NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yankee fans were treated to a picture perfect day for the home opener in the Bronx on Monday.
Last year, it felt like February and the Yankees opener was postponed but that’s not the case this year. Temperatures neared 70 and there was plenty of sunshine as the game got underway.
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The weather was an encouraging sign for Yankees fans, but those same fans were discouraged by the long lines waiting to get into the ballpark. Many ticket holders weren’t able to make it inside for the first pitch.
“I’ve been coming since I was a little girl,” one angry woman told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer. “Never experienced this.”
Lines wrapped around the ballpark and the most frustrated fans spent the beginning of the game at a nearby bar.
Despite the minor frustrations, many fans say there’s still nothing like the magic of opening day at Yankee Stadium.
“I got the day off,” one Yankee fan said.
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Another fan said she took her kids out of school for the big game.
“I surprised them this morning, made them get ready for school thinking they were going to school and I said, ‘Nah we’re going to opening day,'” she said.
The Yankees are a team this year with a hopeful future while trying to win in the present embodied by budding star Aaron Judge, who said he was excited and nervous for the home opener.
“This place is going to be packed, it’s going to be rocking,” Judge said before the first pitch was thrown. “It’s going to be fun playing in front of our fans again but I think once the game starts we’re just going to go out there and try to win the game.”
“Just being on your own home field in from of your own home fans is what excites you the most, you think that 95 percent of the people in the stadium are going to be Yankee fans and that’s always nice,” manager Joe Girardi said.
However, three-fifths of the starting infield missed opening day because of injuries.
Still, fans are hopeful for the new season.
“The pitching is shaping up and they have a couple of good guys, it’s a wait and see process,” one fan said.
The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 behind a stellar outing from starting pitcher Michael Pineda, who was five outs away from hurling a perfect game.