• Personal Post-Season Experiences

    Posted by on November 18th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    I’ve been a Yankees fan for 35 seasons now. During that time, I’ve gone to a lot of games at Yankee Stadium. I have no idea how many, but, to be conservative, I would estimate that it’s been over 150 games. And, I’ve also been fortunate enough to be there for ten post-season games as well. For fun, I thought I would list them here:

    October 6, 19771977 ALCS Game 2 – This the game where Hal McRae tried to kill Willie Randolph on a take-out slide during a double-play attempt in the 6th inning. This was my first post-season game ever. I was almost 15-years old at the time. Besides the McRae thing, what I remember most, was losing synch on my senses during the game – for a while. Around half way through the game, again, for a brief period, I could see but not hear. Then, I could hear but my vision when black. Soon, I began to feel like I was going to pass out. At first, my dad thought I was overcome with the excitement of being at the game. But, my dad’s friend concluded that it was probably a reaction to the guys sitting a few rows behind us – who were smoking hash. Funny, they were great seats too. (Check the ticket stub above.) It really was a different experience at Yankee Stadium in 1977. The senses-thing eventually went away. And, it was an awesome game to have for a “first time” experience.

    October 11, 19771977 World Series Game 1 – Sat in the upper-deck in left for this one. It was cold. And, the game was a long one – 12 innings. The place went nuts when Willie Randolph homered in the 6th to tie the game. That’s what I remember most about this one. Looking back at the ticket stub now, I’m amazed that it only cost $10 for the ticket – for a World Series ticket. That makes it seem like 1977 was a long time ago.

    October 21, 19811981 World Series Game 2 – To be honest, if not for having the ticket stub, I doubt that I would remember going to this game. Looking back at it now, I see that it was a great effort by Tommy John – and the last game that the Yankees won that October. Because of the way the Yankees lost this World Series, plus the fact that it was a bogus season because of the work stoppage, I suspect that’s why this one doesn’t stick in my memory more than it does.

    October 2, 19971997 ALDS Game 2 – Someone that I worked with gave me these tickets – good seats – field level boxes down the right-field line. Problem was: The seats faced right-field, so, you sat there with your neck twisted for the whole game, to watch home-plate. It was nice to have waitress service, with these seats, during the game. But, the game itself stunk – since Jaret Wright was hanging tough for the Indians and the Yankees lost.

    October 17, 20002000 ALCS Game 6 – After the Boone HR game from 2003, this one is my second favorite “in person” post-season game. My wife got us the tickets – as an 8th Wedding Anniversary gift. They were in the upper-upper-deck, right behind home-plate. It was real cold that night – but, you didn’t feel it. When David Justice homered in the 7th, it was a love-fest up there. Strangers hugging and high-fiving. It was awesome. And, when Mariano Rivera entered the game in the 8th inning, the entire section sang along to “Enter Sandman.” When it comes to the post-season, if you want to be among the true fans, go sit in the upper-upper-deck, or, I suppose, the bleachers.

    October 10, 20012001 ALDS Game 1 – This was the first post-season game where I got to sit in the seats that I had a season-ticket holder. (I became a season ticket holder in 2001.) But, much like that World Series game from 1981, if not for having the ticket stub, I really don’t even remember being there for this one – probably because the Yankees lost.

    October 20, 20012001 ALCS Game 3 – This one was no fun at all – since the Yankees got pounded, 14-3, in the contest. Sitting there through this one was numbing.

    October 22, 20012001 ALCS Game 5 – This one was revenge for Game 3 of this series – with the Yankees winning, 12-3. What I remember most was the mocking chants that the fans were laying on the M’s: “NO – GAME – SIX” and “OH – VER, RATE – ED” and “OAK – LANDS, BET – TER” and “CY – IN, NAR – RAH” (aimed at Ichiro). Personally, I could not participate in the chants. I had too much respect for a team that won 116 games to rub a defeat in their face. Also, I thought the last chant was offensive to Asians.

    October 16, 20032003 ALCS Game 7 – Without question, the night of October 16, 2003, along with the early hours of October 17, 2003, was the best time that I have ever spent in the South Bronx. I will never forget being at this game.

