Opening Day – 2013
April 1, 2013 — Regardless of how good or bad the weather is, Opening Day at Yankee Stadium is always a special time to be at the ballpark.
The weather in the Bronx for today’s opener is nearly perfect. The sun is out, and there’s more blue in the sky than there are clouds. Most importantly, and unlike so many other openers, it’s not freezing outside. The temperature at game time was 62 degrees.
Before the game began, the Yankees and the their opponents, the Boston Red Sox, dedicated the game to the victims of the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Both teams are wearing patches, honoring the small town, and that same logo is painted on the first baseline and on the third baseline.
As part of the pre-game ceremony, the names of the children, teachers and administrators who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School were listed on the scoreboard during a moment of silence. As the names continued to scroll across the centerfield video board, an overwhelming sense of sadness swept through the press box and rest of the Stadium. For me, the length of the silence — which lasted longer than other remembrances because of the number of people whose names were displayed — reaffirmed the heartbreak. The fact that most of those names were those of young children certainly added an unbearable layer of grief to the moment.
Earlier today in a press conference, Mariano Rivera was asked what the game’s dedication meant to him. The classy closer not only discussed the gravity of the tragedy, but he also shared his thoughts on the importance of today’s respectful tribute.
“We can not change what happened,” Rivera said. “I wish we could. But at the same time, we’re trying to bring them a lot of good moments and just trying to take the tragedies off their minds for a little bit. We want to honor them the right way, and we believe that we are doing that.”
The May Issue of Yankees Magazine will feature a story on today’s tribute to the people of Newtown, which several first responders and other members of the Western Connecticut community were on the field for.
Additionally, the 2013 New York Yankees Official Yearbook includes feature stories on great Yankees players of today and yesterday, biographies on every member of the team, a special section on the final out of every World Series the club won and much more. In my opinion, the most important paragraph — which will have the most long-lasting impact — in the entire Yearbook, has nothing to do with baseball. Instead, it’s a dedication that reads as follows…
As we prepared for the 2013 season, the inexplicable tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012, was never far from our minds. The 2013 New York Yankees Official Yearbook is dedicated to the memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, their families and their resilient community.
–Alfred Santasiere III