What: Hands on History
Who: New York Yankees
Where: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, USA
When: 23rd September 2018 and periodically next year.
The New York Yankees have a new fan event. It is not as expensive as their “Yankees Insider” in which I’ve previously been involved but it is more expensive than their Stadium Tour which I have seen at both the exquisite old Yankee Stadium (now sadly gone forever) and in their more recent home across the road. Is it for you? Let me explore it and help you make a decision…
Are you the certain type of person who would enjoy exploring the history of the most storied sports team (I hate that word “franchise”, makes it sound like a burger joint) up-close. This is to be differentiated from the “Insider” in that there is no current member of the Yankees roster involved and that the accent is heavily on the past.
This means that it is not for the casual baseball fan or even for the casual Yankees fan and not for the neophyte – it is much more heavily targeted at those who know a little about the club’s history and would like to know more and those who admire the greats of years gone by from the larger-than-life George Herman “Babe” Ruth to the gentlemanly star of recent years Derek Jeter.
It is staffed and peopled by knowledgeable Yankees’ employees whose only failing is perhaps an assumption that their visitors could not know anything near as much about the subject as they do.
It has also a slight presence of security and New York’s finest which emphasises the museum quality and value of what you’re looking at and in most cases, holding. Stories are told. Items are shown. They belonged once to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and others. If those names mean nothing to you, and you’re over 12, then this event is probably not for you. If you have a relative that’s under 12, then this could be a good dad-and-son event.
What exactly might be part of everything that is going on?
Babe Ruth’s shirt from a 1930s tour of Japan (those cords are called fat strings, I’ll leave it to your imagination what they did back in the day).
Mickey Mantle’s game-used shirt
Home plate from a recent post-season
All the trophies from the Yankees’ world series wins (trophies weren’t manufactured for individual years before these).
Various World Series rings (only one of these two is in this category). Guess who has such little chubby fingers they would only fit his pinky finger.
The bat used by the Bambino in 1932 (along with other famous players’ bats, caps, mitts etc.)
You get the idea! The New York Yankees are probably now drafting a statement apologising that they couldn’t afford a more handsome model – after all they are a small organisation.
All of this is set within the confines of the Yankees’ museum on the “200” level of the stadium with a smiling police officer on the door to make sure you don’t try to leave there with any of the relics. Ebay profits do not await.
The museum has dozens of other memory-evoking or history-illustrating exhibits (depending on your age, I guess). For example, signed balls (the one here is signed by Earle Combs of the 1927 Murderers’ Row who I am currently researching a book about) and items gifted to the Stadium by well-known players (here, a World Series MVP trophy belonging to Jeter).
Anything else? Well, when you are finished in the event, you will be escorted to the entrance of Monument Park before it is open to the public (if you don’t know what that is, you’re really not going to pay to attend this) and receive various free items from the staff. Nice to feel wanted.
Persuaded? I guess it depends on who you are and how you feel about the New York Yankees and baseball. I had a great time.
(I guess that fan-orientated clothing is more customary. Fancy dress is not allowed in the Stadium. This guy is just weird).