Posted by Shane
So it was my birthday yesterday. I am now blistering 28 years old, and I probably had my best birthday’s ever. To give you an idea of how special and fun it was you would have to have a video crew watch my emotions and my smile during the course of the day and night.
Getting up in the morning was no problem for me. Minus the fact that it was raining, I didn’t mind. For only 4 times in 28 years has it raining on my birthday, and I like keep the record high, but yesterday was no usual statistic allowing it to fall in the ‘rain’ column. It cleared up even way before I headed on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) for the city in the early afternoon. By the time I got to the city and started walking around though it was hot and humid, but still had a nice slight breeze.
After taking the Subway to Grand Central, I walked back to Times Square and then with a peaceful stroll to Rockefeller Center. Cooling down (sorta) in a deli was a nice treat because at that point I was getting hot. Heading over towards 3rd ave was the next destination, but as I was heading over the clouds started ‘darkening’ up and while I was at 57th and 3rd, the rain started to come down and then a bit afterwords it was a downpour. Retreating into another deli for some more shelter was in order. Surprisingly it was the same deli I have stopped in a dozen time more before when I was working in the summer for the Hampton Jitney. With it being close to 5pm (the time the gates opened up at Yankees Stadium) I got on the 6 train at the 68th hunter station and transferred to the 4 on 86th street getting off at 161 and first – Yankees Stadium.
Going by the old hollow grounds of old Yankees Stadium were realized when all I saw was rubble in the area of the old foot print. There was only the first base side grandstand framework still standing tall in the area. More than likely because it is so near the tracks of the subway that they need extra precautions to make sure when they take it down so it doesn’t intertwine with the rail lines.
I got to the stadium so early that it took all of 5 minutes from Subway to the entrance of the game. Usually it’s a bit longer, but in this case it was really quick. Once in the stadium, I headed to Monument park. It was the first time going to this monument park because all the other times the park was already closed by the time I got there. Next stop, as usual, was the Yankees on-site Museum because I wanted to see this past’s years World Series Trophy. I was trying to imaging another one in there. There is no more room in the glass case that they are stored in. Checking out the signed balls of that were there was another interesting thing as I love to do. Looking at some of the signatures is amazing. After that it was time to find my seats.
I got tickets to sit in the main level of the stadium. The view was amazing. The exact area was Section 215, Row 7. That put us directly in the baseline of first base and second. A few rows in front of me was the camera well of the first base side. You wouldn’t believe on how much footage comes from the main section camera wells and the outfield cameras. The field level cameras are rarely used for action shots on the field since players usually block line of sight to other things going on the field.
The most annoying this about sitting here was that there was a fan with a huge sign sitting right behind the right camera position always raising the sign even during the game. I wouldn’t have mind when there was no action or base runners on 1st base. Oh well. Otherwise the view was perfect. You could see every part of the field perfectly without any obstructions. Even the right field corner you could see without any problems. While the game was pretty mundane even up to the point of the Baltimore Orioles scoring first off CC Sabathia, the crowed got really wild after Randy Winn (#22) hit his first home run for the Yankees in the bottom of the 4th inning to give the yankees 3 more runs securing the 4 to 1 victory over the birds in a short 2 hour and 30 minute (give or take) game.
Getting back was even simpler. Getting to the game is always cramped with people because night games usually have the game traffic plus people heading home for the night and last night was no different. But leaving I was prepared for the worst when it came to leaving the area. Getting back on the 4 train it was surprisingly empty when the train arrived and it just us Yankee fans getting on plus it being an express train (which means it only stops at major transfer points) means it was relativity light ride to 42nd – Grand Central station. Getting off and taking the shuttle to the Time Square stop was the destination as I needed to head to the west side to Penn station. It being such a nice evening, I left the rail lines and decided to walk outside the rest of the way to Penn station down 7th, but before stopping in Times Square at night to take in all the lights and sounds of NYC. I love the new walking area. Getting at Penn Station at 10:32pm the 10:44pm train for Ronkonkoma station (where I left the car in the afternoon) was still there and hitching a ride on this train vs. the planed 11:14pm train made up for the late night. Taking a quick nap on the train ride was essential for me making it all the way back to my apartment which was 30 minutes from the station.
Getting back so late it was easy to fall asleep since I had been up since 7am (normal time for my body to wake up now) so I quickly fell asleep realizing that I was no more than 10 minutes into a movie I put on to sleep to.
I would categorize yesterday’s activities to one of the best birthday’s and nights that I have ever had. Everything was perfect. I could not have asked for a better day. Next thing on my ‘to do’ list: Best Friend’s Wedding in Boston.
Till next time…