Historic Day For Opening Day Baseball In New York
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For the first time in nearly 60 years, two New York teams will open their seasons at home and at the same time.
Back in 1956, the Dodgers and the Giants both played host on Opening Day.
Some Mets and Yankees fans have crossed paths on their way to Opening Day at Grand Central Terminal, where the 4 and 7 trains meet. And as WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, fans of both teams seem to have similar expectations.
“They have a tough year this year, a lot of injuries,” a Yankees fan told Silverman. “Even seeing [General Manager] Brian Cashman in crutches this morning was like an indication of it’s going to be a tough year.”
“I don’t think they’re going anywhere this year. Too many injuries, too old,” another fan added.
Even though Derek Jeter is out of the lineup for Opening Day, one man said he thinks the captain presence is all the Yankees need.
“He’s definitely going to pull the guys together,” a fan named D.J. told Silverman.
Some Mets fans said they set the bar low for April baseball.
“You wouldn’t be a Mets fan if you weren’t optimistic,” one man said.
He added that seeing the doom and gloom on the faces of Yankees fans is a new development.
“Let’s just say I’m secretly happy about that!” he said.
“This generation of Yankee fans is not used to having a team that is probably not going to be in contention,” another fan added.
Fans were taking it to the extreme once they reached their respective ballparks.
“This is the greatest city in the world and we should have two opening games,” said Peter Anderson.
As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, Anderson even arrived at Yankee Stadium in style on his 1989 Harley Davidson Yankee tribute bike. If there is a Yankee fan of the year, Anderson close, but has some competition.
Brett Phillips put on fuzzy legwarmers, and called herself an “ultimate Yankee fan at its best.”
Dana Fontanez and her sister were covered in Yankees garb from head to toe — Yankee nails, rings, shoes, socks bad sunglasses. And they’ve been at every home opener for the past 17 years,
“True Yankee fans at heart — our grandfather was a Yankee fan; our father is,” Fontanez said.
And as good as they are, Hector Montalvo and mascot Jackie Rabbit might outdo them. Montalvo brings his rabbit puppet to every game.
“I chose the rabbit because of the superstition about rabbits’ feet bringing good luck,” Montalvo said. “Why settle for a rabbit’s foot? Bring in the whole bunny?” added Jackie Rabbit.
For the Lingenfelter family, opening day at Yankee Stadium is a tradition that spans three generations. Apparently. mom was trying to brainwash little Chase Lingenfelter.
“She’s a Red Sox fan, unfortunately,” said Scott Lingenfelter.
Meanwhile at Citi Field, one man showed up in suspenders, his wife had a Mets blanket she made herself, and their daughters donned Mets socks.
As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the parking lot at Citi Field was packed with friends cooking up good times.
“We love New York. We love the Mets. We love you too,” said Luis Santana of Mamaroneck.
And families were making memories to last a life time.
“Let’s go Mets!” said Jackson Keane, 3, who was out for his first home opener.
“Memories — just enjoying it,” said his father, Michael Keane of Lindenhurst. “Hopefully, Davis Wright hits a home run for him.”
Dan Fedro came out for his 33rd home opener, and the 12th with his son, Gerard.
Gerard Fedro recalled the first game he attended with his father.
“Fun – he told me I was going to the dentist, but then we came here,” he said. “Haven’t missed one since I was 4, coming here with my father.”
The last time two teams opened in New York at once, the price of the most expensive ticket in either ballpark was about the price of a subway ride out to the stadium today.
As for the games, the Mets beat the San Diego Padres 11-2, as Jonathon Niese stepped nicely into his new role as the lead Mets started, and Collin Cowgill capped a successful New York debut with a grand slam.
Mets fans were excited after the game, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“It’s amazing – it’s one of the greatest feelings I can imagine, I guess,” said Eric Myers.
Angelo Ruiz said he always celebrates a Mets win.
“They make it a habit of winning on Opening Day, and it’s always a good time to come out here, and I believe the Yankees are losing 5-2, so that’s a good thing,” he said.
Indeed, the news wasn’t so good for Yankees fans. CC Sabathia surrendered four runs and five innings as they lost to the Boston Red Sox.
Indeed, as 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, when the clouds came, they rained on any chance of a Yankee opening day victory.
One Astoria, Queens man said the Yankees will have to get in the runs somehow as the season goes on.
“It’s going to be a little tough this year, because we’re going to have to manufacture runs differently this year, because it was all about home runs previously,” he said. “This year, we’ve got to play small ball, it’s called, small ball.”
Which team do you think will end the season with more wins? Sound off in the comments section below.