August 11, 2009

Yankee Stadium painted in a new light







Over this past weekend I had the opportunity to see Yankee stadium and some games from a perspective I never thought possible, the Luxury seats. When they say luxury, they are not kidding. Sunday for dinner we were offered amongst other things, lobster, bison steak, and lamp chops (with a hint o' mint). To keep you "hungry" for more you will have to read more about that experience later in the week. Last night my dad was offered tickets in a luxury suite upstairs at the stadium so he called me and my brother to go with him. My brother having been there 3 days straight, and on Friday for 15 innings was baseball-ed out told me to call Kouzmanoff a.k.a. Sooz and give her his ticket.

Coincidentally Sooz was kind of on her way here if she kept driving an extra hour from Rutgers, so she was more than willing to take the ticket. We made it down to the stadium in no time really, I parked in the first possible lot so that I didn't get all psychotic in the car sitting in traffic and we met my dad inside. My dad came down with a nice guy from WCBS, I believe his name was Danny, who handed us-I kid you not, gold lettered tickets. I will scan those by the end of me writing this so you can see the difference in even the paper money buys there.

We hop on the air-conditioned elevator and were whisked away to the H&R Block suite level. As we are walking to the suite we pass by a small bar area where fans were waiting to get someone's autograph. I looked in and didn't recognize who it was and honestly didn't care all that much, thenmy dad tapped me and said, "that's Mickey Rivers, wanna go get his autograph." My reply, "Great, I'm not buying a ball for that." I know it sounds terrible, but neither of us really cared that much and kept going.

So we walk in and the first thing I noticed was there was a private marble bathroom, bonus. There was a kitchen area with flat screen tv, food everywhere, water, soda and beer in the fridge. Small tv area with a couch and two chairs (everything leather), and a flat screen tv. There was a really cool phone in there with a screen all it's own, however it didn't call the dugout or the bullpen so I didn't touch it. Chairs along the window looking out onto the field were awesome because you could watch the whole game sans 100% humidity. There were also two rows out seats outside the box which were cushioned like the $1300 seats downstairs. Marble ledges lined the inside and outside seating areas so you could eat, drink, or keep score. Programs were provided free in the suite as were the scorecards the press gets which is what we used to keep score. We joined forces to complete the scorecard (all but when the free ice cream got there was completed), and with minimal information missing.

When Mickey Rivers showed up the guys in the suite, excluding my dad and his friends were practically on his lap like Babe Ruth himself was ressurected and brought to us. I wish that were an exaggeration but Sooz can vouch for that. Neither of us got up at that point to go back inside because of all the hulabaloo, so we watched the first few innings outside before the heat wilted our spirits. Besides, I had my own tickets for that game and wasn't going to go because Mitre was pitching, but I figured if I could watch him suck from an air conditioned room, then way the hell not. So we migrated inside, and got to listen to Rivers for a good long time.

If anyone has seen King of the Hill and knows who Boomhauer is, that is how Rivers talks. Not one of us understood a word out of his mouth for a good hour until we learned how to translate. I wish I were making it up, but it's true. All the guys that were from another company were sitting around talking baseball with the guy, and he just ate it up and went with it. Me and Sooz only understood/paid attention to one story he told and happened to be as he was walking out. One of the guys said, "Hey Mickey, as a kid I don't remember you walking alot. Did you have alot of walks in your career?" Mickey's response was, "I used to walk alot when I first started playing, then I asked some people how do I make more money playing and they said to stop walking. So I hit the ball and didn't walk anymore." (I am quoting to the best of my memory, but it was pretty much the same.) You can imagine that made us laugh, and pretty good too.

We had free food, free ice cream, free suite, free tickets and a good time. It's nice to see how the other half lives for a little while. Though I did enjoy the seats and the experience, I prefer to sit outside in the bleachers or somewhere in the actual crowd.

6 comments:

  1. Mickey Freakin Rivers!?! Holy crap. I would've just spent the entire time talking and listening to him. Forget the frickin Yankees.
    One of the all time great interviews in the history of baseball. Puts yogi to shame.

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  2. I am one jealous dude. Mickey Rivers is a character...he wrote a great book. If you have never read it I suggest you pick it up, "Ain't No Sense Worryin'" is the title. You will not put it down until you finish it, which won't take long.

    Glad to see you guys got to enjoy a great time and a new perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I would've listened to Mickey's stories all day. He was/is a fascinating character from the 1970s. As kids we thought he was great -- even though he was a Yankee.

    The suites are cool aren't they? I've toured them, but never been in one during a game.

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  4. I think I agree with your assessment after my experience with the luxury suites at a minor league game.

    It was a good experience, but I felt somewhat removed from the game and fan experience by being up on the third level in the high-roller suites. There is nothing like being in the reserved section with the food hawkers and kids runnig up and down the aisles and hard-hit foul balls coming your way.

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  5. The whole point of going to a baseball game is to be immersed in the crowd to cheer on your favorite team. You just can't do that in a luxury box. Sure, it's a nice cushy experience, but I like my baseball with drunken, loudmouth fans.

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  6. Mickey Rivers has long had a charming reputation for interesting quotes and malaprops. It's like Rickey Henderson took lessons from him as a kid.

    Good idea passing up paying for a ball for a Rivers auto. I bet it was at least $30 just for the ball, and the experience meeting / talking / listening / taking pictures with Mickey would be priceless.

    I could reconsider the price of the ball if it went to charity, or I knew the money really went to Rickey, but I doubt both cases. You'd be better off finding a certified Rivers auto from Topps Fan Favorites for $10.

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