    October 19, 20042004 ALCS Game 6 – I had tickets to this one – as well as for Game 7. But, after seeing this one, I could not return for another dose – and I sold the tickets for Game 7, to my friend Dave, for face value. This was not a fun game to be at, to say the least. And, I was not reacting well. I wanted to deny everything. Late in the game, someone who I knew (but had never met before) stopped by my seats to finally have a face-to-face introduction. When I met him, I started to lament about the game. “There’s no way that Bellhorn hit was a homer” I said to him. He looked at me, and said, “Steve, my seats are right there, I saw the whole thing – no question, the umps got the call right. It was a homer.” When he said that, I said “Aw, I don’t want to hear it. It can’t be a homerun.” You see, I was actually in that type of state – wanting to convince myself that none of what was happening was really happening. And, when Tony Clark was the last batter of the game, with a chance to tie the contest with a homer, I called upon all the Yankees-magic to deliver it for us (Yankees fans). But, like the Mighty Casey, Tony Clark struck out.

    So, there you have it – some great memories, some bad memories, and some hardly memories at all. On the whole, I consider myself very luck to have been able to see ten post-season games at Yankee Stadium – as I know that many Yankees fans have never been able to attend even one.

    As you can see, 2004 was the last time that I’ve been able to see October baseball in the Bronx, in person. But, I know that I’m not alone there – since the Yankees’ quick exits in the last three seasons have not helped with that. In fact, since that 2004 ALCS, there have only been six post-season games played at Yankee Stadium (during 2005-2007) – and the Yankees have lost three of those six games.

    Hopefully, starting with 2008, we’ll all get to see more October baseball in the Bronx – with more favorable outcomes.

    Comments on Personal Post-Season Experiences

    1. Raf
      November 18th, 2007 | 10:57 am

      Thanks for sharing :)

      I don’t think I’ve been to a postseason game since the 2003 WS. Tickets have been difficult to come by, and even if they were easy to acquire, the pricing makes it a bit prohibitive.

      I’ve enjoyed having postseason parties with friends and teammates, so if I can’t be there, that’s the next best thing.

    2. christopher
      November 18th, 2007 | 11:42 am

      ~~~When it comes to the post-season, if you want to be among the true fans, go sit in the upper-upper-deck, or, I suppose, the bleachers.~~~

      Absolutely right. The bleachers aren’t as much fun as they used to be. I have had some fantastic seats over the years, but I always have the most fun sitting in the upper-upper-deck.

      ~~~October 10, 2001 – 2001 ALDS Game 1~~~

      I was at this game too. I remember very little about the game (even after looking at the box score). But – being the first playoff game after 9/11 – I do remember the soldiers with machine guns, the police dogs, the metal detectors. The whole game had a very uneasy vibe to it.

    3. Harry
      November 18th, 2007 | 12:49 pm

      Good post, Steve, although I don’t see how chanting “sayonara” is offensive to Asians. Maybe if Ichiro wasn’t Japanese or if it was known that he doesn’t speak Japanese it would be offensive, but seeing as how at that time Ichiro pretty much ONLY spoke Japanese, I see nothing wrong with it. If you’re going to taunt an opposing team, he might as well understand what you’re saying, right?

    4. November 18th, 2007 | 9:49 pm

      My own games:

      - 1995 ALDS Game 1: My first time I was old enough to be aware of the Yankees being in the playoffs. Was weird seeing all the bunting around the Stadium, but it just felt right. Had chills watching Donnie Baseball swing a bat in the postseason – was in the right field stands next to the bleachers. “Box Seats Suck” indeed. :)

      - 1996 ALCS Game 1: Upper deck, first base side, couldn’t see the Jeffrey Maier catch from our vantage point, but we heard the crowd erupt and reacted accordingly. Watched an O’s fan get his ass handed to him, went absolutely nuts when Bernie won it in the 11th. Hugs and hi-fives all-around.

      Went to Game 2 as well – didn’t have as much fun, needless to say.

