Did I Really Just Watch the Yankees for 11 Straight Hours?

Yes. That’s exactly what I did today. Well, I took a break to eat and blog and send emails. I also did the laundry. But my Yankees marathon started at 10 a.m. here in California with ESPN Classic’s airing of Game 5 of the 2001 World Series against the Diamondbacks. I switched over to ESPN for all the pre-game interviews, clips and commentary about the Stadium, then to ESPN2 for the pre-game ceremonies, then back to ESPN for the game and post-game. If the Yankees hadn’t beaten the Orioles after all the hoopla, I think I would have smashed my TV. But all is well. We won. I’m exhausted, but in a good way.

Favorite moment of the pre-game coverage:
* Peter Gammons having to praise the Yankees when he usually has something negative to say about them. Ditto: Steve Phillips.
Favorite moments of the pre-game ceremony:
* The return of Bernie.
* The appearances of the wives and/or children of Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Roger Maris, Phil Rizzuto, Catfish Hunter, Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, and Elston Howard.
* The actors who played the dearly departed Yankees. I thought I would hate this part, but I found myself oddly moved by it, as if the men who were supposed to be Ruth and Gehrig and the others were kindly spirits touching down at the Stadium one last time.
* Willie Randolph sliding into second.
* Whitey Ford and Don Larson grabbing dirt from the pitcher’s mound.
* The crowd’s enthusiastic cheers for O’Neill, Brosius and Tino.
* The first pitch thrown by Ruth’s daughter to Posada.
Least favorite moment of the pre-game ceremony:
* The crowd booing A-Rod as he trotted to third base. Talk about a bummer in the midst of so much good will. Really bush league.
Favorite moments of the game:
* Jeter being in the lineup despite his injured left wrist.
* Damon’s HR to give the Yankees the lead and put a halt to the team’s futility against pitchers they haven’t faced.
* Molina’s HR. Obviously. Who would have picked him as the last guy to hit one out at the Stadium?
* David Cone and David Wells sitting together in the stands. 
* Whitey and Yogi joining Jon Miller and Joe Morgan in the booth.
* Pettitte gutting it out, even though he didn’t have much.
* The bullpen doing its job – again.
* Gardner proving that his speed is a lethal weapon.
* Mo. Enough said. He’s a deity for sure.
Favorite moments after the game:
* The crowd not leaving. 
* The players hugging each other on the field and having their pictures taken together as if they’d just won their 27th World Series.
* Jeter’s speech thanking the fans and making a plug for the new Stadium.
* The whole team’s lap around the Stadium.
* Frank Sinatra. I don’t really like “New York, New York.” I especially don’t like it when it’s played over and over again. Tonight, though, it was beautiful music.
* The realization that the Yankees prevented the Red Sox from clinching.
I think that covers it or did I miss something?


  1. flairforthedramatic

    I think you pretty much covered it. I loveddd the reception for Bernie Williams and one of my favorite Yankees, Paul O’Neill. It was great to see Tino and Brosius again as well.
    I also liked that Brett the Jet got into the game and got to make his mark in the final game.
    Also, you know I had just mentioned in the HDLR about how sad it is that Posada isn’t playing and then he comes out of the dugout to recieve the first pitch. Thought that was great. Thought everything was great.
    They also unveiled the first pennant flag for the Yankees which was pretty special.
    It was such a beautiful night, I would love to relive it over and over again.
    And by the way, I love Frank Sinatra, New York New York never gets worn out. It has that going-home-after-a-long-night-of-baseball-feel… just perfect song to end each game.
    V – http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com

  2. scottproctorsarm@gmail.com

    Good post, Jane. You pretty much covered everything I could think of. I’ve always admired Jeter but he really stepped it up last night. Thanking the crowd in his speech nearly brought a tear to my eye.

  3. Jane Heller

    I agree that Jeter really stepped it up with that speech, especially because it was impromptu. And I just read what Bernie told reporters, which was basically that it was always the fans that made the Stadium special. Some in the media have pointed out that there was no mention of Joe Torre. But there was no mention of any of the living managers. A bigger omission, I think, was not doing some sort of salute to George Steinbrenner, even though he wasn’t there. Oh, well. We can all nitpick last night to death, but I think the event was handled with class and dignity, and everything seemed to go off without a hitch.

