Poll: Greatest game at New Yankee Stadium

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The last few days have been pretty good for Yankees fans, starting with Derek Jeter‘s 3,000th hit and 5-for-5 game on Saturday. After the Cap’n went deep for the milestone hit, I declared that game the best in the history of the New Yankee Stadium. Many disagreed and offered alternatives, so what follows is only natural: a poll. Let’s relive seven of the most memorable games in New Stadium history, then vote for our favorite at the end…

August 7th, 2009: A-Rod‘s 15th inning walk-off against Boston (box) (video) (RAB recap)

The Red Sox mopped the floor with the Yankees early in 2009, winning the first eight games they played. New York got into the win column on August 6th, but it wasn’t until the next night that it felt like they were over the hump. Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett dueled for seven-plus scoreless innings, then the bullpens squared off for seven more scoreless innings. Rookie Junichi Tazawa was on the mound for Boston by time the 15th inning rolled around, his big league debut. Jeter singled to lead off the inning, but the Yankees looked liked they were about to blow another opportunity after Johnny Damon popped up a bunt and Mark Teixiera struck out. Alex Rodriguez took matters into his own hands, ending the game by clobbering a 2-1 curveball into the visitor’s bullpen for the walk-off win.

October 9th, 2009: ALDS Game Two (box) (video) (RAB recap)

They called it Yankee Stadium, but the park needed some postseason magic before it felt like home. That magic moment came in bottom of the ninth inning of Game Two of the 2009 ALDS, when the Twins were nursing a 3-1 lead with ubercloser Joe Nathan on the mound. Teixeira dunked a single into right to lead off the inning, and then Nathan made the mistake of falling behind A-Rod. His 3-1 fastball caught a little too much of the plate, and Alex did not miss it. I’ll never forget the moment of silence immediately after contact. It was almost like everyone in the building was gasping for air in disbelief. The place exploded it was clear the ball was heading over the fence for a game-tying two-run homer. It was … indescribable. David Robertson‘s greatest escape job ever and Tex’s walk-off homer two innings later were almost secondary, A-Rod’s brought the house down with his ninth inning homer. There was no more looking back, the new Stadium was home now.

October 29th, 2009: World Series Game Two (box) (video) (RAB recap)

You can make a pretty strong case that this was the most important game in the history of the New Stadium. The Yankees got manhandled by Cliff Lee in Game One of the Fall Classic, and if they dropped Game Two they were going to Philadelphia for three games down two games to none in the best-of-seven series. A.J. Burnett did his part, shutting down the Phillies down for seven innings after giving up an early run. Pedro Martinez was on his game in the first few innings, but Tex tied things up with a solo homer in the fourth. Hideki Matsui gave the Yankees a one-run lead with a solo homer in the sixth, then Jorge Posada plated an insurance run in the seventh. Burnett struck out nine in his seven innings, handing the ball off to Mariano Rivera for the two-out save. Just like that, the Yankees were right back in the series.

November 4th, 2009: World Series Game Six (box) (video) (RAB recap)

The Yankees have opened every one of their new stadiums with a World Championship, and the current version is no different. Matsui drove in four runs before the end of the third inning and six total on the night, leading to his World Series MVP trophy. Andy Pettitte gave up three runs in 5.2 IP on three days rest, Joba Chamberlain chipped in a scoreless inning, Damaso Marte pitched out of the Phillies’ last threat by striking out Chase Utley on three pitches, and Mo recorded the final five outs to clinch the franchise’s 27th title. It was glorious.

May 17th, 2010: Marcus Thames walk-off against Boston (box) (video) (RAB recap)

Unlike the other games in the post, I was actually in attendance for this one. The Yankees jumped out to a 5-0 zip off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning, but the Red Sox slowly chipped away and a back-to-back homers by Kevin Youkilis and Victor Martinez off Chan Ho Park in the eighth inning gave them a 9-7 lead. Boston had a chance to add on a few more when they had the bases loaded in the ninth, but Javy Vazquez came out of the bullpen to strike out Youkilis to end the inning. Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the ninth with a double into left and Tex nearly tied things up with a ball to deep center one batter later. A-Rod did tie the game, launching a homer into the visitor’s bullpen for two runs, but the Yankees weren’t done. Robinson Cano hit a ball to deep center like Teixeira for out number two, but Frankie Cervelli extended the inning by taking a fastball to the ribs. Mighty Marcus Thames stepped to plate hunting a first pitch fastball and he got it, hitting a walk-off two-run homer into the left field stands.

