Whomever made the decision to put a gigantic bat in front of Yankee Stadium when it reopened in 1976 was a genius.
Seriously, it became THE way to meet your friends in a pre cell phone universe.
You needed the physical tickets. You couldn’t e mail them to anyone. And you couldn’t call someone in the crowd before a game because nobody had a phone.
What was the solution? Just say “Let’s meet at the Bat.”
Granted, EVERYONE wound up meeting at the bat, but at least you had a specific place to weed through the crowd and find your friend.
The concept of texting was beyond any of our comprehension then.
The location of Yankee Stadium was not picked for its proximity to parking. Most people took public transportation to the game.
I would guess that most still do.
Clearly on this day, the need to park spilled over to the fields next door.
Now don’t quote me on this, but I BELIEVE these baseball diamonds where everyone is parking is actually the site of the NEW Yankee Stadium while the old park in the background is now a public park.
I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.
It is hard to imagine this now but there was a point when the Yankees were considering moving.
Granted, they never threatened to leave the New York metropolitan area. They were going to move to either the West Side of Manhattan or (more likely) the New Jersey Meadowlands.
The Bronx was considered to be too dangerous and attendance was not great. I would go up to Yankee Stadium often between 1990 and 1993. The team wasn’t very good, save for 1993 when they contended until mid September. But good seats were always available.
A group set up a 1 (800) number with the purpose, as the picture said “Don’t let George Steinbrenner take the Bronx Bombers out of Yankee Stadium.”
Well all it took was winning some World Series and packing the joint. Now they have the new palace to replace a perfectly good Yankee Stadium. They did eventually leave Yankee Stadium, but just across the street.