There has been a lot of talk about the lame the vibe at Yankee Stadium in the first two games of the Serious. This is nothing new. Back in 1962, Roger Angell wrote about the “ignorance and moneyed apathy” of a World Series crowd in the Bronx:
This jet Subway Series moved three thousand miles east last Saturday, but in watching the reactions of the local crowds to the first of the three marvelous games in Yankee Stadium this week I had the recurrent impression that the teams’ planes had overshot their mark, and that the Series was being continued before a polite, uncomprehending audience of Lebanese or Yemenis. New York is full of cool, knowing baseball fans–a cabdriver the other day gave me an explicit, dispassionate account of the reasons for the Milwaukee Braves’ collapse this year–but not many of them got their hands on Series tickets. Before the first game here, on Sunday, the northbound D trains were full of women weighted down with expensive coiffures and mink stoles, not one of whom, by the look of them, had ever ridden a subway as far as the Bronx before. There was no noise in the stands during batting practice, and the pregame excitement seeemed to arise from the crowd’s admiration for itself and its size (a sellout 71, 431), rather than for the contest to come; ritual and occasion had displaced baseball.
…By the sixth inning, when the game was still scoreless, spectators had begun walking out in twos and threes, surrendering their tickets stubs to the perserving verticals; the departees had accomplished their purpose, which was to be able to tell their friends they had been to a Series game.
Now, the schmucks and schmuckettes behind home plate wave, talk on their phones, and spend more time texting than watching the game.