The Original Yankee Stadium – Photographs and Memories

A Reflection on The Late, Great Yankee Stadium With Vintage Photographs

I visited the new Yankee Stadium once in 2009 when it first opened. The feeling was a bit surreal. It was like being in Yankee Stadium, but it wasn’t. The main difference for me was the surrounding neighborhood and looking out past the right-center field bleachers and not seeing the apartment buildings and the Bronx County Court House.

The new Yankee Stadium is a glorified mall.

The old Yankee Stadium that existed from 1923 – 1973 was where the storied history of the Yankees took place. Even after the renovation of Yankee Stadium from 1974-1975 which included taking out the old wooden seats and the removal of the beams that could block your view from many of those seats, the stadium still retained some of the old charm, even though it lost a bit of its character. From 1976 -2008 the Yankees played in the same spot where Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Red Ruffing, Hank Bauer, Whitey Ford Joe DiMaggio and Bill Dickey saw action.

The Yankees of the last 35 years; Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Ron Guidry, Mel Stottlemyre, Paul O’Neill, Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter could look around and seep in the history of this altered palace of baseball, even if there were heavy cosmetic changes to the outside and inside of the stadium itself.

There was no more “Death Valley” in left center field where the wall was 457 feet away from home plate. The seating capacity was no longer 70,000+. It was more like 57,000 if you crammed people in to every nook and cranny. But it was still where the Yankee greats had roamed and the presence of those who had triumphed before them was felt by players and fans alike.

Across the street there is a new ballpark called Yankee Stadium. What the Yankees possess is a stadium where multi-millionaire players enter and exit through garages unseen by the public, play baseball and have limited interaction with the fans.

It is where multi-millionaire spectators have premium seating and can be distracted with non-stop, blaring music and an interactive scoreboard. These spectators have unlimited food being served to them, while texting on their mobile devices and are close to the action in walled off seclusion from the rest of the $300 and under “riff raff” fans.

It is where millions of dollars will be paid by taxpayers for many years to come to build this pale imitation of a great ballpark.

Here are some vintage photos of the original Yankee Stadium with some notes and memories. (Click on any photo to enlarge and click again in some cases to get a high resolution view)

Yankee Stadium in April 1923, right before opening.

The stadium as seen again in 1923. The mezzanine and upper grandstands were not completed until later in the 1920’s.

A large crowd at the stadium on Friday, July 26, 1929. The Yankees shut out the St. Louis Browns 9-0. About to deliver a pitch is Yankees hurler Ed Wells who won his eighth game of the year.  Bill Dickey hit two home runs and Lou Gehrig walloped his 24th home run for the Yankees in the winning effort. How hard was it to hit a home run to dead center? For the first few years of operation the center field fence in Yankee Stadium was 490 feet away!

The All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 11, 1939. A crowd of 62,892 saw the American League triumph over the National League 3-1. This was the second All-Star game held in New York. The 1934 All-Star game was played across the Harlem River at the Giants home field, the Polo Grounds.

Fans line up outside the left field bleachers to buy tickets to an important game – note the bunting draped over the upper deck.

When Yankee Stadium was filled to capacity it looked like this. (photo © Daily News)

In the foreground is Yankee Stadium and in the background across the Harlem River is the Polo Grounds. The Giants abandoned New York, and the Polo Grounds, leaving for San Francisco following the 1957 season. After four seasons with no baseball, the expansion New York Mets played in the Polo Grounds for their first two seasons in 1962 and 1963, before moving to their own ballpark in Flushing, Queens – Shea Stadium. The Polo Grounds were torn down in 1964. The site is now a housing project.

Yankee-Stadium-1943-World Series

The 1943 World Series is underway.  The Yankees would defeat the St. Louis Cardinals four games to one in five closely battled games.

It is July 4, 1961 at 1:56 in the afternoon and the stadium has filled up to see the Yankees play the Detroit Tigers in a doubleheader. The Bronx County Courthouse is the large building in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

In the old stadium, there was no monument park. The three monuments to the Yankee greats (Lou Gehrig, Miller Huggins and Babe Ruth) were in play on the field at the deepest part of center field.  I remember Bobby Murcer chasing down a ball that scooted behind the monuments. I also remember thinking (as probably many small children did,)  that maybe those players were buried out in center field.

