January 29, 2014 — Earlier tonight, two great New York franchises took the ice at Yankee Stadium.
The New York Rangers and the New York Islanders played in the second of two games at Yankee Stadium as part of the NHL’s Stadium Series. It was 22 degrees outside at game time, but that did not have an effect on the number of hockey fans in the ballpark. From my vantage point in the press box (located behind the Islanders bench), I couldn’t find an empty seat in the upper deck, in the bleachers or anywhere else in the Stadium.
From the second the puck dropped, the crowd was buzzing. The dull roar from the fans did not stop from the moment the game began, and chants of “Let’s Go Rangers” and “Let’s Go Islanders” were consistently ringing out in the seats. Every shot on goal was followed by loud and collective exhales from the crowd, and when the Islanders and Rangers traded goals in the closing minutes of the second period, the place erupted.
That’s what it sounded like in Yankee Stadium tonight. The scenery was just as spectacular. The rink, which stretched from shallow right field to shallow left field, was surrounded by snow on every side. The outfield wall in left field featured the New York Rangers logo along with a photo montage of some of the city’s most iconic places including the Statue of Liberty. The Islanders logo adorned the right-field wall. Of course, the backdrop of the game included the freeze, and Rangers, Islanders and “Stadium Series” flags were flying from atop the Stadium’s signature piece of architecture.
I’ve seen far too many baseball games to count from my seat in the press box, and I’ve even witnessed some great college football games at the Stadium, but the energy in the building tonight was unique. It had the feel of a Yankees postseason game with snow on the ground and cold air swirling around.
There will be a photo essay from the Stadium Series — which also included Sunday’s game between the Rangers and the New Jersey Devils — in the 2014 New York Yankees Official Yearbook. Whether you braved the cold or not, check out the collection of photos from these two classic games. Yankees photographers captured photos of the Devils players in their throwback red and green uniforms, and they snapped photos of both Rangers victories from every angle of the Stadium.
The 2014 Yearbook will be on sale beginning April 7, and it can be purchased at Yankee Stadium, on yankees.com/publications and by calling (800) GO-YANKS.
–Alfred Santasiere III
January 14, 2014 – On December 9, former Yankees manager Joe Torre was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. A few hours after the Hall of Fame announced that Torre would be heading to Cooperstown, I sat down with four of the skipper’s greatest players. While at a Steiner Sports event in New York City, I asked each of the members of the famed Core Four — Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte — to share their thoughts on the man who helped lead them to four championships.
The conversation below will be published in the September Issue of Yankees Magazine along with a feature on Torre’s upcoming induction into baseball’s greatest fraternity. But for now, enjoy this brief look at our coverage of Torre’s lifetime accomplishment.
–Alfred Santasiere III
Alfred Santasiere III: What made Joe different from other managers?
Jorge Posada: He treated me like I was part of his family. He was very encouraging and he did everything he could to get the most out of me. Looking back, his best quality as a manager was that he communicated well with everyone.
Andy Pettitte: Joe never panicked. He never let us get stressed out. When we were young, that gave us the ability to relax in stressful situations. He always showed confidence in us — and he always let us know that he had confidence in us — even when we were struggling. That really helped me. He was my manager, but he was and will always be my friend. I’m really happy for him.
AGS III: Derek, what did Joe mean to you when you were thrust into the spotlight of New York City?
Derek Jeter: The bottom line is that I trusted him. Coming up as a young player, you don’t know what to expect, especially in New York, where the expectations are so high. He put me out there every single day. He put me on the field when I was playing well and when I wasn’t playing well. He’s like a second father to me, and to all of us sitting here. I can’t think of anyone who is deserves this more than Joe.
AGS III: Mariano, what is your favorite memory of the time you played for Joe?
Mariano Rivera: Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series. He put me out there for three innings, and he trusted me that whole time. That is something I will never forget. But, overall, he just let us enjoy playing the game.