July 16th, 2010: Walk-off win in first game after George Steinbrenner‘s death (box) (video) (RAB recap)

The Boss’ health had been declining but his death still caught us all off guard. I still remember feeling sick after hearing the news of his emergency trip to the hospital soon after waking up that morning. The Yankees were off for the All-Star break at the time, so they didn’t return home to honor their late owner until a few days later. Much like Bobby Murcer following Thurman Munson’s death in 1979, one player seemingly carried the Yankees to victory on this date. The Rays grabbed a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning on a Ben Zobrist RBI ground out, but Nick Swisher got that run back with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth. A ninth inning rally ignited by a Curtis Granderson leadoff walk and capped off by Swisher’s walk-off single through the right side sent the Yankees home victorious, the first game of the post-George era. Swisher had also driven in a run earlier in the game, and his +0.745 WPA is the largest by any player in a single game at New Yankee Stadium.

July 9th, 2011: Jeter’s 3,000th hit (box) (video) (RAB recap)

It wasn’t just when or where, it was how. Jeter’s milestone hit a no-doubt homerun into the left field bleachers, arguably his hardest hit ball of the season. Teammates met him at the plate and the celebration lasted several minutes on the field, but Derek wasn’t done yet. He had his third career 5-for-5 game, and the fifth hit drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. It was one of those moments that make this game beautiful, when an aging star steals a day from his prime and reminds us of their past greatness.

* * *

I think these seven games are the best candidates, but if you disagree and think another was the greatest in New Stadium history, then tell us about it in the comments. Thanks in advance for voting.

Which is the greatest game in New Yankee Stadium history?
Total Votes: 1314 Started: July 12, 2011 Back to Vote Screen
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  • The Fallen Phoenix

    I think A-Rod’s walk-off, 15 inning win is the best regular season game. Went with ALDS Game 2 as best overall game. The day after Steinbrenner’s passing is probably the most emotional game, though.

    • http://twitter.com/aviatkin Avi Atkin

      I would go with Jeter as the most exciting regular-season game. I think the significance of 3,000 combined with all the unexpected moments from Derek made it so memorable.

      Good point about the Steinbrenner game, a really heartfelt ceremony that evening and an amazing rally.

  • CC’s third leg

    Marcus Thames walk off shot against Papelbon and boston. No argument is even feasibly required

  • steve s

    Castillo dropping the ball. As “instant classic” as it gets!!!

    • Yank The Frank

      I was at that game and almost came to blows with some Met fans. It was great.

    • http://twitter.com/aviatkin Avi Atkin

      Such an awesome moment in the Yanks/Mets rivalry. I must’ve teased my Mets fan friends about that a million times.

  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

    I voted for Game 6 of the 2009 WS, but it’s not like if that was some random game in the middle of the season it would have been a great game. Okay, sometimes it’s about what games mean, really. (Then again, without context, Jeter’s 3000th hit game is just a really good game for Jeter.)

    I also loved the final game of that four-game sweep against Boston in 2009, where Pettitte outpitched Lester, Coke gave up a go-ahead homer to V-Mart that looked like it might decide the game, but then Damon and Teixeira hit back-to-back home runs to tie the game, then go ahead. New Stadium was craaaaazy loud, it was awesome.

  • Mike HC

    I will go with Jeter’s 3,000 hit game. Probably at least partially because it is so fresh in my mind. Plus, I am a huge Jeter fan.

  • first time lawng time

    If you want to just go for the game itself, I’d say ALDS Game 2 or Arod 15th inning homer.

    Also, I’d just like to point out that AJ started 4 of those games listed…

    • Crime Dog

      You mean Ubaldo part one?

      / wrong thread’d

  • Mickey Scheister

    Greatest is, of course, the WS win. The greastest here and now is the 3000 hit game. The A-Rod shot to tie the game, in the rain, off Nathan was glorious in it’s own right. I loved them all as they all gave me the warm and fuzzys at the time they happened.

