The Gospel of Smoov

Free of obstructed views and fair-weathered opinions

SMOOV CLASSIC: LoHud Yankees Pinch-Hit Post

For the first-time readers of the blog — and any readers who just love reading my stuff — I bring to you the first of two blog posts that I thoroughly enjoyed putting together and am most proud of posting. This one, from 2/4/2009, centers around working the 2008 season as an usher at the old Yankee Stadium (and was featured on The LoHud Yankees Blog) :

Any other year, a third-place finish for my Yankees would make for a miserable season. No playoffs, abysmal offensive production, all the injuries. Too many negative factors to count. Except I got to be an usher at Yankee Stadium for the final season — and had the most fun of my life.

To me, working in Yankee Stadium is more than just a free seat to a game. It was great to take in the atmosphere of every game and every event that took place in the Stadium and reflect on the great moments that I got to see live and on TV as a fan. I learned to completely appreciate the 13 seasons I spent watching games on 161st & River Ave., a ten-minute train ride from 125th St. Normally I don’t like to brag, but I managed to become the envy of my friends.

I also experienced many firsts in 2008 while working the 3B side (box 86-88 from Opening Day through the Angels series, box 56-58 the rest of the season): my first Red Sox game, my first Old Timers’ Day, first time in the Field Level. All experiences I don’t think I ever would’ve experience had I not signed up to be an usher at the Stadium. I also got a chance to interact with the fans, play manager and witness moments like Josh Hamilton’s display during the Home Run Derby. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.

Not bad for a soon-to-be 21-year-old college student from the hood, huh?

But with the good comes the bad:

Cotton-Eyed Joey needs to go back where he came from. Save “God Bless America” for weekend games; it really is overkill at this point. Working on the 3B side of the Field level in the summer is unbearable

But those would be small prices to pay for a chance to work across the street. I’m not sure yet what to expect at the new Stadium; many things will have changed. But one thing never changes: whether you are a fan, player or employee, the Yankee Stadium experience is what you make it. I plan to do everything I can to make the Yankee Stadium experience enjoyable for everyone if I get rehired.

April 3, 2009 – hopefully I’ll be greeting you all from the Legends/Field seats. See you all across the street.

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