When the Red Sox picked up Frank Viola, I had images of a Boston pennant dancing in my head. He was going to be an unbeatable 1-2 punch with Roger Clemens.
I was there for his first game with the Red Sox. He pitched against the Yankees. I made sure I got the first pitch he threw. It would be for a magical season.
It wasn’t. Viola had one OK year with Boston but the Sox were terrible.
He only pitched one other season with the Sox. But at least I preserved this moment where he pitched against Bernie Williams of the Yankees.
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.