  • Griffey’s Grotesquely Swollen Jaw

    “The Yankees have opened every incarnation of Yankee Stadium with a World Championship…”

    Minor quibble but when the Yankees reopened the stadium in 1976 after the renovation, we appeared in but didn’t win the World Series that year. Or is that not what you meant by “every incarnation”

    • Broll The American

      I noticed the same thing. This statement needs revising.

  • Rob

    i went with ws game 6, you can’t beat a clinching ws championship game. my favorite regular season game was by far the 15 inning arod walk off, i remember everything about watching that game and it was both awesome and very frustrating. the alcs game 2 in 09 was also pretty awesome

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

      See, I remember the 15 inning game being incredibly boring. I remember calling it the “worst good game ever.”

      • Rob

        maybe it was because it was arod. ever since 2009, after the ped admission, i started pulling for him more than ever. and it was just one of the mnay things that made it an unreal season for arod (even though his regular season #’s weren’t that crazy). also, i just felt like it would be such a devastating loss for which ever team lost, and an unbelievable win for the other. what’s funny is the yankees won 7 of the next 8 games against the sox that year, the only one they lost was to tazawa, but burnett was beyond horrible that day

  • first time lawng time

    Will there be more polls like worst loss/best win for the first half of the season?

  • Rick

    I’m inclined to at least throw Game 2 of the 2009 ALCS into the mix. Well pitched both ways, ARod game-tying HR in the bottom of the 11th in the rain, the walk-off error fest, an overmanagers delight between Scioscia and Girardi that somehow wound up with Freddy Guzman and thumb-injury Brett Gardner hitting 5 and 6. Not positive it’s the one I’d pick, but a bit surprised it’s not here.

    • YankeeFan


    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Ah I just logged in to say that. I thought that game should make the list too.

    • vin


    • Corporate Scum

      I can’t agree more. I was at this game, and I’ve never screamed so loud in my life as when A-Rod hit that homerun.

      The thing about that moment was, we were down by one, and A-Rod was leading off the inning. We needed to score a run or the game was over, and thanks to defensive substitutions/pinch runners, the hitters behind A-Rod were something like Cervelli and Pena. Everyone in the stadium was thinking the same thing “A double won’t do. He needs to hit a homerun or the game is over”. Seemed an impossible dream. Then Fuentes threw a 90 mph fastball belt high…..

  • http://twitter.com/AnthonyMartins Anthony

    Has to be game six of the 2009 world series, because what tops a game in which you win the world series?

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    I had to go with ALDS game 2 just because it’s what gave YS3 it’s first playoff moment. As soon as ARod hit that home run, it was like you just knew that they’d win it all that year. It was awesome.

  • yankeesdrummer

    the thames walk off game is highly underrated in my mind. i was at that game and the arod walk off and the thames was more exciting than that. whenever a team is down 2 runs in the 9th and faces an elite closer with 2 outs left, its sometimes tough to believe in a comeback. but with the arod homerun that tied it and the thames walkoff after cisco got hit, it was a thrilling and great victory because it seemed like it wouldnt happen.

  • Sean C.

    For me it was the walk-off win in first game after The Boss’ death. It was the first game I got to go to at the new stadium. It doesn’t get much better than that (but then again, so much stacks up for my view to be biased). But I don’t care, that was the greatest game I witnessed at the new stadium. Aside from that, I have to go with WS game 6. Any game in which your favorite team clinches a WS title at home is a great game.

  • Guest

    I understand the “World Series clincher trumps all” argument, but my personal favorite was ALDS game 2.

    That game was a watershed moment for that 2009 team. Remember, the Yankees hadn’t won a playoff series since 2004. A-Rod had been faced with five years’ worth of talk about how he couldn’t perform in the clutch.

    They lose that game, its 1-1 going on the road and who knows what happens.

    Trailing 3-1 with Nathan at the absolute peak of his powers, I think it was fair to start thinking bad thoughts.

    And then, with one swing of the bat, A-Rod erased all of it. The can’t hit in the clutch, the Twins best chance to head home even, the wondering if the Yanks were ever going to win a playoff series again, etc., etc. All gone.

    And, with that same swing, he gave YSIII its first “Um, guys…this place might actually collapse” moment.

    I posit that there may not have been a 2009 WS Game 6 victory without that 2009 ALDS Game 2 magic.

  • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

    I went WS game two.

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    I’m surprised to see that 2009 World Series Game Six is leading by such a considerable margin.