Looking in from the monuments, this is the view Mickey Mantle had of Yankee Stadium.

Here from the field level seats between third base and left field you can see the monuments placement in relation to the rest of the outfield. The classic scoreboard is also in the background beyond the right field bleachers.  As announcer Mel Allen used to say when a Yankee hit a home run, “that was a Ballantine Blast.” See, they even had annoying sponsored slogans and endorsements back then.

One of the great thrills for a fan was after some games concluded you could exit through the field.  That was a dream come true – to be able to walk on the same ground that Berra, Mantle, Kubek, Richardson, Maris and even Horace Clarke traversed.  The stadium ushers and fans were civil towards one another and they would actually allow you on to the field as soon as the game ended and as many of the pitchers were exiting the bullpen in the outfield to get to the dugouts.  I met “Sudden” Sam McDowell this way. We’ll save that for another time, because that is a story in itself.

In the 1970’s, when I was attending quite a few games, another joy was before a game you could come and watch batting practice from literally anywhere in the ballpark. The Yankees usually were just finishing their B.P. as the fans were allowed into the ballpark, so it was usually the visiting team you got to see practicing. There were no walls, fences or guards keeping the fans from moving about the stands. You could go anywhere in the stadium you wanted except from the bleachers to the main ballpark and vice versa. There were usually only a few hundred people there so every hard hit echoed like a rifle shot in a canyon.

You could hang out by the dugout and pester players for autographs; which many times they would sign. You might station yourself down the third or first base line to catch foul balls.  Or you could just watch batting practice up close from the best seats in the house, even if you weren’t in possession of those tickets for the game.

The expensive field boxes were affordable -even for a kid in 1973 – the price $4.00. When the stadium was renovated after 1976 the first row field boxes were still relatively inexpensive at about $7.50 during the late 1970’s. We normally did not sit there. We almost always sat in general admission in the upper deck. That cost $1.25. After the renovation – $1.50. The stadium was almost never sold out except for Old Timer’s Day and Bat Day so you could sit practically anywhere in the upper deck, except the upper box seats.

When the park started getting filled up just before game time, an usher (not a guard) would ask to see your tickets if you were down in the lower deck.  Sometimes you would be lucky and they wouldn’t chase you away if you didn’t have tickets for those box seats. But that was rare. What was more common was people would slip the usher two or three dollars and he would dust off the seats with that filthy, textured thick rag of a glove you see on this usher’s hand in the photograph, and let you stay where you were sitting.

As a child I thought the ushers came with the stadium; in other words they were all so old that they were indentured servants or had worked there since Babe Ruth opened the place in 1923. The ushers were generally grouchy guys who worked the lower deck and many of them had in fact been there for 30 or more years.  They knew who had season seats and who didn’t-  so upon reflection many years later, I now understand why they got peeved at people trying to sit in seats they didn’t belong in, unless the ushers got their palms greased – even if there were only 15,000 in the ball park for most games.

This is the final at bat at the old Yankee Stadium, September 30, 1973.  John Hiller is on the mound for the Tigers and Mike Hegan, son of long time Yankee coach Jim Hegan is at bat for the Yankees. The Yankees lost to the Tigers 8-5.

Renovation began on Yankee Stadium following the 1973 season. They took down the beams in the stands, shortened the mezzanine and shifted heights and contours of the outfield walls.  A new state of the art scoreboard would be installed in 1976. They also removed the famous copper facade/frieze that lined the roof of the upper deck and put it into storage to be possibly used again when the stadium re-opened. It was promptly lost and never seen again. The theory was, it was stolen out of storage and sold for scrap metal. The renovated stadium had a replica facade built. The seats from the stadium were removed and sold at New York department stores like Korvettes and Alexander’s for anywhere form $7.50 for single seats to $25 and up for multiple seats. I begged my mother to buy 2 seats bolted together, but she thought I was crazy.

Maybe I was, but I miss the old Yankee Stadium and wish I had those seats.

