The Lasting Yankee Stadium Memory series will return next week as we come to the finish line. In the meantime, several readers have sent me their own lasting Stadium memories. I thought I’d share a few of them with you…
By Dina Colarossi
So here’s my Yankee Stadium memory. My apologies if this turns out a little overlong. A little bit of back story is required so that you can understand why this is my awesomest memory of the Stadium. Context is important!
I moved to Dallas in August 2003, based on my uncle’s promise that there were plenty of jobs and no winters. He was wrong on both counts. After a couple of months of being unemployed, I started bartending as a way to make some money. Like most newbies in a bar, I got stuck with the crappy weekend day shifts, serving beer to a bunch of old men in cowboy hats who weren’t so sure about this damn Yankee girl with a college degree and no babies. (I wish I were kidding about that.)
I had absolutely nothing in common with these guys (and a few ladies) who talked about nothing but guns, motorcycles, and the Cowboys. Good lord did they spend a lot of time talking about the Cowboys. Now, I hate football. I actively avoid football, and even more so the Cowboys. Hard to do in Texas. But, I did know an awful lot about this kid the Cowboys just signed who used to play baseball . It was a win-win situation. I got to babble on about Drew Henson and hype and blah, blah, blah, and the old men got the comfort in knowing that their bartender might be a Yankee, but at least she knew something about sports.
By the time baseball season rolled around, it was well known (and grudgingly accepted) that I was a Yankees fan, and would talk about baseball for hours if you let me. I was very popular with all three baseball fans in North Texas. That season in particular it was hard to get tickets when Boston or the Yankees came to town unless you knew someone or were prepared to spend many hundreds of dollars. Most of the tickets were purchased by businesses before the season started, so if you couldn’t get your hands on those, you were out of luck. I was, sadly, out of luck. (Contrast that with Yankee games this season when my friend Gary and I rolled up to the ticket window 5 minutes before the game, bought bleacher seats for $5, and promptly plopped down in seats 20 rows behind first base without a second glance from anyone, including the ushers.)
So, for a good two weeks before the Yanks came to town I was teased, taunted, and otherwise annoyed by the folks with tickets, including my then-boyfriend who would be in a suite courtesy of his company. He was absolutely merciless with the teasing, to the point where he called me around 6 o’clock the night he was supposed to go to the game:
Him: Hey baby, guess what I have.
Me: *getting all excited* No way, did you get an extra ticket for me?
Him: No, just the one for me. Sucks you have to work though.
Me: Fuck you. *click*
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I’m back home in Scranton, PA for my birthday. As I’m getting on a bus to New York to visit some friends, my mom tosses me $200 and says “Go to a Yankee game. Happy birthday!” I love my mom. As luck would have it, the Rangers were in town, and it was Soriano’s first game back in the Bronx since being traded to TX. This game. 150 bucks later (so cheap!) and we were sitting in some pretty sweet seats behind home plate.
So, Soriano’s second time up to bat, and he jacks a home run to put the Rangers up 1-0. I had forgotten just how loud a good baseball crowd can be. People were cheering and screaming and clapping. It was amazing. He got a curtain call, then proceeded to get boo’d for the rest of his at bats. You don’t get that kind of thing down here, where people are significantly more interested in the beer than the game, but you would expect nothing less in Yankee stadium.
A few innings later, I decide to call the boyfriend. I mean, turnabout’s fair play, right? If he can call me from a suite in Arlington, I can call him from behind home plate in New York:
Me: Hey baby. Guess where I am.
Him: You’re in PA.
Me: Not exactly….
At that exact moment Bernie Williams hit a two run shot to put the Yanks on the board. The stadium erupted. The timing could not have been more perfect if I had paid every single person in attendance a dollar to cheer on my signal.
Me: …I’m behind home plate in Yankee stadium. Hold on a second babe.
And then I held the phone out and cheered my heart out with everyone else. Every thirty seconds or so I would say “You still there baby? OK, hold on,” and just hold the phone out again. It was a burn. It was a SUPER burn (a super Bern?). It was awesome. Once everything died down a bit, we chatted for a few more minutes about nothing important, and then got off the phone.
So that’s my best Yankee Stadium memory: the day 50,000 New Yorkers conspired to help me burn my boyfriend. He broke up with me approximately 8 minutes after I stepped foot back in Texas, but it was totally worth it. Who needs a guy who can’t take a joke?