Welcome to 30 ballparks in 30 days! While I’m not as big of a baseball enthusiast as our prospect expert Brock Landes, many of you do know me as an umpiring enthusiast. This time I’m not talking umpiring though. I’m going to be taking you on a journey through America’s ballparks. Ballparks have gone from the age of wooden bleacher parks to multipurpose cookie cutters, and now each team has a unique ballpark. While I haven’t been to all of the parks (I’ve only been to about six), I have done extensive research on each. With each article, you will not only learn about the park itself, but I’m going to show you some special features, and amenities surrounding the ballpark.
Our first stadium is my favorite stadium in baseball, Yankee Stadium. The still fairly new ballpark offers a lot more than Yankees baseball. Through the timeless years of the Big Apple Yankees baseball is a keystone in America’s most glamorous city. First off, Yankee Stadium is most accessible by train even if you live in New York. I highly recommend hopping on the number four train because it is accessible at all times. Once you get off the train at 161st street, I recommend heading over to Billy’s Sports Bar which is at the intersection of River Avenue and 161st.
Billy’s has the largest Yankees parties in the Bronx, before and after the game. Billy’s is decorated with some of the most fascinating Yankees decorum in the world. The walls have murals ranging from manager Joe McCarthy to former World Series MVP Scott Brosius. They have plenty of vintage jerseys framed as well as some vintage photos of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth that have been converted into mirrors. Billy’s also has added a rooftop deck which gives a solid view of downtown Manhattan.
If you do want to hang out before heading into the park, head across to the original site of the old Yankee Stadium, which still has two baseball diamonds that are perfect for leisure and it also has the original famous white pickets from the old Yankee Stadium.
Now let’s head into the ballpark. The first place to check out aside from the two huge souvenir stores in the park is Monument Park, which is located in center field. It is accessible when the gates open but closes 45 minutes prior to first pitch. Monument Park not only honors former Yankee greats, but also honors many others who have contributed to the city of New York, such as the many men and women who showed us what Americans are on 9/11. There is also a plaque dedicated to Pope Benedict, who said mass in the stadium before it opened in 2009.
After you visit Monument Park, check out the team museum that contains some of the 27 World Series trophies and has some astounding features, such as the late Thurman Munson’s original locker. I also recommend checking out the souvenir stores before the game. Then once it’s game time sit back and enjoy the game from what might be a third level seat, after all you paid a lot of money for that seat.
After the game I recommend heading to Bounce Sporting Club in the Flat Iron district of Manhattan. The clubs’ design comes from the original gentleman’s club of the 50’s and 60’s. I highly recommend trying their award winning New York style Sicilian pizza, and their buffalo chicken sliders.
So if you want top flight amenities, great baseball, and New York culture, I highly recommend Yankee Stadium. I went there last year and it is probably my favorite park on the list. Tomorrow I’ll be back with Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.