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74 Responses to The Original Yankee Stadium – Photographs and Memories

  1. George Dalley says:

    The photos bring back great memories; I was a Yankee fan thanks to my father and remember attending games with him and then with my brother regularly during the glory days between 1950 and 1964 when the Yankees won the pennant almost every year under Casey Stengel. We loved going to the games, even though they were becoming available at home on our newly acquired television. But watching baseball on tv did not compare with the vivid sights, sounds smells, and pure excitement of the experience of being in Yankee Stadium, especially during the doubleheaders on Sunday when we could see two games and spend all day at the ball park. I remember the thrill we received each time we entered the stadium and emerged from the tunnel to see the beauty of the green field below us.We were allowed to bring food and drink into the park in those days and I recall my mother providing us with lunch and a cooler filled with fruit juice. We lived within walking distance of Yankee Stadiu; in fact, our route east on 155th street from Ansterdam Avenue in Harlem across the Harlem River over the Macombs Dam Bridge is clearly visible in one of these great photographs. Our favorite seats were in the upper deck behind home plate. We were able to buy grandstand seats there for most games for $1.25 and loved seeing two games for the price of one most Sundays. We were blessed to have come of age as baseball fans during this period and privileged to witness almost the entire careers of Yankee all-star greats such as Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, and Mickey Mantle along with other great Yankee players such as Hank Bauer, Gene Woodling, Ady Carey, Phil Rizzuto, Billy Martin, Bill Skowron, Elston Howard, Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi, Eddie Lopat, Joe Collins, Hector Lopez,Tony Kubek, Bobby Richardson, Irv Noren, Bob Cerv, Luis Arroyo, and many more heroes under the leadership of Casey Stengel.

    • evan mcelfresh says:

      saw all the yankee greats PLUS other a.l. stars like ted williams, al kaline, bob feller, harmon killebrew, so many more. PLUS we had giants seats in lower sec 34 row g seat 11 & 12 for all the stadium years & saw gifford, huff, tittle, rote, webster coached by lombardi, landry…the stadium was a special place. i hated 2 c it go…

  2. Mark Herd says:

    Great Post. You are doing a real service with old pictures and reflections and such.
    I remember seeing old Yankee Stadium in 1971 from the train coming into the city from the Bronx. I was an out-of-towner then but it looked great. Personally didn’t start going until 1980. Saw some great games in 20 some years. Had some great seats for cheap. Then they started winning, and it got too crowded. I have yet to go to the new one, but agree it is a shopping mall. Same with the ‘new Shea Stadium’.

  3. Mark Herd says:

    I was living in Detroit in 1964 and before that in Baltimore, 1960 to 63. Old Tiger Stadium was a great place to see a game, just don’t sit behind a pole. Mickey hit his 500 HR on Sunday at the Stadium, and his 501 in Detroit on Tuesday night with me, Mom and Dad watching. The place went nuts giving it up for the legendary Mick.

    I remember watching the great ’61 Cincy world series and the epic 62 SF world series in Baltimore on afternoon b&w TV after Catholic school was over. Dad was jealous. I definitely remember early on Sunday night, last game of the 1961 season, the TV getting a special announcement: Roger had hit number 61! My New York born and raised father went NUTS!

    Yes, Dad said he was a Yankee fan, but since I was 8 years old, never been to a game, learning how to flip baseballs cards in the alley, and rooting for the Birds: Dad said from now on we would be Orioles fans! We road the bus to Memorial Stadium and Dad got into a fight with the bus driver since I was tall and was challenged on child’s fare. He bought 4 or 5 dollar box seats because he said we didn’t come there that often, and should get good seats!! Thanks DAD!

    When we moved to Detroit, we were the only Bird’s fans in Tiger land.

    But, when the Orioles won the Championship in 1966, and beat the world class LA Dodgers of Sandy and Don fame in 4 straight – LOWEST scoring series in history (about 12 runs in 4 games for both teams) the Detroit neighbors were oh so happy for the little kid from Baltimore! (and that was me.)

  4. Matt O'C says:

    The second and third images of YS are actually from April 1923, not 1922. Construction of YS didn’t even start (leveling the site) until May 6, 1922.

    The image listed as the 1950 WS is in fact the 1943 WS. See the war bond and air raid warning text painted on the facing of the upper and mezzanine decks.

    The 1:56 PM aerial pic is from July 4, 1961.

  5. Rick says:

    Wow, these are great thank you so much for presenting them.
    I guess, that you know you are getting old when you mourn the passing of a ballpark, I will never forgive the Yankee management for knocking her down when she had so many good years left. I have lost my baseball heart because of it. Today, the game is all about money.

