Which of the 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Yankee Stadium Will Impress You the Most? Those 10 Facts on Yankee Stadium are…
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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is one of the great east coast venues every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Yankees’ ballpark opened in 2009 and won the World Series that same year. Any New York fan that shows Bronx Bombers pride will know every information possible, from the team playing in six Championship Series since 2009 to Aaron Judge winning the 2017 Rookie of the Year. However, there are new Yankee Stadium facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Yankee Stadium below!
10: Yankee Stadium Did Not Have its 1st No-Hitter Until 2022
Since its opening, New Yankee Stadium has yet to witness a no-hitter. That is, until June 2022, when the Houston Astros had a combined no-no vs. Yankees. Now, there are three other ballparks without a no-no: Busch Stadium, Target Field, and Truist Park. Despite a drought of no-hitters, Yankee Stadium has had close calls in the past. Back in 2011, New York Southpaw CC Sabathia took a no-hitter until the 7th inning vs. Seattle Mariners. Recently, Yankees LHP Nestor Cortes had a no-hit bid in 2022 until the 8th inning vs. Texas Rangers. Also, New York RHP Jameson Tallion lost a perfect game effort in 2022 when he gave up a hit in the 8th inning vs. Los Angeles Angels.
9: A Construction Guy Buried a Red Sox Jersey in the Stadium’s Concrete
Believe it or not, someone actually buried a Red Sox jersey in the concrete during the construction of New Yankee Stadium. It happened in 2008 during the Bronx Bombers’ farewell season at their old home. On a normal day, construction workers discovered a Red Sox David Ortiz road jersey in the new ballpark’s concrete. Then, it was discovered that the jersey was buried by construction employee and die-hard Boston fan Gino Castignoli.
He claimed that he decided to bury the jersey in cement to give the Yankees an eternal curse. This incident frustrated the Bronx community, including the team owners (who wished Castignoli a violent outcome). The construction worker surprisingly avoided prosecution charges for trespassing. Meanwhile, the Yankees sent the infamous jersey to a Red Sox charity called the Jimmy Fund.
8: Original Plans for Yankee Stadium Included a “Wrigleyville-Like” Village
Interestingly, Wrigleyville in Chicago came so close from getting its own clone in New York. During the late 1990s, the Bronx Bombers were discussing proposals for their future home. One of those proposals involved a Yankees Village that was similar to Wrigleyville. The Village would have included a team museum, waterfront park, restaurants, and sports stores. The idea was developed by Fernando Ferrer, who was the President for Bronx Borough at the time. However, the proposal fell through likely due to financial concerns as both sides would need to come up with over $500 million in addition to traffic improvements.
7: New Yankee Stadium Almost Had a Retractable Roof
While the Yankees and Mets were discussing their future ballparks in the early 2000s, the original plans were to include retractable roofs for both teams. Not only do retractable roofs help protect fans and players from inclement weather, but they assist in climate control to avoid the summer heat. Retractable roofs are currently used by the following teams: Rays, Astros, Rangers, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Brewers, and Mariners. Unfortunately, stadium roof plans for both teams were scrapped due to high costs along with the economic crisis from the 9/11 attacks. So today, New Yankee Stadium and Citi Field both opened in 2009 without retractable roofs.
6: Over 400 Trees were Cut Down to Make Way for Yankee Stadium
The development and construction of New Yankee Stadium didn’t come without controversy. In the mid 2000s, the team wanted to build their new ballpark on the site that was owned by Mullaly Park and Macombs Dam Park. The most important thing for the land was that it had over 400 oak trees. So, the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality and Save Our Parks sued the Yankees over concerns about plant life and land space.
However, the judge in the lawsuit dismissed the case due to lack of supported evidence. Soon, the Yankees said they would compensate nature park supporters by turning the Old Yankee Stadium into three baseball fields along with new park space with thousands and thousands of new trees. Afterwards, construction went on as scheduled as the ballpark opened in time for 2009.
