A Yankee-loving friend of mine reminded me of this great look behind the scenes of the old Stadium, in a March 2008 Times article from Tyler Kepner.
Canó is only 25, but he felt the tug of history when he visited a storage room beside the Yankees’ batting cage two years ago. He was taken there by Reggie Jackson and Ray Negron, a Yankees adviser who featured the room in his children’s book, “The Boy of Steel.”
The room is used for repairs to the 55,000 or so seats in the stadium. It is cluttered with plastic seatbacks and wrought-iron frames. There are workbenches and boxes, and one of the pillars in the room is splotched with graffiti.
But another pillar is holy ground. Upon it is a rendering by the artist James Fiorentino, who has depicted three Yankees captains — Derek Jeter, Thurman Munson and Lou Gehrig, who is shown weeping.
Negron, who has worked for the Yankees since 1973, said Gehrig’s widow once told him the room was a refuge for her husband when a degenerative nerve disease was ravaging his body. When Gehrig needed privacy, he would retreat to that room. His wife would wait by a side door, just up a ramp beside the old bullpen, and take him home.
Nearby is a room with happier memories for a Yankees icon of a later generation. In the late 1970s and 1980s, only two people had keys to the room: the clubhouse manager, Jimmy Esposito; and the star pitcher Ron Guidry. It is where Guidry stored his drum set.
“I played the drums before I pitched to make my wrists strong,” Guidry said. “It was the storage room for when you had a day at the stadium — Hat Day, Bat Day, whatever it was, all the stuff would be in that room. It was a big room, and it made a left, and back there was just excess storage space. So I brought them in, and I usually would play them right before I went to pitch.”
Kepner also narrates a slide show of the old Stadium here.