    Thank You Rick

  6. Steve D. Toth says:

    My greatest thrill growing up watching the cleveland indians play the yanks in a twinight doubleheader both games were televised and that was the first time i saw the monuments in centerfield (in play)

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  8. john guilfoyle says:

    Enjoyed looking at the photos. I’ve seen them all before but it’s nice having them in one place. Just wondering where you got the info that the old frieze was stored for future use.

    • B.P. says:

      I don’t remember the exact source but it was either in a newspaper or book that I read the frieze was put into storage and then lost or stolen.

  9. Pingback: Must-click link: some awesome old pics of Yankee Stadium | HardballTalk

  10. Albert Memoli says:

    Great pictures, bring back lots of good memories. I attended the last game of the original Stadium, with the LANTERN bar from Valentine Ave, and was amazed at all the people who had the foresight to bring tools with them,to disassemble seats, signs, and anything else they could reach.

  11. Stephen Irizarry says:

    I’ve put every single one of these photos on my desktop slideshow! I’m 22 years old. And though I don’t harbor memories from the pre-renovation stadium, I was lucky enough to see a few games at the old stadium before they tore it down. I took a trip to New York before enlisting in the military in 2010 and wanted to cry when I saw the demolition taking place. And as much as I loved going to the Stadium, I would kill to have sat in the pale blue/green seats in the shadow of the original frieze. I’ve been to the new stadium…yes it’s very nice…but it’s not Yankee Stadium. I got a hook-up through a friend to sit right on the third base-line. It was terrible sitting between wealthy business people who saw the game as a social event to entertain colleagues rather than for the near religious experience that is coming to the stadium supporting the Yankees. I’ll stay in the bleachers please!

  12. the yankees need to change the current field to the way it looked in the old yankee stadium. put the monuments back in left center and in play and make the dimensions the same as they were.if not then take the center field fence and change it with a chain fence so you can see the monuments on tv.just my idea

    • Bob says:

      Do you think MLB would let the yankees put them back? Seems like a safety issue. Remember at 457-461 feet even todays juiced players wouldn’t hit back there that often.

  13. Pingback: Rain Out Fun: Old Yankee Stadium photos | River Avenue Blues

  14. Rob says:

    Nice photos covering the years. Great job!

    I never made it to the old ballpark, with my first game coming in the late 70s at the the refurbished park, which many now call YSII. I understand the nostalgia, but I would never want to replace the current new Stadium with the one from ’76-’08. Memories are great, but the Yankees are about winning. I root for the team. Go make new memories.

  15. Bill Thomson says:

    The photo of the “sold out” game reminded me of the final game of the 1949 season between the Yankees and the Red Sox. My dad had bought box mezzanine seats in early April for that last game, never dreaming that his team (the Sox) and mine (the Yanks) would be tied for first place on the last day of the season. I was 10 years old and I’ll never forget the thrill of arriving on the elevated portion of the subway and gazing at the green outfield grass. What a sad comment to know that now kids can only get decent seats if they are somehow connected to corporations who have season tickets. I never heard of a corporation who could (would) stand up to cheer when a Mickey Mantle would hit a towering homer into the upper deck – they’re too busy eating sushi!

  16. ru4_nyy says:

    They need to get rid of the moat in the new stadium and get some real fans in those seats. The creature comforts are nice, but the prices are ridiculous. No access to players anymore either. Sad.

  17. lorenzo says:

    Great pictures , from a Yankee fan from Mexico , Great Job !!!

  18. Timothy McGuire says:

    Those are some great historic photos. I only remember the old Yankees stadium a sI was born in 72 and my 1st game there was 83. Ive been to plenty of regular season, post season and world series games there.

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  20. Dale says:

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and the memories!

  21. Pete says:

    Have you seen how *tight* those ushers’ shirts were? Of course they were grumpy!

    Seriously, though, thanks for the article. As someone who had never been to the original YS, this was a great post.

  22. Joe says:

    I became a Yankee fan in 1949 living in Manhattan. Then we moved to the Bronx one mile from Yankee Stadium, 152nd Street and Morris Ave. I thought I died and went to heaven, I don’t know how many games my friends and I got see, but I loved going to the Stadium. We use to play soft ball in the asphalt parking lot next to the 159th street entrance. Great memories thanks for posting these pictures.