5: The Origins of Yankees “Roll Call” Started as a Tribute to a Fan
The Yankees roll call takes place when a group of fans in right field chant each New York players’ names in the 1st inning. Those players would only be called if they were in the starting lineup that day. When the team’s Bleacher Creatures Roll Call tradition began in the 1990s, it was made in tribute to a lifelong fan. Ali Ramirez was considered to be the founding father of the Bleacher Creatures at Old Yankee Stadium. Ramirez rang his cowbell to motivate the crowd and cheer for their beloved club.
Sadly, Ali Ramirez passed away suddenly in 1996. As a way to pay respects to the late fanatic, a group of Bronx Bombers supporters created the team’s 1st inning roll call. The tradition still exists to this day, even after the Yankees moved to their new ballpark in 2009. At New Yankee Stadium, there is a tribute plaque for Ali Ramirez located at the end of one of the rows in Section 203 (right field).
4: Monument Park was Originally Meant for One Person, Not Over 20 People
Visiting Monument Park is one of the biggest highlights every Yankees fan wants to encounter. The park, which is located in center field, is the home of over a dozen 4-6 foot plaques dedicated to the club’s all-time greats and retired jerseys. But the truth is, Monument Park didn’t start as a place to honor Yankee legends. Therefore, the attraction was originally built as a memorial for Manager Miller Huggins (who passed away in the late 1920s). Huggins led the Bronx Bombers for 11 years and guided the team to three World Series titles (1923, 1927, 1928).
To honor Huggins’ contributions to the club, New York made a memorial shrine for him in the outfield. Later, following the deaths of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, those players were added to Memorial Park. A couple decades later (1970s), Monument Park received an expansion when Old Yankee Stadium underwent renovations. Since the Park was expanded, that left a lot of room to add more plaques to the area.
3: Before New Yankee Stadium, the Team Considered Moving to New Jersey
When the Yankees pondered where they would play in the future, one of the ideas didn’t end up at New Yankee Stadium. In fact, the team was so close to moving to New Jersey in the 1980s. The Bronx Bombers wanted the Garden State due to lower than usual ticket sales at the old stadium and the city’s refusal to discuss potential remodeling. If the relocation had gone through, the Yankees would have played at the Meadowlands Sports Complex (where the Giants and Jets played). Part of the reason the sports complex was successful in attracting fans was that the Giants won a Super Bowl during the 1986 season.
However, the Yankees never relocated to New Jersey for two reasons. One was George Steinbrenner getting banned in 1990 for gambling (since reinstated). The second reason was due to the Yankees’ three World Championships that improved fan attendance in the 1990s. Fortunately, there are great minor league teams that play in New Jersey today: Somerset Patriots, Jersey Shore BlueClaws, New Jersey Jackals, and Trenton Thunder.
2: Rapper Jay-Z Has Performed the Most Concerts at Yankee Stadium
Jay Z, a New York native who is one of the greatest rappers of all time, has played the most shows at New Yankee Stadium. In addition, he has performed a total of four shows since the ballpark’s opening. In fall 2010, Jay Z did two shows in a blockbuster performance with another famous rapper named Eminem. Three years later, the New York rapper returned to Yankee Stadium for two concerts with solo artist Justin Timberlake. Jay Z has been a Yankees fan his entire life as he occasionally wears their hats. He even referenced the Yankees in his hit collaboration with Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind.”
1: Yankees’ Ballpark was a Drive-In Movie Theater During the Pandemic
In the beginning, 2020 is going through like any other year. Spring Training was in full swing and the Kansas City Chiefs had just won the Super Bowl. Then, all of a sudden, a Coronavirus pandemic took the globe by storm and everything shut down. That meant fans couldn’t go to games and had to stay six feet apart. A couple months later, New Yankee Stadium had a plan to get fans to the ballpark during uncertain times.
For the summer, the team held a drive-in movie theater in the venue’s parking lot. Cars had to follow social distancing rules and face masks needed to be worn if anyone went outside. It was unknown if the theater showed any family films or recent blockbusters, but they likely showed movies based in New York City.