Touring the World's Most Famous Stadium: Yankee Stadium in the BronxOctober 31, 2017 - by Ethan Wolff
The New York Yankees' 2017 campaign came up just short—within one game of the World Series—but after the season is over is actually a great time to visit the Bronx Bombers' legendary home. Head up to the Bronx, where Yankee roots date to 1923, to experience the architecture, the history, and the grandeur of Yankee Stadium. To learn more about the lore of the 27-time World Champion Yankees and to experience Yankee Stadium as an insider, go on a baseball adventure with Yankee Stadium Tours.
The current Yankee Stadium is actually the third home of the Yankees, completed to state-of-the-art specs in 2009. Your tour begins in the Great Hall, a space worthy of its name, with arched windows like a cathedral letting light shine down on banners of Yankee greats. An expert guide will give you the back story as your tour begins, with a first stop at the New York Yankees Museum Presented by Bank of America.
The exhibitions here illuminate Yankee stories of triumph and tragedy. Five great teams (the world champs of 1927, 1939, 1961, 1977, and 1998) are called out, with priceless memorabilia on display. Teammates Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth are reunited in bats (Ruth’s has 11 notches, signifying the home runs he hit with it) and uniforms and autographs. Replicas of every Yankee championship ring can be seen, 26 of them to be precise. (For their first World Series win the team was awarded a pocket watch. It’s here too.) Don’t miss the Yankees most recent ring, from 2009, glittering with 119 diamonds, one for each win.
You’ll have the chance to examine up close a wall of 870 signed baseballs, World Series trophies, and two life-sized statues of the battery for Don Larsen’s unlikely perfect game, pitched against the Brooklyn Dodgers in game 5 of the 1956 World Series. It was only the fourth perfect game of the modern era—there have been less than two dozen in the history of the sport. Before you leave spend a moment at Thurman Munson’s locker, left as it was when the Yankee captain was killed in a plane crash in 1979. In a telling contrast, a contemporary locker has been stationed next to it, showing just how far taste and technology have evolved.
When the tour moves back to the stadium proper you’ll get sweeping views of the seats and field. Take a minute to soak it in, an experience like the hush before the raising of the curtain at a Broadway show. Your next stop will be one of the city’s most famous landmarks, Monument Park. Home run balls are launched from time to time into this open-air Hall of Fame, where retired numbers and plaques tell the stories of Yankee immortals. Greats across the generations are here, from Babe Ruth to Mickey Mantle, to the most recent inductee, Derek Jeter and his #2—the last Yankee to wear a single-digit number.
In both the museum and Monument Park you’ll get a sense of American history, of the larger story of the nation as it intersects with the National Pastime. The #32 of Elston Howard, the first African American to play for the Yankees, is here, as are memorials to Nelson Mandela (he donned a Yankee cap when he spoke at the stadium in 1990) and the terrorist attacks of September 11th. It's all a reminder that no team in sports has a legacy like the Yankees.
After Monument Park, you'll have a chance to pose with a replica of a World Series trophy, with the green grass of the ball field for backdrop. From there, the tour guide will lead you down to the field. This is exactly the perspective the players have and after experiencing the dirt and the angle up to the stands, you’ll never look at a baseball game the same way again. The stadium architecture looks especially grand from here, particularly the arcing white friezes, which reference back to the design of the original 1923 ballpark. If for some reason the field isn’t accessible, there’s a pretty good consolation prize—tours go to the press box.
Either way you’ll be treated to an insider look at something usually off limits. And you don’t have to be a diehard Yankee fan to appreciate that.
Yankee Stadium Tour Times
Tours run most of the year; check in advance for winter availability.
11:00am, 11:20am, 11:40am, 12:00pm, 12:20pm, 12:40pm, 1:00pm, 1:20pm, 1:40pm
To purchase tickets for a tour of Yankee Stadium, please visit Yankees.com/tours or call 646-977-8687 for more information.