  23. Peter says:

    Great photos and memories.My 1st game there was a double header vs KC we sat in center field in 1963 it was so amazing seeing how big everything was.I was 8 at the time it was very hot in the 90’s with the sun beating on us my parents stayed for a game it was just to hot for them I had a great time Yanks swept Jerry Lumpe and some x Yanks on the KC team.Thanks Mom and Dad for taking me and I also like the old stadium better.

  24. bob brennan says:

    My uncle Larry Lynch worked for years at the Stadium. He was a press gate man. In the late 50’s and early 60’s I would take the bus in from Denville, Jersey with my friend Tom Vogel. into Port Authority bus terminal downtown. We would then take the D train to the Stadium. My uncle would sneak us in to games all the time. Most times we would get there way before the game for batting practice and sit in right field and try and get a ball. We never did up there, but my Uncle Larry got us team signed balls. One time he got us into the press box to sit and I remember all the old writers with typewriters and smoking cigars. Great memories.

  25. R.D. Frable says:

    In the third picture, from 1929, is there a slight incline the last ten feet or so in front of the outfield fence?

  26. jim kennedy says:

    I WAS A VENDOR AT THE OLD STADIUM FROM 1960 TIL 1967.The money wasn’t bad for a high school kid. you could walk home from a game with 12 or 14 bucks. SOMETIMES $25 FROM A DOUBLE HEADER. A LOT of the neighborhood boys worked there. I REMEMBER THE BOSS WAS Mr. MURTHA OR MR. DOYLE. I WONDER IF THEY’RE STILL AROUND.

    • Erin g says:

      Hi so kinda strange I was checking this page on a whim to see if there was any info on prior vendors.. My grandfather(dads dad) was a vendor at old Yankee stadium. I never met him this the only info I have is his last name was Gough , they used to call him bubba too. If u have any info on how I could possibly find a picture or anything at all it’d be amazing and I know my dad would love it. Thank you!

  27. Patrick Oliver says:

    I get the last comment BP.
    Great photos!

  28. Kevin Fisher says:

    I am looking for a list of players who hit home runs into the left field bleacher section of the original Yankee Stadium. Can anyone guide me to such a list? I believe it was accomplished by only about 10 players. I saw a list published years ago in some book/magazine, but have since lost track of that stat. Also, has anyone witnessed one of Mick’s shots off of the right field facade? Or were you there to see number 61?

    • Richard Chester says:

      I know for sure that Joe DiMaggio and Andy Carey hit home runs into the old left field bleachers, the one that was built after 1936. I saw on TV Mantle’s home run off the upper deck facade (actually the frieze) on May 30, 1956 off of Pete Ramos. I saw #61 on TV.

  29. amber says:

    seeing the yankee stadium getting torn down its hard to look at and your awesome

  30. Roger says:

    The color photo of the three outfielders viewed from the left field line is actually from the last game of the 1961 season when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run. Enlarge the photo and read the scoreboard and you will see for yourselves. Yanks win 1-0.

    • B.P. says:

      Good catch! Didn’t notice that.

      • Bob says:

        I just spent an hour researching the date of this game using a website baseball reference which includes the boxscore and inning play by play for what appears to be all seasons and all teams. The caption on this pic on another site list it as 1966. I figured it out when I read the scoreboard message and the upcoming first world series game. Of course if I read down the comments page first I could have saved myself alot of trouble. The website is fascinating if you want to research games you may have attended.

  31. Chris says:

    My father took my brother and me to Old Timers Day 1971. Its was a double header and they did the ceromonies and game between game. I remember the late Elston Howard hit an inside the park home run. I also got autographs from Fritz Peterson and Steve Kline. Nothing will ever match the experience in the pre-renovated Yankee Stadium.

  32. sharon says:

    I have a real weird question. My mother Joyce,who has been dead for 22 yrs. once told us kids,that her father once owner the Yankees for a very short time. Of course she had a few at the But anyway,my grandfathers name was Frank Smith. My mom was born in Long Island City in 1917 to give you some help? Could you see if you have that info for me,just for my own piece of mind. Thank you very much.