    I know it clinched a World Series, but in terms of the game itself, it was pretty much over after Matsui’s RBI double in the fifth inning. After that we were pretty much just counting down the outs until the game was over. Not like the walk-off win after The Boss’ death or game 2 of the 2009 ALDS. Those games kept you on the edge of your seat until the end.

  • Pat D

    My dad votes for a tie between ARod’s walk-off and ALDS Game 2. I voted for ALDS Game 2. Just so much drama in that game, including, of course, the missed call on Mauer’s foul ball.

    I wouldn’t have picked either World Series game just because I don’t remember the actual outcomes of either game being much in doubt. Obviously they were outstanding individual moments. The trouble with Game 2 of the WS is that what I remember most about it was Francesa the next day gushing over Pedro’s performance, and not Burnett’s. I seem to remember someone even calling and saying, “Look, Mike, Pedro pitched great, yea, but Burnett pitched better.” and Mike seemed to ignore this. Just really irritated me.

    • first time lawng time

      AJ pitched beautifully that game.

  • Frank

    You can’t go wrong with any choice. WS wins and momentous hits like Jeter’s 3000th hit are special, but to me, there’s nothing more exciting than a walk off win. It’s that special feeling you get, that sudden jolt of energy, that just makes your day.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    15 inning walkoff by A-Rod.

  • JobaTheHeat62

    i gotta vote for A-RODs walk off…since it was my first game at the new stadium and my first red sox game. AJ and Beckett were both nasty that night.

  • johnnybk

    I was at the post-stein game, and I look back at it as one of the most perfect new York city nights I’ve been around for. Friday night, ungodly hot, ballpark packed to the gills, and the Yankees gutting out a win against their rival in a pennant race. I remember the whole stadium getting up when jeter came up like we all knew he was gonna win it, only to be disappointed, and saved by swish.

  • Hester Prynne

    It’s gotta be WS game 6 as that clinched the title. That alone makes it #1 in the poll.

  • vin

    If I had to rank them:
    1. 2009 World series Game Six (context is everything)
    2. A-Rod’s 15th inning walk-off (epic game, great pitchers’ duel)
    3. ALDS Game Two (excellent game, but not a must-win)
    4. World Series Game Two (must win, but not AS thrilling as others)
    5. Jeter’s 3,000th hit game (great performance against a rival + history making)
    6. ALCS Game Two (ugly, painful game; when I realized the team was going all the way)
    7. Thames’ walk-off vs. Papelbon (I hate blowing a 5 run lead)
    8. Walk-off win in first game after The Boss’ death (don’t know why, but this game doesn’t really resonate with me for some reason)
    9. Luis Castillo drops the ball (it was just fun to watch)

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Luis Castillo drops the ball (it was just fun to watch)

      I actually have to quibble with this, as much as I’ll remember this game forever. Whenever they show that on Yankees Classics, I totally understand why it’s a Yankees Classic but good lord the game is a mess. Joba pitched in a totally agonizing way (I think he was like, hitting guys with pitches with the bases loaded, ugh) and I don’t think he agreed with Jorge on a single pitch they called so it took forever. The relief pitching was awful. Mo gave up what would’ve been the winning run if Castillo had just used two hands. The bottom of the ninth inning is a Yankees Classic. The rest of it is awwwwwfuuuuulll.

  • Mike

    What about Game Two of the 2009 ALCS? A-Rod’s ninth inning game tying homerun and Melky’s walk off infield single aren’t good enough for the list?

  • Sean

    Anyone remember that game where we beat the Red Sox 20-11? Matsui got 7 RBIs! I thought that one was pretty special, maybe not the greatest of the new stadium but still memorable.


    • Rob

      but that game was at fenway

    • Pat D

      Yea, that’s a Fenway game.

      Matsui gets 2 homers and 7 RBI’s, yet he had negative WPA.

  • Klemy

    I actually voted 3000 hit game, more for the unbelievably great game as a whole. Come from behind, homerun, game winning hit, 5/5, just all too magical for me.

  • The209

    Mike was right… Jeter game all the way.

    I get that the WS / DS / CS games are more “important,” but he said “best.”

    When you’re telling your kids / grandkids about baseball years from now, you’ll be telling them the best stories, not reciting the box score of some game in WS-victory # 27 of X.

