When you think about the iconic sporting teams around the world, I am sure many of you will consider Manchester United, Real Madrid, Los Angeles Lakers and the Green Bay Packers. But there is one team that is perhaps even greater than all of these – the New York Yankees! A globally recognized brand and followed by millions around the world, the Yankees are not only an iconic image in Major League Baseball but also in the world of sport! So having the opportunity to attend a Yankees baseball game has to be on your radar, regardless of your interest in this sport.
During our recent visit to New York City, we had the opportunity to attend the Yankees game with the Tampa Bay Rays. In the 2016 season, a Yankees vs Rays encounter may not seem the most lucrative given their positions in the American League East division, but there was something a little bit extra special about this game.
A Farewell to Alex Rodriguez
For Yankee fans around the world, August 12, 2016, will long live in their memories as it was the final game for Alex Rodriguez in a Yankee shirt. Although deemed as a controversial figure in some baseball circles, Rodriguez was a Yankee legend and certainly a figure that during his prime was a fan favorite and well worth the admission price alone.
Rodriguez brought an end to his Yankee career finishing on 696 home runs while wearing the infamous pinstripe uniform.
Many would have loved to see him reach 700 but nothing will take away from his legendary status among Yankee greats.
Where does he fall among the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle? Well, that’s for Yankee fans to decide but there are certainly no arguments against his statistics!
Our visit to Yankee Stadium to attend the Rays game was the first time that we have experienced a live MLB game at what I consider the “home of baseball”.
Earlier this year we took an amazing Yankee Stadium tour which really increased our desires to attend a game. Just walking through Babe Ruth Plaza outside the gates and looking up at the amazing sight of Yankee Stadium was enough to create excitement inside us.
Flight cancellations, delays at La Guardia upon arrival and a 3-hour shuttle ride to our hotel in Lower Manhattan meant that we didn’t arrive at Yankee Stadium until the 3rd inning.
After picking up our tickets, we entered the stadium and found our seats in section 125 behind 3rd base. The view was amazing and we picked a pretty good time to sit down as “A-Rod” was preparing for his at-bat.
The atmosphere throughout Yankee Stadium was electric and it was unsurprisingly a sell-out crowd of 46,459 to watch A-Rod’s last game as a Yankee. The moment Rodriguez stepped out to the plate to face Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer, the crowd rose to their feet trying to capture a few final pictures and even videos (despite the rules against capturing video inside Yankee Stadium!) of their favorite Yankee.
Unfortunately, we missed A-Rod’s double to right-center during the first inning that scored a run but we appreciated every opportunity we got throughout the rest of the game to see him in action.
With all that I’ve been through, and for them to show up on a night like tonight and to show me that type of love, it’s something that I’ll never forget. (Alex Rodriguez)
Rodriguez showed his appreciation to the packed Yankee Stadium both before, during and after the victory over the Rays. Obviously, this was an overwhelming experience even for such a cool competitor on the ball field, but it’s a credit to the player that he is that he was still able to help the Yankees to a 6-3 victory.
Yankees vs Rays
The outcome of the Yankees vs Rays game was what everyone hoped for given the prestige of A-Rod’s final game. A 6-3 victory took the Yankees season record to a respectable 59-56 though still several games outside of the playoffs.
A win for CC Sabathia on the mound to improve his personal record to 7-9 for the season was also well recognized by the hardcore Yankee faithful.
Starlin Castro was the star performer for the Yankees as he drove in four runs throughout the evening including a home-run to left center field. But this was all about a certain individual named Alex Rodriguez and it was apparent throughout the whole stadium.
Of course, they wanted their beloved Yankees to win, but the moment Rodriguez stepped to the plate there was a real sense of anticipation in hope that he could connect with one final home run hit.
Enjoying the Yankees Experience
Attending a Yankees baseball game is more than just watching the game. It’s about allowing yourselves to be encapsulated in the whole Yankees experience. From the amazing selection of cuisine available in the Yankees food court to a quick visit to the official store to purchase a souvenir jersey or baseball cap, there is plenty to keep you occupied if you need a break from the action.
I didn’t envision attending A-Rod’s last game would allow any time to get away from this highly anticipated encounter but we were able to enjoy some of the fine food on offer along with a quick visit to the store on our way out of the stadium.
Let’s take a look at some of the choices available if you wish to enjoy a quick bite to eat while watching your favorite stars in action.
We wanted something quick and easy so we opted to share a chicken strip basket with a souvenir drink from Nathan’s Famous. If you are looking for a hot dog or chicken tenders, this is certainly a great spot (perhaps we are a little biased given that we love this place but don’t just take our word for it!)
Location – Pepsi Food Court
Ready to experience an amazing cheesesteak? Don’t worry, you don’t have to go all the way to Philly for this because Carl’s Steak offers a variety of delicious, authentic cheesesteaks.
The “Tape Measure Cheesesteak” is a new item for 2016 and is undoubtedly one of the most popular. Why? Perhaps because it is a two-foot cheesesteak topped with your choice of American cheese or Cheez Whiz, served on a classic hoagie roll baked fresh daily.
Do you think you can dominate all of this on your own? Well, that’s a challenge in itself but maybe you just want to share this with a loved one as it is an ideal option for two hungry souls enjoying a night at the ball game.
Location – Section 107
If you are looking to sample an awesome burger, look no further than Triple Play. The GOAT burger is one of the most popular and of course, it’s no surprise to hear it is named like this because it is dubbed as the “Greatest of All Time (GOAT)”.
Featuring blended beef and topped with crispy bacon, pastrami, American cheese and a special ‘GOAT’ sauce, this is an attractive option for burger connoisseurs.
Location – Section 115
What did we learn from attending a Yankees baseball game? Well aside from the fact it was an amazing experience watching A-Rod’s last game, we realized just how passionate the Yankee fans are.
I can only imagine what it is like to put on the famous pinstripe jersey one final time and walk out on to Yankee field in front of over 46,000 fans who are chanting your name.
Attending this Yankees game will long live in our memories as I am sure it will with many thousands of fans around the world. There are certain dates in history that are iconic and I’m sure this will remain one of them. We can’t wait for our opportunity to return to Yankee Stadium and see them in action again. Hopefully the next time we will be attending for a World Series-clinching victory!
LETS GO YANKEES!
Have you been to Yankee Stadium and watched the Yankees in action? Do you consider the Yankees to be one of the world’s top sporting teams?
Disclaimer – We were provided with complimentary tickets in consideration of a blog post review. The views contained within this post are entirely our personal opinion/experience and we received no final compensation for this.