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  34. Dan C. says:

    I’ve been a Yankee fan since I was a kid (’60’s) and my dad took my brothers and me to the stadium on all the special days (bat, cap, ball, Old Timer’s) and double-headers. We were fortunate enough to actually see Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris play. I think it was an absolute SIN to pull down the old stadium. You don’t pull down something as historic as that for ANY reason. Do you think anyone would consider replacing Mount Rushmore, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, etc.?? The old Yankee Stadium was a MONUMENT to baseball and I’ve noticed on the web that a lot of non-Yankee fans feel the same way. I was absolutely disgusted to learn that it was being pulled down. I guess the almighty dollar speaks louder.

  35. James says:

    Great Post!
    I remember my first trip in 1965 to see the Yanks play and they won the game on a hit by Hector Lopez in the ninth inning. The thing I remember till today is walking through the tunnel to my seats and seeing the field in COLOR! All previous games I had seen on TV were in black and white so this was a shock. I also remember the game when Bob Chance of the Cleveland Indians hit a ball to the monuments and only got a triple. I thought as a kid that he had to be the slowest man alive!

  36. tommy says:

    Great photos and write up on this wonderful, historic ballpark.
    As a young kid, I attended my first game there in August 1963, sitting in mezzanine reserve seats, as I thing they were called (second deck, great seats. they cost $2.50, and I still have the ticket stub. Ticket said on it “enter gate 4. I usually made about 1 game a year, sometimes two, up through about 1970, then didn’t get back until after renovations in 1982. Loved both editions of this ballpark, and it retained the same footprint until torn down. Lots of history there, like almost nowhere else.

  37. Steven Masi says:

    How beautiful the old stadium was. It looked so much better when it was green. Whose idea was it to paint it that awful baby blue? It’s not even Yankee blue.

  38. RichardC says:

    The commentary reads that the distance to center field was 490 feet for a few years. It was that way until 1937 when the bleachers were reconstructed.

  39. Greg Shafer says:

    I totally related to Dan C’s post on 5/31/13. My dad also took us to THE STADIUM in the late 60’s for ball day, bat day, double headers, etc. By the time I was old enough to enjoy baseball I just missed out on the dynasty years. Yes, I did get to watch the Mick at the end but my baseball Gods were Roy White, Horace Clark, Bobby Murcer, Joe Peptone, Frank Fernandez, Stan Bahnsen, Mel, Thurman, and so many others. We lived in Stoudsburg, Pa and I watched all the games on WPIX TV. I can recite most MLB lineups in the late 60’s. The bad asses of those days were the Orioles with the Robinson’s, Boog and the four pitchers, the Tigers with Denny, Mickey, Al and Willie.

    Thank you for posting these images. To this day the words Longines, Ballantine, Manny’s Baseball Land have very special meaning. Like Billy Crystal and so many other boys I still remember the color, the smell of mustard, the facade, the monuments, etc, etc. In my life I’ve never heard of another place that made an such a powerful impression on so many.

    I’m a little sad to hear that the new ballpark is like a mall. I’ve been looking forward to going one day. When I took my son to see Yankee Stadium for a game in the final season and saw the new one across the street I about wet may pants because it looked so much like the one I remember for 1968. It’s a shame they did not remodel it again.

    I’ve enjoyed seeing these pictures and reading the posts!

  40. Jay A. Gervasi, Jr. says:

    Thanks for the great photos and information. I remember–vaguely–attending a game when I was about 10 years old, around 1968. Roy White stretched a single into a double and scored on a base hit to win in extra innings. I am relieved that my hazy memory of visiting the monuments in center field was not a figment of my imagination.

  41. Daniel Burt says:

    Growing up in Salt Lake City in the 50’s and 60’s, being a Yankee fan was as kosher to me as being a Mormon. Dad got me started, but I took my fandom to ridiculousness – dressing up in a ball uniform before sitting in front of our TV as Pee Wee and Dizzy brought me the game. I adored Yankee Stadium like nothing else. Mantle was my favorite, obviously, but the stadium had a mystique for me that I have to this day. Your photos brought chills and tears to me. What a great collection. I feel like a brother to all the commentors to this fabulous presentation. Thank you so much.