  4. Jane Heller

    V: Maybe Derek had an allergy. Lol. Actually, I saw Pettitte wiping away tears but not Jeter. He seemed remarkably composed to me, just like always. Oh – how incredible is it that the sons of Mantle, Maris and Martin look exactly like their dads?

  5. flairforthedramatic

    My aunt had DVR’d it so I just finished watching the post game things again, and the yesterday I thought Jeet was composed as well but after watching it again, his eyes were indeed red and he slightly wiped one of his eyes during that interview. It wasn’t extreme emotion from him but that’s the most I’ve ever seen from him.
    And yyesss, when I saw them I was thinking: How it must feel to be the flesh and blood of Mantle/Maris/Martin?
    V – http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com

  6. Jane Heller

    About Mantle’s son, I just finished reading “7” by Peter Golenbock about Mickey’s life. It’s very raunchy but has all the stories about what went on during the Mickey-Whitey-Billy era. One of the poignant things in it is how Mickey was such a bad husband and father and how he only made amends to his sons after he got sober and knew he was dying. So it’s great to see his son honoring his father’s memory knowing they made peace.

  7. Greg

    I agree with the booing of A-Rod. That is not the stage for that type of stuff.

    As a sox fan, I remember when Cal Ripken was in town for his final game at Fenway.. The Sox decide to honor him before the final game of the homestand. Dan Duquette was the Sox representative doing the speaking. It was embarrasing, as all you could hear were boos and jeers, and not was he was actually saying about Cal Ripken. Even thought Duquette was deserving of that reaction, that setting was not the right place for it.

    The history of Yankee Stadium is unbelievable, but I think the new Stadium will be incredible. I wish they build a new ball bark in Boston a few years back. Oh well.


  8. jimmy27nyy

    Hey Jane,

    Excellent description of the “Closing Of Yankee Stadium” !!! … It was a perfect night !!! … I think, the Yankees Organization did everything right, except for “two” missed opportunities … The Yankees should have had special tributes in honor of: George Steinbrenner and Joe Torre … Both are such a big part of Yankees history, and something special should have been done in their honor before last night’s “final game” at the old Yankee Stadium !!! … Take care, Jane … Jimmy [27NYY] …


  9. Jane Heller

    Jeff: Yankee fans are nothing if not fickle. I actually heard boos for Jeter during Game 4 against Cleveland in last year’s ALDS. Posada too. Nobody’s immune. I just thought it was bush to do it during last night’s spectacle. BOOOOOO.

  10. Jane Heller

    Greg, thanks for the comment about the Dan Duquette booing. I agree that there’s a time and a place for showing displeasure. Booing is the fan’s right, but pick your spots!

  11. Jane Heller

    welikeroy – I thought the same thing about Jeter leading the way to the new Stadium. It was almost as if he was saying, “Look, everybody. We’re grateful for all your support. But now you have to keep supporting us by coming to the place across the street and it’ll be great.” He sure made me want to come along for the ride. And Mo….Well, I was just so happy for him that he was able to get the save. He’s such a class act.

  12. Jane Heller

    Jimmy, I was sure they would do something for Steinbrenner. It was the only omission, as far as I’m concerned, even though he couldn’t participate. But regarding Torre, they didn’t talk about any living manager of the Yankees – not Piniella or Showalter either. And Torre is in the middle of his own pennant race with the Dodgers. I just think it would have been awkward to give him a tribute. Not the right time.

  13. jboogie

    I was right there with ya Jane, glued to my TV from pretty much 1pm til 1am. I didn’t want the post game to end. It was quite the magical night. Despite not recording 27 straight outs, the Yankees won a perfect game. I can’t think of a time when I was more proud to be a Yankee fan.



  14. Jane Heller

    Proud to be a Yankee fan, all right. No matter what did or didn’t happen during the season, J-Boogie, last night was magical. I’ll watch the tape over and over during the winter for sure.

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