As most of you already know, I didn’t grow up with the Yankees. I was born and raised in Missouri and my first trip to Yankee Stadium didn’t come until it’s final days, when I was still covering the Triple-A team.
Most of my memories from that day are behind-the-scenes. I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into an unfamiliar clubhouse, but the first person I saw was Dave Robertson. Then Phil Hughes.
I remember the dining room with blank spaces on the walls where pictures used to hang, and I remember writers telling me exactly which pictures hung in which spots. I remember the dark runway leading to the dugout and into the light of the field. I remember walking the ramps out of the stadium with Tyler Kepner, who said he didn’t like using the elevator to leave.
The place was old and authentic, and I felt lucky to be there; a minor league guy up for the day to do a job.
As for the game itself, I remember absolutely nothing, except this one thing: Mariano Rivera pitched that day. When the eighth inning ended, a writer actually said to me, “Wait til you see this.”
Metallica. Screaming crowd. Jog to the mound. Game over.
Like Rebecca so poetically put it this morning, Rivera was part of the experience. Authentic as the building itself.