Inside Yankee Stadium on a tour

RAB Fantasy Football League
Game 128: Moose hunting for 17th W

Tour Ticket

As part of the last season at Yankee Stadium, my dad and I yesterday morning took one of the Behind-The-Scenes tours the Yankees offer at the old stadium. The tour — which started at 11 a.m. — lasted an hour, and we were taken around to parts of the ballpark generally closed to the public. We walked on the field, sat in the press box, enjoyed the view from the dugout and strolled through the Yankee Clubhouse.

Going inside the new stadium on a day in which there is no game offers a fascinating glimpse inside the life of a baseball stadium. For just 81 days a year, a baseball stadium is used for its intended purposes. For the other 284 days, the stadium sits empty. While team officials are hard at work running the business, the stadium itself is cleaned and primped regularly. The Yankees may be out of town, but the stadium is alive on a Thursday afternoon.

Our tour started with a walk through the press box where Sunday’s lineups were still penciled on the big board. I sat in the seat usually reserved for the reporter from the Asahi Shinbum, and I could see the spot from which Peter Abraham blogs every night.

The best seat in the house belongs to the official scorer. He sits on a platform above all of the reporters with a microphone so that the announcers, writers and game officials hear all of his decisions.

After the press box, we walked through the empty stadium en route to Monument Park. The seats are looking a bit worse for the wear, and the stadium keepers were still cleaning up from the home stand.

In Monument Park, we had more time to explore the grounds that one would during a game day. We could examine the monuments, plaques and retried numbers. (On a related note, I hope this guy comes back soon.)

After enjoying Monument Park, we walked past the left field foul pole on the way to the Yankee dugout. The Yankees prefer the first base side of the stadium because the third base dugout sits in the sun during day games. The bullpen phone looks just as neat in real life as it does on TV, and the view into the crowd is rather impressive.

Following the jaunt into the dugout, we ventured down into the clubhouse where cameras are not allowed. Chien-Ming Wang had a package from Taiwan in front of his locker. Mike Mussina’s whiteboard was nowhere in sight, and Brian Bruney’s locker was sporting a fantastic bowler hat. As the longest tenured Yankee, Mariano Rivera had the primo corner locker.

As we left the clubhouse and walked back to the field to conclude the tour, a sign with a famous quotation greeted us as it does every Yankee during every home game. I have tickets for just one more Yankee game at the old stadium, and if this tour is my second-to-last trip to the House that Ruth Built, it will server as a fitting memorial a baseball cathedral.

RAB Fantasy Football League
Game 128: Moose hunting for 17th W
  • jsbrendog

    I am so depressed that I will not be able to go on one of these tours before the stadium closes. As a Yankee fan i hate myself for never visiting monument park or taking the tour. These are thigns I took for granted and now as a result of my stupidity I can’t afford tickets for a game the rest of the year and the tours are sold out and i have never been to monument park. I’ll kick myself for the rest of my days.

    so jealous.

    • RobertGKramer

      See my post below!

  • Ed

    Did you get tour tickets day of or in advance? I’ve been trying to get tour tickets, but they’ve been sold out online for months.

    Anyone know how long the lines are for day of sales? I’m not thrilled with the idea of taking a day off from work or wasting a Saturday to gamble on having a short line for day of sales.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      The prices are bananas on Stub Hub. I was looking the other day to get a pair, redic.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      We got ours in advance, but the tours are now sold out forever. You can gamble with waiting on line. I overheard the guards saying that the stand-by line was large. I’m not sure how many of those people get in to the tour though.

  • Manimal

    those tours are great. Seeing the bullpen phones and walking out of the same doors that Mariano jogs out of. Rubbing Babes forehead.

  • dkidd

    i did the tour in 98. biggest thrill was standing in center field

    here’s a question: how does one get to be an official scorer? i was watching the mets play the nationals and one of the fsny guys mentioned that the official scoring in d.c. has been notoriously bad all year. anyone know which team has the longest-tenured off. scorer?

