2017 – Yankees/Rays at Citi Field 9-13-17 (rare game!)
I had never been to Citi Field – the Mets’ home – so when Hurricane Irma was taking aim on Florida, the Yankees/Rays 3-game series was moved from Tampa to New York (where the Rays played as the home team). And when it was announced that ALL tickets would be $25.00 with NO fees, I got online at 10am – the minute ticket sales started – and got a front-row seat right behind the third base (Yankees) dugout.
What a photo op THIS would be!
I checked the Mets’ site to find out what this ticket would normally cost: $263.00 (plus fees, I would imagine). As Molly Goldberg might have said, “Such a deal!”
Plus, I’d be able to shoot all the Yankees coming into the dugout and get close shots of homer-monster Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez batting.
I picked the third and final game because it was the only day game of the three, which meant more and better light for photos. Plus, I was going to take mass transit – a shaky proposition if you’re trying to get back to NJ very late at night.
It was stressed that everyone use mass transit because a big chunk of the stadium parking lot was taken up by the setup for a large, 3-day music festival that had already been arranged for while the Mets were on the road.
NOTE: The second image is a 4-image photo-stitch that I shot from inside Citi Field. Click the image once. After it takes over the screen, hover the mouse over the image. You should get a + sign. Then click it again. It’s now full-size and must be scrolled to see everything. Click it once more to shrink it back and then use your back button to return to the post.
This procedure applies to any other photo-stitches on this post.
I took an express bus into the NYC Port Authority building, walked up 42nd St to the Times Square subway station and caught a #7 train, which is underground in Manhattan, but after passing under the East River into Queens…….no more tunnel.
I’m in the front car and shot this through the front window as the train emerged from the tunnel as another #7 headed toward Manhattan.
This was a tough shot through a side window. The train was moving and every few seconds, something obstructed the view, but I’m happy with this shot. Silvercup Studios – in Long Island City – is the largest film and television production facility in New York City. Behind the sign are these Manhattan structures (l-r): the Citicorp building (slanted roof), 432 Park Ave (the tallest residential building in the US) and the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge.
I’m really disappointed that this shot isn’t sharp. It’s such an impossible jumble of subway tracks, red lights and workers with red flags to stop us and a body of water in the distance. I’ve never seen this before from inside the train, so it’s one I really wish came out better.
These two shots are the first views of Citi Field from the moving train:
Just out of the train, I took this shot while still on the platform:
As soon as I got out of the subway station, this was the view:
Street begger (I didn’t see what the sign said until I saw it on my computer). I’m guessing this is a regular sight at Mets home games:
The whole trip took about an hour and 40 minutes (not a single delay!), so I got here just after 11am………….before they even opened the gates. That’s why there are lines in this pic:
Inside that bulging front of the previous picture is the Jackie Robinson rotunda. His number (retired throughout the major leagues) is the first thing you see when you get inside and his quote is visible from the top of the escalators and stairs as you leave (the quote is a 5-image photo-stitch).
This is my angled, 3-picture Citi Field photo-stitch. As you’ve seen in my analog Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium posts of 2008 and 2009, I usually went up to the top deck, highest row dead center and took a fisheye shot of the entire stadium.
Digitally, I would have done a photo-stitch from the same place, but the two upper decks were closed off for this series, so instead, I chose this location that was close to where my seat was.
On top of the visitors’ (Yankees) dugout, you can see “WELCOME TO CITI FIELD”. If you look closely, you can see a guy wearing a Yankee jersey standing in front of the “O” in the word “TO”. He’s standing at my seat. That’s where I shot all my game images.
Since I was there so early – the game was to start at 1:10pm – I had plenty of time to walk around the entire stadium ring and document interesting things.
In case there was any doubt about who the competing teams were, the location and even the time, here ya go:
It looks like that unless you’re wearing a baseball jersey, you can’t be served at the Shake Shack, but it appears that there’s a line for jersey-less losers on the far right:
Apparently, nobody bothered to send in the clowns:
The Shea Bridge is a popular place in center field to stand and watch the game (or maybe to reflect on the old Shea Stadium if the game you’re watching isn’t going well).
On that bridge’s walking surface, you’ll find this large Shea Stadium logo. If you look at the previous picture, you’ll see an X made by the steel framework just above the words “Shea Bridge”. How appropriate that, at this moment, its shadow negates the logo – an Xclamation point, if you will – on the 1964-2008 lifespan of Shea Stadium.
As I continued toward right field, I saw two other Stadium entry points: the Bullpen Gate and the cleverly-named Right Field gate:
Also seen from right field is part of the National Tennis Center and on the left, part of the 1964 Worlds Fair Unisphere:
The rest of the stadium ring consisted of crowded food stands, so I headed back to Section 122. It was pretty hot in the sun where my seat was (look to the right of the center aisle, front row and a woman holding a baby – that’s my seat) and I sunburn easily, so since there was still an hour before first pitch, I sat about 30 rows back in the shade in the last row behind some guy who was probably doing the same thing.
There was plenty of stuff to shoot from there. I turned to my right and saw some Mets legends painted on a wall:
I saw a cart rolling by with what looked like circular Mets mats. They were placed somewhere near home plate (I never saw the exact placement).
In that first shot, I imagine there was some frustration for the fan with his arms and mitt behind his head. Can’t catch a foul ball with all that netting.
Lots of activity around home plate in the second shot as protective covers are removed, Mets mats get placed and Meredith Marakovits gets help with something before her pre-game report on the YES Network.
