boss (Steinbrenner), and showed us the three World Series rings George had given him!