  42. Steve Wozny says:

    What a blast to read all these comments and to share the same memories. It is too amazing to comprehend they tore the original down. I was even ticked that they updated it in ’73. If Boston and Chicago can maintain their relic stadiums, how come the baseball capital of the world flushed it’s greatest asset down the john? What they destroyed, no money can pay for – the very field the greatest players of all time played on. And even if it might have been unsafe with a chunk falling down, they could’ve brought it up to speed. What were they thinking? I wished it was kept just as it was – same cool configuration, deep deep centerfield, monuments right in the field, same scoreboard. Sad, sad. Though my first pro game was at Shea in’64 (another sad story – that shouldn’t have been torn down either), my dad took to to the first bat day at the Stadium in ’65. I got my Clete Boyer Louisville Slugger, and at ten years old, I couldn’t have been happier. Though I saw the declining Yankees, as a kid watched all the great teams on TV from as early as I can remember. I loved Boyer’s defense, loved the Mick and Maris, loved Whitey Ford and Bouton. Baseball is the greatest – still play softball, still follow the Yanks. Love the tradition. Wished they never tore down the real Yankee Stadium. What fools were behind that?

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  44. AZNJ72 says:

    How do you get a electronic copy of these images? Willing to pay, but need original large enough in order blow up and frame for wall in my office.


    • B.P. says:

      Almost all of the photographs with the exception of one or two are from news photo archives like Acme, Bain or UPI. A couple of them I believe are from the Daily News.

      So whatever the largest size photo I have (by clicking the photo and clicking again) is the largest available. I do not own the rights to any photograph and some have fallen into the public domain. I also do not have the rights to sell any image, so all I can suggest is copying them yourself electronically, and hope that the quality is good enough to print. I would imagine they may not be 300 dpi which is usually the minimum needed to make a nice photo print.

      I can suggest you visit the Corbis web site, where you can search and buy (expensive) high resolution vintage images of old Yankee Stadium or AP Images. Other sites that have images are: the Library of Congress and The New York Public Library.

      Good luck.

  45. Paul Tedesco says:

    Nice pics and stories. My first game at Yankee Stadium was cap day in 1973, when I was 9 years old. The date was April 29. It was a doubleheader vs. the Twins. Yanks won both games, 6-3 and 11-1. I was there with my older brother and a friend. What a special day….I was in complete awe. We first sat in the upper deck in right field. Graig Nettles hit a HR in game-one that just missed reaching our deck. After game-one, my brother snuck us downstairs. We managed to sit about 10 rows behind the Yankee dugout, except I was too short to see over the people in front of me…LOL. Does anyone have any pics or video footage of that day? I would certainly be very grateful.

  46. george kessler sr. says:

    Going to Yankee Stadium was the greatest thrill of my young life. My first game was in July of 1946, the Yankees were playing the Philadelphia A’s. What a day. I saw Joe Dimaggio, Charlie Keller, Tommy Henrich, Snuffy Stirnweiss to name a few. Since that Day I attended many games, Playoff and the like. I miss that Stadium and the way Baseball was played in those days. Great memories. Thanks for putting this on display.

  47. Mickey G says:

    Great page ! My first game was a Saturday game against the RedSox in July 1961. It was Ladies Day, so Mom & my two sisters got in for $.75. Me & Dad had to pay the full $ 1.30 for General Admission. Well, Dad had to pay, actually. We mostly sat in the right field stands in the lower deck, as close as we could get before the ushers shooed us back up. Usually about 20 rows behind the box seats close to the field. Was there for some special games, Mickey’s 500th landed about 15 or so rows in front of us, saw Al Kaline break his collarbone making a diving catch in 1962(?), also Frank Robinson diving into the seats in right & coming out with the ball about a minute later ! I’d say that was the first game of a twilight doubleheader in ’67 or ’68. Got turned away from the first Bat Day in 1965, but came back to get one at the 2nd Bat Day that year. Saw some goods ones at Yankee Stadium II; Guidry’s 18 strikeouts, Tom Seaver’s 300th…Been to the new one a couple of times, not really impressed, it’s just so cold & corporate & far away…..

