RAB Exclusive: A new look for the Subway Race

Open Thread: Textbook
Granderson drives Yanks to Opening Day win

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.

The Yankees have replaced the B, D and 4 trains with their own subway colors. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

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.

The new-look Great City Subway Race. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)
Open Thread: Textbook
Granderson drives Yanks to Opening Day win
  • http://www.twitter.com/howienewville Howie


  • Greg Golson’s Rocket Arm

    Its about time they got rid of the B train, is the zales fan marquee dude with the annoying voice still there? what about Tara with the annoying voice?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      The fan marquee is now sponsored by Pepsi Max. It’s annoying but less so.

      Don’t hate on the B! It’s my local train in Brooklyn. It just should never have ever won the subway race.

      • Greg Golson’s Rocket Arm

        The train itself is fine, it was just it beating the 4 and D, at least these weird new names have plausability

  • YankeeJosh

    Road Gray? But the L doesn’t even go to the Bronx?

  • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

    I had to watch most of the game with no volume from my cubicle, do they still do the JP Richards whistle?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Aye. And the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” song when someone steals a base.

  • Kit

    The Road Gray train just looks like the 4 with those terrible Monroe College advertisements around it. Gross.

  • http://www.twitter.com/howienewville Howie

    I was at work during the game; gonna watch it on MLB.TV now. Nobody spoil the ending!

    • ROBTEN

      Nobody spoil the ending!

      It was all purgatory! Vader is Luke’s father! Snape kills Dumbledore! Rosebud was a sled! Dil was a man! The planet is Earth! Soylent Green is people!

      • http://www.twitter.com/howienewville Howie

        Haha, nice

      • Marsha

        “Dil was a man!” Ah, a deep movie fan on RAB.

  • Adam

    As long as people are wasting their hard earned money degeneratively gambling on the fake subways, it will still be the great subway race to me.

  • pollo

    I’m pretty sure it was your post that facilitated the change Ben.

    You have no one to blame but yourself!

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

      I can just picture someone at the MTA seeing the post and being like “Wait, they’re using the likenesses of our trains during games? That’s not allowed!” And then they put an end to it.

      • http://www.twitter.com/howienewville Howie

        Like how they refuse to call it “Citi Field” unless Citibank pays them? That’s not impossible.

  • mike c

    the sponsor probably didn’t want to be associated with the MTA. subway’s also probably setting up for next season’s $5 footlong subway race… expect next year’s trains to feature the italian BMT, meatball marinara, and chicken & bacon ranch

  • Frigidevil

    I demand that they now paint the B D and 4 trains to look like that. Because that would be awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/bleachertweeter Big Joe

    It was so disappointing to see this. The Bleacher Creatures all pretty much seemed unhappy, as well did I.

  • Jenny

    Does your nose bleed in the upper-upper tier?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Are you attempting to troll us or have you never been to Yankee Stadium before?

  • Will (the other one)

    As somebody who’s never lived in the city, I actually feel really inadequate for not knowing enough about the subway to be upset/giddy/nostalgic/heartbroken about this.

  • Jorge

    I was upset by this….until they unveiled “Cotton Eye Joba.”

  • A.D.

    So MTA added or increased some type or royalty fee?

  • Yo! I’m Chris

    I couldn’t give a fuck less about this. Great game today though.

  • Brian Paul

    April fools?!

  • Tony S

    This is great. I’m rooting for road gray. I would love to meet the genious who thought up this gem.