The summer is nearly here, and for the first time in recent memory, the Yankees are clinging to relevancy in the AL East. Despite a strong May for the struggling Bombers, who went 18-13 and led an eight-game winning streak through the later weeks of the month, offensive and pitching woes have stunted any climb out of the bottom half of the division. The Yankees own the fourth-worst batting average in the league (.231) and a middling team ERA (4.15), two factors that have directly influenced their sub-.500 record through the first 52 games of 2016.
The on-field production has come at a frustrating pace, but there is reason to believe June will be a bounce-back month for the Pinstripes. The Yankees will play 19 games against teams currently below the .500 mark, including seven meetings with the league-worst Minnesota Twins. The Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Colorado Rockies are also on the ledger, setting the pace for a memorable stretch that may catapult them back into contention as the calendar flips to July.
For those interested in attending an upcoming game at Yankee Stadium, the team’s June schedule at home will include a number of marquee fan promotions. Yankees tickets in June will be in considerable demand for the 70th Annual Old-Timers’ Day, Mickey Mantle Triple Crown Bobblehead Night, Brian McCann Figurine Night and, perhaps the most simple-yet-effective promotion, Cap Night on June 29.
Old-Timers’ Day will occur on Sunday, June 12, when the Yankees host the Tigers for a weekend matinee game. Headlined by former Yankee greats and Hall of Famers Whitey Ford, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson and Joe Torre, Old-Timers’ Day will likely be the hottest ticket in the Bronx this month. However, fans won’t have to break the bank to attend, as Yankees tickets on Ticketmaster start from just $17 in the outfield bleachers. If looking for a legitimate seat in the Stadium, upper-level seating can be found from $21 per ticket.
Stadium giveaways are always a big commodity, and the Yankees are packing a punch later this month. The team will honor the late Mickey Mantle’s 1956 Triple Crown season with a celebratory bobblehead on Friday, June 24 against the Twins. The first 18,000 guests in attendance will receive the collectible, which fittingly portrays Mantle with a crown and bats in arms. Tickets for the game also start at $17 in the outfield bleachers.
It hasn’t been the smoothest transition into pinstripes for catcher Brian McCann, who posted a .232 batting average in each of his first two seasons as a Yankee in 2014 and 2015. The 32-year-old’s production at the plate has dropped off further this season, though fans will pack the Stadium for his Figurine Day on Sunday, June 26 against the Twins. The first 18,000 guests will receive the action-posed figurine that expresses McCann in a throwing motion with catcher’s gear on. Like the previous two giveaways earlier in the month, tickets can be found starting from $17 on the primary market.
Cap Day will be the final giveaway at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, June 29 against the Texas Rangers. Presented by Pepsi, the Yankees hat will be handed out to the first 18,000 fans in attendance. $17 tickets are still available while outfield seating starts from $21.
The Yankees will need a big month if they hope to hang onto their postseason hopes. They currently sit 7 ½ games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox, who show no signs of slowing as the summer approaches. For that to happen however, the bats will need to awaken to support a staff that has had brief flashes of greatness over the first two months. With a favorable schedule on the docket for June, expect the Bombers to return to form and quickly close the cellar door on their way up the standings.