I saw the Rays starting pitcher, Chris Archer, in the outfield standing on his hands. It didn’t help. I don’t think he made it through 4 innings and was the losing pitcher.
I have no idea what the other half of the Rays’ battery – catcher Jesus Sucre – was wearing (was that his mask?) or carrying, but it looked like it might make an odd picture.
Yankees catcher Austin Romine looked a bit more normal:
Fan can’t decide if he wants peanuts or a hot dog:
I decided to go for another stroll and found an open area where I could see the Grand Central Parkway (I think) and planes landing at LaGuardia Airport. BTW – the takeoffs went right over Citi Field low and LOUD during the entire game (just like at Shea Stadium)……………part of the charm.
Time to hit the head before going to my seat.
I’m not into taking pictures in public restrooms, but when I saw the sign over the urinal, I had to sneak a fast shot
I have no idea what the Mets need my “deposit” for, but I’m proud – I think – to have made two of them that day.
(what genius thought that this sign placement was a good idea?)
Standing at my seat: I think that’s Yankees Yes Network announcer Michael Kay (center) across the dugout from me:
Sitting in my seat: Why should I be concerned about flying objects leaving the field when there’s protective netting there?
MAJOR disappointment of the day: no Aaron Judge in the lineup…………and he didn’t pinch-hit, either.
Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino head for the dugout.
Meredith Marakovits is the New York Yankees’ clubhouse reporter and also does all the field pre- and post-game interviews. This picture also illustrates disappointment #2 today: the netting that was extended this year to include the dugouts and made shooting much more difficult (but it certainly does beat getting hit in the face with a blazing line drive, as a 2 year-old girl did one week later at Yankee Stadium).
GAME-TIME! First batter Brett Gardner watches a fastball whiz by his……..uh……..uniform.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius has a great swing and is a fun guy to watch in the field.
Catcher (DH-ing today) Gary Sanchez quadruple-play: at bat, sliding into third, after a strikeout and in the dugout:
Reliever David Robertson:
Jacoby Ellsbury and Todd Frazier:
After being stranded at 2nd base, Brett Gardner hands his offensive gear to 3rd base coach Joe Espada (is his watch big enough to coach 3rd?) I think Brett’s scalp got a small sunburn waiting for Didi Gregorius to bring him his glove and cap (it seemed like he was waiting quite a while).
Didi: “Should I stay or should I go?”
Didi: “I think I’ll stay”
Didi gets to third and chats up Evan Logoria:
It’s so weird to see completely-empty (security doesn’t count) upper decks when the lower bowl isn’t even sold-out at $25.00 a pop.
Clint Frazier with the bases loaded and two out: Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3 on a 3-2 pitch with runners going and then explaining it all to Brett Gardner:
I had to get a shot of recent-Met Lucas Duda’s mighty swing:
Ronald Torreyes (l.), some guy I can’t identify and Luis Severino:
Practical joker Torreyes makes sure I know what to shoot, so I zoomed in on the victim and the assault weapon:
Fan Cam! What excitement! (yawn):
The Rays’ Kevin Keirmaier hitting the only home run of the game. Since it looks like every other swing I photographed, I made sure to take pictures of him rounding third and heading to the dugout – all on three consecutively-numbered images.
Balls about to be hit and hit, courtesy of Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, respectively:
Brett Gardner: at the plate and rounding second………..
Plate taps: after noticing Didi’s semi-squat when he did it, I decided to make myself a mini-project by collecting a few other taps. Besides Didi, here are Jacoby Ellsbury, Lucas Duda, and Evan Longoria.
It got old real fast.
The day that started out with a cloudless sky got semi-cloudy and a bit darker by mid-game – not dark enough for the lights to come on, but they did anyway.
OH BOY! KISS CAM! (Check out Sad Sack in the third picture)
Joe Girardi challenged that the couple in the fourth KISS CAM picture shouldn’t have made the cut since kissing cooked cow meat in a bun doesn’t count. Torreyes watched the replay and the umps live and on the screen, while Didi and Castro stood around the on-deck circle and waited for the decision. Eventually, Joe won the challenge and the couple was ejected (yeah, right).
Replay and umpires:
During a pitching change, (l-r) Chase Headley, Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier and Didi Gregorius converse:
During the pitching change, Luis Severino kept making gestures that indicated that he was going to toss a ball over the 30’-high netting to our section, but – of course – never did.
Dellin Betances comes in to relieve and is not happy to get the hook from Girardi three batters later:
Aroldis Chapman replaces Betances and gets a 4-out save. The Yankees win, 3-2 and the dugout empties for on-field high-fives and…………..oh, wait – look over on the left…………it’s Aaron Judge (99) making his sole appearance and giving me my only shot of him (a little late, Bud!).
Meredith Markovits does the post-game interview with Chapman (this crappy shot is a video still):
Showers had been predicted and there were a couple of very minor drizzles late in the game that increased slightly as the game ended (first pic).
After leaving Citi Field and walking to the subway, it started raining much harder just as I got under cover. I took this across-the-tracks picture from the Manhattan-bound side just as a 7 train pulled in. Excellent timing on the parts of the rain and the train!
THIS WAS THE BEST $25.00 I’VE SPENT IN DECADES!
From an historical perspective – at the moment – this is the last game in MLB history where two American League teams played a regular-season game in a National League ballpark and it may be the last time it ever happens at Citi Field.