Ballpark journey takes us to Yankee Stadium - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Ballpark journey takes us to Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium
Photo credit: Wendell Cruz - USA Today Sports

Oriole fans weren’t able to see their team play in Baltimore or anywhere else in 2020. That should change in 2021, and fans hope to see the Orioles play at home, and perhaps on the road.

Over the offseason, I’ll offer tips on how to see the Orioles at visitors’ parks in which they’re scheduled to play during the 2021 season.

Last month, we looked at Fenway Park, where the Orioles are scheduled to open next season. After their series in Boston, the Orioles move on to the Bronx.

Yankee Stadium is a popular stop for Oriole fans. New York is easy to get to, and there are countless things to do there. Older fans will remember the original Yankee Stadium, where I watched my first game in 1963. It was refurbished after the 1973 season, and the 1976-2008 incarnation was full of Oriole memories, including Jeffrey Maier.

In 2009, the newest version opened across the street.

Yankee Stadium is expensive — tickets, parking and concessions. Many New Yorkers don’t like it, and thinks it’s a Disneyfied version of the old one. You can still see the subway rumbling by, the façade is still there, and Monument Park is open before games to look at the plaques and remembrances of Yankee greats.

There are a number of souvenir shops and hangouts on River Avenue, across from the ballpark but, because of the pandemic, many might not be around for the 2021 season.

Ticket situation: Yankee Stadium has a capacity of just over 50,000, and tickets are always available. Currently, tickets for the Orioles’ first scheduled game on April 5 are available for as low as $10.

Orioles next visit: April 5-7. They’re also scheduled for visits on August 2-4 and September 3-5.

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How do you get there? My recommendation is always Amtrak with its frequent trips between Baltimore’s Penn Station or BWI Station and New York’s Penn Station.

A number of bus lines have inexpensive service between Baltimore and New York.

If you’re insistent on driving, there are lots near Yankee Stadium where you can park for as little as $12. Valet parking at the Stadium can be as high as $40. If you’re staying in Manhattan, parking is very costly.

Most memorable Oriole moment: The 2012 Division Series, where Nate McLouth hit a long fly ball to right field that was ruled foul in Game 5. The Orioles lost the series to the Yankees, 3-2.

What else is there to see: It’s New York, and there’s something for everyone. Retail stores have been hard hit in 2020, and vacancies are at their highest level in many years, but the most popular stores are still there.

If you haven’t been to New York in recent years, I’d recommend a trip to the moving 9/11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan. Tickets range from $15 for children between 7 and 12 and $26 for adults. There are discounts for seniors and military veterans.

Tours of the Statue of Liberty fill up months in advance during good times. If you know you’re going to New York, buy them three or four months out.

Broadway shows are dark through at least May, but if you’ve never been, you need to go.

If you need more baseball, the Brooklyn Cyclones will be a full-season minor league team in High-A in 2021. They play in Coney Island.

Where to stay: There aren’t any hotels within walking distance of Yankee Stadium. My advice is to find a hotel in Manhattan not far from a subway stop. Yankee Stadium is served by the 4, B and D trains.

You can also take the Metro-North commuter railroad to the 153rd Street station, a short walk away. The Metro-North has service from Grand Central Station, Westchester and Connecticut for games.

Hotel prices fluctuate wildly, depending on when you’d like to go. Weekend deals are often available, but they’ll generally cost you at least $200 or $300 a night. Valet parking at large hotels can add $65 or more to your bill.

Where to eat: Again, it’s New York, and almost everything you’d like is available. Chinatown and Little Italy in lower Manhattan are next to each other, and there are scores of great choices there.

If you’d like a good deli, the famous, Katz’s is open around the clock. It’s also in lower Manhattan. If Katz’s sounds familiar, you may have seen it in “When Harry Met Sally.”

Katz’s sandwiches aren’t cheap, but they are huge.

The best steak I’ve ever eaten was at Peter Luger, just across the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn. The porterhouse is tender and hand-sliced, extremely expensive, but a great splurge. Save room for the deserts, which come with their version of whipped cream, schlag. Make reservations far in advance.

Unfortunately, the legendary sports bar, Foley’s, across the street from the Empire State Building in midtown, was another victim of the pandemic. The owner, Shaun Clancy, would like to reopen somewhere in the near future.

