This past spring, I purchased via StubHub two tickets for Section 208 of Yankee Stadium for the September 11th game against the Orioles. As you recently learned, this would be my first live Major League ball game in more than 15 years, and my first ever Yankees game.
I had no idea at the time that I would be witness to a moment in Yankees history.
If you feel a wave of nausea washing over you, you may prefer to read this (and believe me, I agree – Mauer is more MVP-worthy). The rest of you can deal with my swooning after the jump.
Mr. Bee and I showed up at the Great Stadium just after 4pm, under skies that screamed “RAIN DELAY”. We didn’t care – we were literally vibrating with delight over the fact that we had finally made it to the Stadium. Batting practice didn’t seem like a possibility, so we spent our time exploring the building, taking in the atmosphere, seeking out (unsuccessfully) a ladies-sized Swisher tee.
I was as delighted as an eight-year-old to see a few of the boys playing catch in the drizzle, including the great Mo Rivera.
That was fun. but the crappy weather did not let up. I consoled myself with a tour of Monument Park, a new Jeter tee, and a pile of garlic fries.
Eventually, we did get a start time of 8:20 pm, and then you know what happened next: ceremonial first pitch by the Secretary of Homeland Security (it was 9/11/09 after all), Jeter strikes out in his first at-bat, A-Rod has a three-run homer, Scott doubles to make it 3-1.
We go back to the top of the Yankees batting order at the bottom of the third. And then it happened.
Readers, words cannot describe the elation in that building at that very moment. I’m sure the roars were heard all the way to Staten Island. We were high-fiving strangers. I actually cried a little. It was a fantastic feeling. So in spite of the pitching shitshow that was to follow later on (that voice you heard at the game? Was me screaming for Phil Hughes), and the deluge that occurred in the 7th that convinced us to take the 4 train back to our hotel (hey, we had been there eight hours), we had an excellent experience at Yankee Stadium.
I’m with Buffalita – this record in no way diminishes what Lou Gehrig accomplished as both a player and a human being, and in my view he will always be in a league of his own. You cannot compare Jeter to him. Jeter even knows this. He is one of the many classy athletes of our generation (let’s not be negative – there’s plenty out there, whether they’re superstars or utility players) but he’s not our generation’s Gehrig. He’s just Derek Jeter, and I would not have it any other way.
P.S. I LOVE that Matsui’s at-bat music was Journey’s “Separate Ways”.