Thursday, March 27, 2014
A tainted memory. A tainted relic.
On August 4, 2007, I was sitting in Yankee Stadium when Alex Rodriguez hit is 500th HR. It was a hot day, but I was lucky enough to have a seat in the shade on the lower level 3rd base side. I paid $10 for a scalped ticket which was surely in the upper deck, but I was alone that day, and snuck down to find an open seat.
I actually did that a lot. I went to games alone all the time. When I first moved to NY, I had very few responsibilities. My work schedule wasn’t bad at all. I had no girlfriend, no kid, no dog to look after. In 2007, I want to about 40 Yankee games that year, most just on a limb when I was bored after work or on a weekend. I’d take the 4-train up to the Stadium, scalp a cheap ticket (I usually paid $5 or $10), and enjoyed the game. Ahhh, simple times. It was much easier to scalp tickets back then, and I had an effective system. Many times, I paid nothing for the ticket and found someone getting rid of an extra. People get pretty desperate when the game is starting and they have a spare ticket.
Anyhow, sensing this was the day, I made my way into the old Stadium, found an unoccupied seat, and sat back as ARod blasted a 3-run shot to left. It was probably the coolest moment I had in-person at a game up to the point. The crowd went nuts as Alex became the youngest player to hit 500.
I saved my ticket stub and an NY Post from the game. It means very little to me now, but it was still cool to attend. Since then, this memory has been eclipsed by a bunch of others that I’ve witnessed in person at Yankee Stadium (2009 WS Game 6 clinching win, 2008 ALCS Game 6 clinching win, the Ibanez 2-HR game vs the Orioles in the ALDS, Johnny Damon’s 6 for 6 game, Opening Day at the new Stadium…the list goes on), but I still feel a little connection to this game.
A while back, DHoff over at Coot Veal and the Vealtones put this ARod relic up for trade. It’s (supposedly) a piece of the wall from his 500th HR game. I have no clue how true that is, but I like non-traditional relics, and this certainly fits the bill. I expected the blue to be softer, but it's actually not soft at all. It must be just the top layer of the wall padding. The scan is bad, but there are some cool markings and indentations on it.
He also threw in a team bag of other Yanks, and here are a few personal favorites. Thanks for the trade, Dhoff!