Growing up, my favorite hangout was Brennan & Carr’s, a few blocks from my childhood home in Brooklyn. For years, I thought of it as my secret, but if you look on YouTube, you can find it’s been discovered by “The Eater” and “Man Vs. Food.” Their roast beef sandwiches on a soft roll soaked in beef broth au jus are legendary. It’s about 15 minutes from Coney Island.

My ballpark rating: Even though many Yankee fans remember the old Stadium fondly, I immediately took to the new one. The public address system is too loud, but it’s intimate, and the Bleacher Creature’s “Call of the Roll” isn’t the same without Der-ek Jeet-ah.

Yankee Stadium needs to be experienced, but save up for the trip. It’s one of my favorites.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. TxBirdFan

    December 23, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Thanks Rich! Everyone needs to visit Yankee stadium at least once. In addition to getting there early enough to stroll through monument park, I’d also recommend the small museum located inside the stadium. It doesn’t take long to walk through but there’s always a line to get in, especially during the game. I’m not a Yankee fan but you can’t deny their place in baseball history. Definitely worth a visit.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 23, 2020 at 8:56 am

      Tx, I think you’re going to be especially interested in next week’s ballpark.

    • TxBirdFan

      December 23, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Looking forward to it Rich! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Orial

    December 23, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Geesh Rich here you go again–got me showing my age. My first ballgame ever was at the original” Yankee Stadium against Boston in 1961(Red Sox won). That ballpark until it was remodeled in 1973, is the only Yankee Stadium I will accept. Wooden Kelly green seats,monuments on the playing field,Unitas and,”the Greatest Game Ever Played”,Joe Louis,Babe Ruth,Mickey Mantle,Mel Allen. Yeah I’m partial but Yankee Stadium changed forever un 1973.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 23, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Orial, my first game was at Yankee Stadium in September 1963. Al Downing was the winning pitcher, and Roger Maris hit a homer. It was against Detroit.

    • TxBirdFan

      December 23, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Fun Story. In 1968 my mom was driving us back from a family vacation when my brother and I convinced her to drive by Yankee Stadium. No game was going on but we saw an open gate so my brother and I walked in and went onto the field to see the monuments which was really cool. However, when we tried to leave we found the gate had been closed and locked – so we were stuck inside the Stadium. I was 12 years old and my brother was 14 and we were both pretty worried – scared actually. We could see our mom in the car with my little sister but she wasn’t sure what to do. Fortunately after wandering around and finding all the other gates locked locked as well, we finally found a mtce man who gave us a good scolding but unlocked the gate for us to set us free!

  3. Baltimore Castaway

    December 23, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Yankee Stadium is an impressively cavernous baseball Stadium–bu it is not a Baseball Park.

    My one complaint about the place is it truly is a Caste System. Once you’re seated, you are pretty much unable to walk around the Stadium. You stay in your area, and can’t get too far to explore other parts of the place…

    But Baseball needs the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium. It is the Gold Standard of Major League Sports Teams in North America.

    The most encouraging part is that Teams like the Rays, Cardinals and Astros have shown that the Big Market teams can be out-hustled and out-worked..

    • CalsPals

      December 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      Astros need to show they can do it without cheating, totally agree w/Rays & Cards, everyone have a very safe & happy holiday…go O’s…

    • whiterose

      December 26, 2020 at 8:24 pm

      Astros are hardly small market. Fourth largest city in US.

  4. BirdsCaps

    December 23, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I always wanted to see an ironbirds game in Brooklyn and Staten Island. The Coney Island park will likely host ironbirds/cyclones games (both teams are hi A) but I likely won’t be able to see a ironbirds game at the water front, but unaffiliated, Staten Island park. As for Yankee Stadium, I would like to go, but Wrigley and Fenway are at the top of my list. If I hit the lottery or become independently wealthy, I’m going to every park, majors and minors.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 24, 2020 at 7:54 am

      Stephen, for now, I don’t think Staten Island has any baseball planned for 2021. Even though I grew up in New York and remain a frequent visitor, I have spent little time in Staten Island.

  5. 66OsFan

    December 23, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    Rich, I’m goona throw in a recommendation for Sarge’s Deli on 3rd Ave between 36th and 37th street. I’ve been eating there on annual NY trips for several years. Great food and as with any NY deli the portions are huge, but not as expensive as the big names like Katz’s

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 24, 2020 at 7:51 am

      66, thank you. I’ve been to Sarge’s a number of times. It’s very good.

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