  • Manimal

    You don’t notice how many dents are in the wall, I was surprised when I was that close. For the record I tried to pretend rob a homerun and I was nowhere close to the top of the wall. Given I was 13 I think I could do better now.

    • steve

      haha reminds me when i was 13 i went to some shitty wrestling match thing … my friend gave me a choke slam in the ring and we got kicked out. totally worth it though.

  • dkidd

    that wall is taller than it looks

    • Manimal

      It really is, I give melky credit for that. Everything else not so much….

  • dcpi

    The Web site says that group tours of 12-50 can be arranged. Surely there are at least 10 others here that will go in on a group tour (I can guarantee two slots). How can the Steinbrenners turn down a River Ave Blues group?

  • ceciguante

    glad you got to take a tour, ben. i did one with my dad in maybe ’02, and of course i had my (film) camera around my neck to take it all in. we were in the dugout, and my dad’s eyes get wide and he points behind me, trying not to make it obvious that he’s pointing.

    i turn around, and there’s a guy on one knee proposing to his girlfriend. i caught a quick (underexposed) shot of it — he even whipped out a personalized yanks jersey for her as part of his display. this girl lost it — i think she was half in shock at the proposal, and half in shock that her boyfriend did it in front of a pack of strangers in the yanks dugout. weird moment, but cool.

    and yeah, i sent the guy a picture of him proposing. it was nice to capture someone’s special moment.

  • http://www.yanksblog.com Patrick

    Hey Ben,

    Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you and your dad had a lot of fun.

    Patrick

  • David Clark

    Guys – I was upset that I couldn’t get the tickets since they were sold out also. I scheduled a group tour. I started w/ 15 people wanting to go, in the end I have 35 people going w/ me and I still get calls and e-mails form friends asking to go. The prices on eBay are crazy – I got mine for $15/person (normally they are $20)

    I think even the private tours are sold out – I booked mine in June and he only had a few days open.

    I am going Sept 12th – 10 am – since there is a game that night I will not get to do the tour of the clubhouse (o well) –

    Thanks Ben for the review – I am so excited to go on my tour.

    Did they let you have a lot of time to take pics in monument park – I have been there before but they rush you threw and I want to take LOTS of pictures.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/nyy/ballpark/stadium_tours.jsp

    GROUP TOURS (12-50 people ONLY)*:
    All tour time slots may combine groups to maximize 50 people per tour. Group tours are booked based on availability from 10:00am-4:00pm, and must be reserved in advance by calling 718-579-4594, or via email at tours@yankees.com

    It took the gy 2 weeks to call me back after I left the voice mail

  • Mark B

    Ben-

    Thanks for this post…..I am in Chicago and was unable to find the time to fly back out with my dad to take a tour and see the park one more time.

    Really was nice to see your tour….I will forward this to my dad.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  • adeel siddiqui

    so is anyone setting this up? I would gladly do anything (maybe even pay the ridiculous ebay prices if i get desparate enough to go on this tour)….

    But if the there is a RAB group, please count me in. I will give my e-mail address, phone number, first born…. whatever it takes……=)

    I am sure we can get 15-20 people (if not more together)

    so who is taking organizing this? (I would, but I live in Philly and I think it would be best if someone closer to the stadium would organize it)… I don’t mind planning it though if noone else wants to…. I would need volunteers though.

  • RobertGKramer

    Ben,
    I took the tour along with a visitor from Menbourne back in April. Since it was a game day, we missed the player’s area part. There was not even the glimpse that they advertise. But, it still was something I had to do being a fan since 1950. I can’t count the games I’ve seen, but I’d never before been in the dugout or Monument Park, so still plenty of value. I’m thinking of going back with relatives after the season.

  • RobertGKramer

    Melbourne

  • RobertGKramer

    I originally wanted to go on an off day, April 28th but just got the last two spots (49 and 50) for the 29th at 1 PM. I thought they just kept “rolling” out tours like the shuttle (still?.) Maybe they will start that to satisfy the demand!

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