The Yankees’ Great City Subway Race (sponsored by Subway) and I have a tenuous relationship. As a little kid growing up at the stadium, I loved the guy with his Noo Yawk accent broadcasting the race between what was then the 4, D and C trains. The video had live footage inside the subway system, and the race was a thrill for the little kids pulling for their favorite trains.
At some point over the past 15 years, after the B replaced the C in the Bronx, the race changed. It found a corporate sponsor and became all special effects. In early March, I explored how the subway race made no sense and how divorced from transit reality it was.
Today, the Yankees dropped a bombshell on us at Opening Day: The B, D and 4 trains are no more. Instead of using real New York City subway routes, the Yankees have taken the branding in house. The Road Gray and Midnight Blue trains have replaced the B and the D while the Pinstripes train — today’s winner — took over the East Side route for the 4. I am as speechless as you are.
I was able to snap the image above after picking my jaw off of the frozen tundra that was the floor underneath my seats this afternoon. How could the Yankees do such a thing to the iconic New York imagery and their long-term between-innings entertainment? Did the MTA force a change? Did the Yanks want the chance to sell pinstripe-branded subway cars? The questions were endless.
Right now, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I’ve reached out to the Yankees for an explanation, and I’ll do the same with the MTA. Trust me; I will get to the bottom of this. We deserve the answers. In the meantime, we’ll ponder the fates of the B, D and 4 trains and find a silver lining: At least the injustice of the B winning the Great City Subway Race will no longer drive us nuts.
After the jump, a shot I snapped of the trains in motion. It just looks…wrong.