      - 1999 ALCS Game 1: Sat among the ‘bleacher creatures’ – best place to be in a Sox/Yanks series IMO. Went with my brother on a *freezing* rainy night, but unfortunately I didn’t dress accordingly. Had to drop $50 on a sweater and a Yankees poncho. Watched the nutjobs around me throw a Sox fan’s hat onto the field. Bernie hit a big dinger in that one too. Good times, good times.

      - 2000 ALCS Game 6: I was actually in the upper deck that night as well, Steve – 3rd base side, only slightly off home plate. I absolutely love those seats – I can see every fielder, every movement, every play as it develops.

      I remember going to the bathroom when we were down, and it was like being in a live version of the MLB message boards – some people were declaring the game ‘over’, and everyone else was yelling at those people. “It’s NOT OVER!!!”

      A little while later, Justice proved their point. Hugs all around – I remember this being the rowdiest version of “New York, New York” I’d ever been a part of – until…

      2001 World Series, Game 5: My first WS game (believe it or not) after the 4 previous titles. Paul O’Neill’s last game, Brosius hits one out to win it. I thought we were *destined* to be back in the city a few days later for a parade.

      Luis F*ckin’ Gonzalez.

    5. ChrisXS
      November 18th, 2007 | 10:35 pm

      My personal playoff experience:

      1996 ALCS Game 1 – The Jeffrey Maier Game. Bernie Williams chants continued into the subway after the game was over. Mayhem! I was a junior in high school at the time. A girl even responded to a “Show Your Tits” chant! I sat in section 39.

      2001 ALCS Game 5 – Rubbing it in Seattle’s Face.

      2004 ALDS Game 2 – Derek Jeter hits a leadoff homerun in the black. Yanks win in extra innings. I went to this game alone because thats all I could get.

      2004 ALCS Game 2 – John Lieber beats Boston. Entire crowd chants “Who’s Your Daddy” in unison.

      2004 ALCS Game 7 – All of a sudden the Boston fans weren’t quiet. Depressing.

      2005 ALDS Game 3 – Randy Johnson vs Paul Byrd. Yanks lose.

      2006 ALDS Game 1 – Wang beats the Tigers.

      2006 ALDS Game 2 Part 1 – Fans crowd into the stadium only to have the game canceled. It wasn’t that bad out.
      2006 ALDS Game 2 Part 2 – Afternoon makeup. I had to cut out of work early to see the Yanks lose. I was there alone.

      2007 ALDS Game 4 – Another depressing home elimination. Painful to watch. Paul Byrd again.

      That makes for a 5-4 record of the playoff games I’ve been to.

    6. sju38621
      November 18th, 2007 | 10:58 pm

      My seats are on the 3B side comprable to the first ticket pictured which looks like it is on the 1B side. While that ticket was $9, the one playoff game we got to was $251!?! That may be the last playoff game I ever get to if tickets keep going like that.

    7. Straylightrise
      November 19th, 2007 | 1:04 am

      I was at the 2004 ALCS Game 1. Even though we would lose the series that was the best night of my sporting life. I had seats about 8 rows from first base. Entering the stadium during BP and seeing the lights and the field and the huge amount of people is an awe inspiring vision.

      It is the greatest thing I have ever seen.

      2008 is gonna be our returning to glory.

    8. Bob R.
      November 19th, 2007 | 5:49 am

      I have only attended one post season game, #3 in 1976. The only memorable Yankee moment was Jim Mason’s home run in his only World Series at bat. The rest was a disaster.

      However, on July 4, 1983, my son and I attended the single most exciting game I ever attended as Righetti pitched his no-hitter against Boston. A friend had season tickets at field level inside the third base bag. One of the more goofy things I can remember is that as the top of the ninth began my friend’s brother commented “He’ll get it” and with that left the stadium. I still cannot believe he did that.

      Oh yes, incidentally, when he applied to college 2 years later, my son wrote his application essay (discuss an important experience in your life) describing that game. I am convinced that is what got him in as it separated his from the repetitive themes the reviewers had to plow through about confirmations, school plays and the like.

    9. November 19th, 2007 | 7:39 pm

      Great stories all!
      Thanks for sharing.
      If others have more, please share them as well.

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