    • DCBX

      Dude, I was AT game 6.

      That IS the best story.

      • woodysweats

        if i think about it, i think history will remember more the individual player than the team… aka babe ruth, lou gherig, mickey mantle… derek jeter will be that for this generation, and to be able to do what he did in a career defining game? that’s what it is all about… any other game was watching the yankees do great things… watching jeter’s 3000th hit game was watching greatness…

  • http://joessportsblog.wordpress.com/ Joe

    ALDS game 2 for me. Most exciting baseball game I’ve ever seen.

  • http://twitter.com/rebeccapbp Squishy Jello Person

    ALDS Game 2 for me. I was there, which helps, but the Yankees hadn’t been past the first round since 2004, and bottom of the ninth home runs are pretty awesome (when the Yankees hit them)

  • Regis

    ALDS game 2. I was at the game. I cried when A-Rod hit that home run.

  • chris

    2009 ALCS game 2. That extra inning game was pretty great.

  • bonestock94

    ALDS game 2.

  • http://www.twitter.com/vscafuto Vinny Scafuto

    “Gone! GONE! It’s a walk-off, for Mark Teixeira!”

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Tempting to go with A-Rod’s walk-off since I was there, but nothing beats winning the World Series.

  • Ryan

    I was at the 15 inning game as well. It was my wife’s first Yankee game. She was just starting to get in to baseball at the time and it didn’t do a lot in the way of keeping her interest. She’s also not the biggest A-rod fan, but she was a big A-rod fan after he ended the game.

  • Nickel

    I never stop being amused at listening to the the Minnesota broadcasters’ call of A-Rod’s home run in the ALDS Game 2.

    “He got him, John…He got him!”

  • George Antonopoulos

    The greatest game ever played by Yankee stadium was on a Monday night on 8/6/79 on the day of Thurman Munson’s funeral.
    The Yankees played the Baltimore Orioles.
    The Yankees were losing 4-0 in the 7th inning when Bobby Murcer hit a 3 run homer.
    Losing 4-3 in the ninth inning Bobby Murcer again was at bat with two on when he got a hit driving in two runs and winning the game 5-4.
    The game was extremely emotional and Bobby Murcer, Munson’s closest friend on the team, had delivered an emotional eulogy hours earlier and then driving in all five runs.
    It was the greatest and most emotional game ever played at Yankee Stafium.

  • James

    ARod’s 15th inning walk-off was a fun, but annoying on. Tons of blown offensive chances if i remember correctly. I was watching that in a bar with a couple of Red Sox fan friends. One of them went to go have a cigarette and I said “hey wait, I want to see ARod hit this walk off home run right now.” Boom next pitch he goes yard. My friend was so pissed ha!

  • Joe

    Wow I’ve been to 4 of these games: Arod 15 innings, 09 ALDS game 2, 09 World Series game 2, and the walk off right after the boss’ death. Of those 4 I’d have to say ALDS game 2 was the best, in my opinion.

  • dkidd

    15 inning game: like watching paint dry until the walk-off
    all post-season games: gut churning tension, zen baseball impossible to practice
    boss’ farewell: emotionally wrenching
    thames off papelbon: memory is blemished by his performance in the field the following night
    jeter 3K: pure pleasure. couldn’t stop smiling

    i went with jeter 3K

  • Mark

    I am not sure if this has been mentioned above, but I would probably have voted for Game 2 of the ALCS. ARod’s two run homer in the bottom of the ninth off of Fuentes, and an extra innings game that ended with Hairston’s slide home.

    • scott

      im going ALCS game 2, it was raining, bitter cold and the angels threw everything they had at us and we just kept coming back. it was great to finally get over the angels hump

  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

    Also, this shit never gets old.


    The Yankees rule.

  • Andrew518

    Have to go with Jeter’s 3,000. In the short term it’s easy to compare it with WS and Playoff walk offs but with a longer view, there will inevitably (jinx risk) be more playoff and more WS walk off’s at the stadium. When the time has come and they close the doors to this stadium most likely there will have been multiple World Series clinchers but how many 3,000 hits will there have been? A-Rod? I just don’t see that haveing the same kind of meaning, or at least for myself I know it won’t. Plus for a dramatic Jetarian performance 5-5 plus game winner. Will be tough to top.