My last trip to Yankee Stadium (and second overall) was on July 10, 1997. It was Bud Light Umbrella Night and it was the only giveaway I had been to in my life where ONLY the adults in attendance got the prize. The umbrella looked like it could withstand winds of up to 1-2 mph. I ended up giving that umbrella to a coworker and he's passed away and the ultimate disposition of the umbrella is something I've never determined.
I came to the game with a friend of mine who was visiting New York for the first time. She noticed that there was a sign that said "Watch Your Language." She asked me "How bad can it be?" I told her to wait.
We were in the grandstand in a section that was adjacent to the bleachers. There was some "colorful" interplay between the two sections. When I got back home I asked a New York born friend of mine how parents put up with that sort of behavior and he said, "Ahh, that's just how they socialize us out there."
The game was Hideki Irabu's Yankee debut and the crowd was very excited about the highly touted import. At last, the Yankees would have their own Hideo Nomo. Irabu wasn't bad, striking out 9 in 6 2/3 innings. But I never got the same sense that the Yankee fans were going to embrace Irabu the same way that the Dodgers fans had embraced Nomo. (Hey, I was prescient!)
But I could tell who the real hero was: Tino Martinez. When Martinez homered off of Omar Olivares in the third, the bleachers went nuts. The love of Tino Martinez is something I never did quite figure out. I think it had something with the fact that people liked to say "Tino."
As I look back at the boxscore, I see that Derek Jeter went 4 for 5. And I don't recall it at all. But then he was just Derek Jeter, good young shortstop and not America's Favorite Shortstop (New England excluded.)
Bob Timmermann blogs about baseball over at The Griddle.