Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yankee Stadium

I watched much of the All-Star Game last night, and I must say – I was quite impressed. Since Yankee Stadium is closing after this season, they decided to play the All-Star Game there one last time. In addition to the game, they also assembled some of the biggest Hall-of-Fame names in baseball during the introduction ceremony.

I was never a “sports” kid (much to my father’s chagrin), but I DID like the Philadelphia Phillies growing up, and I love baseball even more as an adult. So in addition to the huge names (Yogi Berra, Willie McCovey, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays) there were two of the best Phillies from my childhood – pitcher Steve Carlton, and third-baseman Mike Schmidt.

I remember when I was a kid, Mike Schmidt made a promotional appearance at the “Lemoyne Sleeper” mattress store in my home town. It was the HUGEST deal, with people waiting for hours to get his autograph. I remember after the autograph signing was over, we stalked him outside the restaurant he was having lunch in. You must remember, we didn’t get many “celebrity” visits in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

I will miss Yankee Stadium. I have seen the Yankees play there a few times, but I stopped going after hot papi Tino Martinez (below) hit me in the leg with a foul ball. It made me spill my beer and I was so devastated I left the game early and never came back. I was SURE he did it on purpose :) He must have seen me staring at his perfect ass from the third base line.

I also saw the closing ceremony of the 1994 Gay Games at Yankee Stadium – which coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. It was hosted by Harvey Fierstein and comedian Judy Gold, and the entertainment included Cyndi Lauper, the late Phyllis Hyman, and was closed out by none other than Patti Labelle. FAB-U-LOUS.

I just hope that the hot dogs are as good, and the Budweiser is as cold at the NEW stadium, opening across the street next season. And since Tino isn’t playing anymore, maybe it’ll be safe for me to come back.

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