Yankee Stadium update (Whew!)
"After further review" of my own photographs, those taken by Brian Vangor, and others in various printed publications and online, I have finally completed the revisions of the Yankee Stadium diagrams. As usual, it took much more time to get everything right than I had expected. Of special help in this regard was the "Yankee Stadium Keepsake Edition" published earlier this year by USA Today Sports Weekly, containing dozens of fine-quality archival photos and thousands of juicy "factoids": everything from annual attendance figures to a list of movies that were filmed there. Compared to the previous ("official") revision, on July 1, the biggest changes to the diagrams are:
- The bleachers are about 15 feet deeper than I had estimated before, forcing me to make the diagram frame slightly taller than the "standard": 500 x 500 pixels, rather than 500 x 480.
- The bleachers in right-center field are angled more sharply (rotated about one degree clockwise), being parallel [to River Avenue and the elevated subway tracks, which are in turn perpendicular] to 159th Street (south-southeast side), rather than 161st Street (north-northeast side), which is slightly askew.
- The early era bleachers (1923-1936) extended about 20 feet further to the right of the foul pole than I had thought.
- The walkway dividing the upper and lower sections of the bleachers (1937-1973) are now included, providing a better indication of the orientation of the bench seats.
- The oval-shaped exit ramps behind the south-southeast and southwest corners are now included.
- The profiles are now more detailed and accurate.
I also made a few updates to the text on that page, with more information on non-baseball events at Yankee Stadium, plus I added another photo taken by Brian Vangor -- a panoramic view (#16) from the upper deck on the first base side. Now if all that's not enough to make a ballpark fanatic have a Happy New Year, I don't know what will!
One issue that has come up in e-mail correspondence is how the reduction in distances to left and right field corners in 1988 came about. The walls were in fact moved back, I have established, but there was no gap between the seats and the outfield, just an wide walkway.
Zambonis at Wrigley
Preparations for the NHL "Winter Classic game" at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day are just about complete, as the Zamboni machines are getting the ice rink ready. With the arctic blast that has struck the northern states over the past couple weeks, they really don't even need the Zambonis! See MLB.com; hat tips to Mario Vara III and Mark London. In response to several queries, I will make a hockey version of The Friendly Confines in time for the special event. "Yes, we can!"
Cabrera joins Nats
The Washington Nationals have signed free agent right-hand pitcher Daniel Cabrera to a one-year contract worth $2.6 million. He has pitched for the Orioles his whole career (five years), going 8-10 in 2008, but he gives up a lot of walks. See MLB.com. Five other players, including Jorge Sosa and Corey Patterson, were signed to minor league contracts; hat tip to Bruce Orser. Those are good acquisitions, but the Nats will need to do much more, and soon. The Dodgers seem interested in Adam Dunn, another target of the Nationals, so perhaps Manny Ramirez will end up in D.C. next year.