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September 18, 2008 at 1:32 am ET
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Memories Of That Old Dump In The Bronx: B&C’s Anti-Tribute

Last Thursday, to mark the beginning of the Yankees final homestand at Yankee Stadium, our Yanks writer Ed “Lover” Valentine wrote a moving piece, sharing some of his personal memories of the Stadium.

As the final weekend approaches, the coverage of the last days of Yankee Stadium will undoubtedly become unavoidable and nauseating. Ahad told Starbuck, “Stand up amid the general hurricane, thy one tost sapling cannot.”

But what the hell, I’ve recruited our Orioles guy, Patrick Smith, and our Red Sox guy, Cameron Martin, and we’re going to try to add a little balance by sharing our own memories of the true nature of That Old Dump In The Bronx.

Smitty: I sat in the rightfield bleachers for Hall of Fame Day in 1987 against the Tigers. Catfish Hunter was being inducted that year and the Yanks had a special day for him. Bob Sheppard announced each of the immortals in his unmistakable style. Mantle, Berra, Rizzuto, Ford, Dimaggio were all there. (I don’t think Martin was there that day.) During the pregame ceremony, all the Tigers but one left the field out of respect for the Yankees. The only guy who stayed on the field was Kirk Gibson, who refused to change his warmup routine. While Joe D was making a speech, Gibson laid down on his back in the outfield grass, raised his legs above his head and pointed his ass right at Dimaggio. I never laughed so hard in my life.

Cam: My first game at Yankee Stadium was in 1980 versus the Blue Jays. It was Bat Day. Captain and Tennille sang the national anthem. We sat in the upper deck behind home plate, and I remember thinking, “This place smells.”

Chalk: My first game at Yankee Stadium was on a rainy Friday night in May 2005. I thought it was safe to make my first visit because the Yankees were 11-18 and tied for last place in the East with my beloved Devil Rays. I didn’t realize then how lucky I was, because Carl Pavano was actually the starting pitcher! (Facing Barry Zito of the A’s, no less.) I went home happy, because Mariano Rivera got the loss in extras with help from a 10th-inning error by A-Rod. I went in with an open mind, but I was thoroughly unimpressed — the place felt no more historic than the Vet and less historic than Shea. Maybe it was different three decades ago before the renovation, but now the concrete fortress just seems like Johnny Damon post-Red Sox. The Shaved Emasculated Shell Of Johnny Damon, The Renovated Emasculated Shell Of Yankee Stadium. After that first game, the Yankees went on to win 10 in a row, and I vowed never to return. I kept that vow for over two years, but then I wanted to go see my Devil Rays and I ended up seeing four more games there over the past two seasons. I saw three Yankee wins during day games, and one glorious night game Devil Rays blowout. I sat in the bleachers and heard the constant rattling of what I later learned were antiquated trash compactors. I think that’s when I came up the moniker I usually refer to the Stadium by, That Old Dump In The Bronx. There is absolutely nothing I will miss about the place.

Cam: My last game at The Ashtray that Ruth Built was last May versus the Red Sox. The Sox won. We sat in the upper deck in right field, and I remember thinking, “This place still smells.”

****

I know we’re not the only ones saying, “Good fucking riddance!” this weekend. Please share your memories of what a dump TODITB is/was. And enjoy what most likely will be a completely meaningless final game between fourth and fifth place teams. Cosmic justice!

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13 Responses to “Memories Of That Old Dump In The Bronx: B&C’s Anti-Tribute”
  1. Anarchist Accountant says:

    Bravo, Chalk…although I’ve never been to TODITB, probably has to do with my allergy to decrepit, overrated buildings with graveyards, I do appreciate the memories….

    On an additional note, is my math correct in a magic number of 3 for the elimination of the Kings of the Steroid Era, giving major league baseball fans their first legitimate playoffs since 1994…

  2. Jeff says:

    AA,

    You’ve probably never been to the Tent in Tampa either. After all, most of you Tampa “fans” couldn’t find the fucking dump on a map.

