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    Mudville: December 2, 2021 7:37 am PDT
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    Yankee Stadium: Suite 61

    “Friends should be like books: few, but well selected.” ―C.J. Langenhoven

     

     

    I‘m a homer. Always have been, always will be. Sure, there better stadiums in the MLB universe. Much cooler concrete cathedrals with swimming pools, aquariums, and beaches.

    There are flashier back drops like downtown San Diego, the warehouses at Camden Yards or the movie-like bridge and buildings perfectly overlooking Pittsburgh – but it’ll never be Yankee Stadium. I can sit here all day and tell you how great the old stadium was – it was louder by design, you were closer to the game in the outfield, and I loved the giant grass field behind home plate, but none of that matters either.

    For me, Yankee Stadium has been and will always be about the Yankee fans more than anything else. The people you meet going to Yankee games are a close-knit family who welcome you in with open arms if you show a little bit of kindness and a passion for the pinstripes. Basically, if you’re not an asshole they will treat you like you’ve been here the whole time. There really isn’t much you can do to wear out a welcome in the Boogie Down Bronx.

    Even if you’re still chanting “F**k Altuve”?

    Okay, that’s one thing. Altuve isn’t here and we won’t see him again until the playoffs, so I don’t know what the fascination is with these young bucks, but it needs to stop. The guy basically owns the Yanks and until they beat him AND the Astros in the playoffs OR win a World Series the guy is living in the heads of 12-year-old Yankees Twitter, rent free.

    And I confidently said “in the playoffs” because this team is going to the playoffs. If they continue to play the way they’ve been playing it might be as more than a Wild Card team too. Division Champs isn’t a far-fetched dream as it might have been a few weeks ago. Once the butt of Red Sox fans’ jokes sitting on a 10.5 game lead, the Bronx Bombers have been scorching hot out of the All-Star break and taken the Wild Card spot after sweeping the Sox out of the city and taking the Twins to task before an unscheduled hurricane break spared them another embarrassing loss.

    What a difference a Rizzo, Gallo and pumped-up Nestor makes

    It didn’t hurt, that’s for sure. This line up is enough to give anyone fits. I don’t envy any pitcher who has to labor though this line up 2, 3 or 4 times a game. So, let’s talk about this game experience. This was my first Yankee Stadium suite game and now I can honestly say I understand what all the hype was about.

    I’m a cheap date. I can sit in the 400 section and be happy, but it’s nice to be spoiled too. Just because I can find peace and harmony in the cheap seats doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy an open bar, a buffet of fried, greasy food and an ice cream spread that could cause diabetes with one long look. Like anything, its just a different way to experience a baseball game. The seats were great, the lopsided nature of the Yankees scorching hot bats made it easy to relax and Yankees legend Nestor Cortes continued to be the feel-good story of the 2021 season.

    Don’t tell Andrew Velasquez that. #squidlife

    The kid from the Bronx living out his dream in real time is also one of my favorite sub-plots of the 2021 season. Add a Tyler Wade resurgence, a Wandy Rodriguez reinvention, a pissed off Luke Voit and enough talent on the IL to field a second MLB team, and these Yankees are scary at the perfect time.

    September is going to be a whole lot of fun for anyone who enjoys a good playoff chase. But I digress.

    Let’s get back on track with this suite life experience. It was pretty special. Like most things, the Yankees got this one right. Every suite is numbered and then each number is represented by the players who wore that number in pinstripes. The walls are lined with pictures of those same players as well as some of the most iconic scenes in Yankees history.

    In addition, you don’t know who you’ll see up there (We walked by Doc Gooden, star struck and mouths agape). The food was great, and the service was everything you imagine it should be. Behind the bar was Ronnie, who has been working suites for the Yankees for several decades and the stories he’s able to share is worth the price of admission alone. What an amazing, kind man. It might have been my favorite part of the whole experience.

    Like most things of this nature, we ate too much, drank too much and laughed the perfect amount with old friends and new acquaintances. I love Yankee Stadium. I love the train ride in. I love the smell. The people. The lines. The food. I love Yankee Stadium because I love Yankee fans. They are the best fans in the world, and I am lucky enough to be welcomed into this fraternity of fun and fandom. This week wasn’t about the concession stands as much as it was about seeing a baseball game in a way #thefoodguy has never done before and it was beyond cool. Will I do it again? Probably. Has it changed me forever? Nah, I’m still going to be a cheap ticket, a hot dog and an ice cream helmet guy moving forward. Until next time….

    #staytuned #stayhungry #thefoodguy

    Yankee Stadium: 1 East 161st Street The Bronx, New York

    Rating:  The “Take me Out” – Traditional food, but a little special. We had pizza, fries, chicken tenders, fruit, chips, mac & cheese, a dessert and ice cream bar. It really was a lot of food and a full open bar with the wonderful Ronnie at the helm. Amazing experience.

    Major League Teams: The New York Yankees and New York Mets (Citi Field)

    Minor League Teams: Staten Island Yankees, Brooklyn Cyclones & Hudson Valley Renegades

    Other Baseball: Monument Park at Yankee Stadium – Worth a once over.

    Shout Out: The “after party” crowd who stayed up late and celebrated into the wee hours of the morning. Frank, Sarah, JC, Jose, Yari, Keith, Dro and of course Batista, who made all of this possible.

    Putting the ``Sweet`` in ``Suite``: The ice cream cart.

    The “Stadium Food Scale” for ballparks in 2021 (from worst to first):

    • Dumpster Fire – On the menu or in the bowl- this shit stinks.
    • School Fair – Everything is greasy, everything is fried — Limited options.
    • The “Take me Out” – Traditional food, but nothing special.
    • Fancy Pants – Sushi, Steaks and monocle wearing worthy menu options. Fancy.
    • The Babe Buffet — Everything you need and a bunch of things you didn’t. This is the end all be all of stadium food. Limitless options and so much food, even George Herman Ruth would tap out.

    Father, husband, runner, and food guy. Baseball traveler, stadium food connoisseur, and podcast fill-in. Just here for the hot dogs.

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