  3. Jeremy says:

    This must’ve been around 1997 or so. I went to a game with a buddy who is a Yankees fan and we get bleacher seats. We come out of the tunnel and start talking to the usher and next thing we know “things” start whizzing by us – did I mention I have my Mets hat on ? No fear. Sure enough, next thing I know an old lady who had to be at least 75 comes down several rows and tells me to “F*** off”. Nice language grannie. Anyway, the only seats left were in the last row, so I was basically out of their cross-hairs, unlike some other guy in a Pirates hat who got his hat torn to shreds. My Mets hat is still intact by the way.

  4. Gabriel says:

    On a class trip to NYC from Toronto in high school 60 of us took in a Jays/Yankees game. Being sheltered, naive Toronto youth we showed up at the park with signs, Jays hats, shirts etc.

    Needless to say by the 5th inning we were being escorted out by security under a hail of peanut shells, beer cups and verbal abuse.

    Ah… Yankee Stadium in the spring…

  5. Mary says:

    This one time, I went to Yankee Stadium, and it kinda smelled, and some people weren’t very nice to me and it hurt my wittle feelings and made me cry a wittle bit, and I was wearing my hat and I had to clutch it tight and protect it but I made it out of the Stadium with the integrity of my hat uncompromised, and the Yankees were all on steroids and nobody else was, and it was way up in the Bronx which isn’t a very nice neighborhood, and there were a lot of scary people up there who hang out in the streets and listen to loud music and talk loudly (wink), but my team beat those mean stupid Yankees that night and it made me oh so happy.

  6. Jeff says:

    You beat me to it Mary.

  7. Jerry says:

    Smitty – what is Hall of Fame Day?

  8. Aaron says:

    Shortly after my wife and I married in Korea we spent six months living and traveling around the U.S. My Uncle bought us a trip to New York and I thought a trip to the hallowed grounds was in order. Granted, it was in the middle of a heat wave, but what a shithole. We sat in the third deck along the firstbase line. Nothing like a $10 can of watered down beer to keep you cool through the first half inning. Yes, the beer in the can was watered.
    The tickets themselves were $16. Not terrible, but no one should be sitting that high to watch a baseball game. Toss in the kind of New Yorkers that typically sit in seats that high and you have a fully miserable evening — loudmouthed kids standing on their seats, loudmouthed parents ignoring them in the name of neighborhood gossip, and then finally that loudmouthed drunk senior citizen announcing all the names as the fans clap like Pavlov’s dog when they match the sound with the number on the uniform.
    A true revolutionary, perhaps Chalk, would burn that place down before the final game takes place.

  9. Anarchist Accountant says:

    I am a frequent if not every night visitor to Historic Tropicana Field, Jeff. Saw you out in right field once…one of those Tampa residents who show up in a different jersey when a team from a city they’ve never lived in comes to town…and gets humiliated on a regular basis by the Cowbell Kid.

    Sorry for your luck…I would stick to dumps like the one in the Bronx with the other non-Americans…errrr….New Yorkers…

  10. Jerry – “what’s Hall of Fame Day?” I think I explained the nature of the event.

    1. Catfish Hunter was getting inducted into the Hall of Fame that year.
    2. They had a day for him.

    Thus, “Hall of Fame Day.” Now, it’s possible that wasn’t the actual name provided by the promotions department. Forgive me. It was 21 years ago.

  11. Ruteger says:

    I went to a Jays/Yankees game there last year, and it was decent enough. Didn’t get any shit for wearing a Jays hat (unless you consider the guy who took my ticket going ‘really?’ shit). The only dirty looks I got were when I didn’t take my hat off during ‘God Bless America’.

    There was some annoying kid sitting in front of me, too, but that happens everywhere.

  12. FrankDiscussion says:

    Amazing, as if Chalk’s bland witticisms aren’t enough he appears to have found a sycophantic sidekick.

    ” Sorry for your luck…I would stick to dumps like the one in the Bronx with the other non-Americans…errrr….New Yorkers… ”

    Nothing like a little xenophobia to liven up a baseball site.

  13. Anarchist Accountant says:

    Sorry, Frank, but I hope you enjoy the first legitimate playoffs since 1994 like the rest of us baseball fans from real America.

    As to the rumors that New Yorkers are Americans, I have heard this, but since I’ve never seen any act like anywhere outside of the city is the same country, I’m still not convinced.

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