  48. Ross Lewis says:

    I had the honor and privilege of being issued an exclusive credential by the City of New York to photograph the complete razing and rebuilding of Yankee Stadium during the 1973-1976 demolition and reconstruction. At that time I was an Associate Director for WCBS-TV News and, on many weekends, I was hired by the NFL to photograph their “Americana” images of their games and people and cities. I have long thought that the special beauty of the unique “feeling” of the historic parts and elements of the physical Stadium had to be memorialized on film. I took over 13,000 photographs during that 2 1/2 year period, ’73-’76. What a thrill to have had that experience! What an amazing feeling it was take the “D” train and arrive at Yankee Stadium in every kind of seasonal weather. Now, over 40 years later, since that first day of demolition (October 1, 1973), I am working on a photography book of those special images which I am hoping will be a treasure to old (and new) Yankee Stadium Lovers. A partial portfolio of images can be seen on You may also contact me with your thoughts and stories of your Yankee Stadium experiences at Your SUBJECT LINE has to say: YANKEE Stadium Lover–(Date of Your First Visit to Yankee Stadium).

  49. John P. says:

    Great photos. First games I went to were in 1950 with family, I was at a game when Rizzuto hit one of his 37 HR’s & at another when DiMag hit one of his 361 HR’s.
    I was certain that the monuments were on the playing field & googled to find out
    whether my memory was correct and google sent me to this site.
    In the mid fifties we also tried to see Ted Williams when the Sox came to town, never was at a game when he hit one out but saw him hit 2 or3 high flies to right that Bauer
    grabbed near the 344 ft sign.

  50. Louis Chiarito says:

    I’ve been a Yankee fan since 1941, whan the scooter hit .306, his rookie year. Went to many games as a Yankee junior. We sat in upper deck left field, down to third base. This was the Yanks dugout side. I Believe they switched to first base dugout 1948 0r 49. Yankee juniors went weekday ball games free, no night or week end games. Went to a game with Bobby Shantz pitching for the A’s. Mickey hit one into the left field bleachers, not to far from the A’s bull pen. It was ruled a ground rule double, because it weht between the wall the the small screen above. If memory serves, Mick did hit one his next at bat but in the left field stands. Also saw Cliff Mapes hit one into the back section of the Yankee bull pen. Also saw Tommy Henrich win the 49 opener with a home run in the ninth ( 3-2) and the next day witha home run in the first (1-0). Joe Di was out until sometime in June, but the Yanks beat the Red Sox last two games of the season in New York. 5-4 and 5-3. I believe Gerry Coleman hit a bases clearing double in the Sunday game. As Mel Allen would say, “How about that”

  51. John Fedinatz says:

    Love photos of the Old Yankee Stadium, especially from the “1920s”. Looking for photographs of the Yankee Clubhouse from that period when it was on the “Thirdbase Side.” Hoping that someone can direct me where to look.

  52. Laurence Gough says:

    I’m from waaay out of town, so have only seen a few Yankees games. My first game, I was in my thirties, alone in NYC on business. This would be in the late 80’s. While in the ticket lineup, I was approached by an older fellow who gave me a ticket – no charge. Of course I was suspicious. As he disappeared into the crowd, I checked to make sure I still had my wallet. My seat turned out to be in the front row, opposite first base. Four old-timers with season tickets. One hadn’t been able to make it to the game, and I lucked out. When they found out I was Canadian (Vancouver) they even bought me a beer. As a tourist in New York, I’ve had many pleasant and unforgettable experiences. But my first visit to Yankee Stadium was the best of them all.

  53. Laurence Gough says:

    Caught up in my memories of NYC (see above) I forgot to mention that this is a really interesting site. Thank you.

  54. ben kendall says:

    Hi this is a bit of a unusual question but my grandad was in a scout for the new york yankees i’m not sure of what dates he had that role,he passed away a few years ago i am 27 and received some photos of grandad at the stadium and my grandma in photos with various players but i also have a photo of george steinbrenner and lou pinella stood next to each other i would like someone to maybe contact me at to maybe give me some information on the photos i know nobody else has these photos i’m 100% genuine and i have searched all over for information and had no luck please contact me . Thanks ben.

  55. Doug says:

    Where exactly were the OPEN STANDS (RESERVED) seats located in the old Pre-1972 Yankee Stadium?

    • B.P. says:

      If I remember correctly the lower deck behind the box seats were reserved seats. The Mezzanine (which was about 35 rows deep) had boxes and reserved seats as well. General admission seats where anyone could sit made up most of the upper deck with the exception of the boxes in the first few rows. Is there anyone out there who can be more specific than my general explanation?

      • Richard Chester says:

        For games with small crowds many of the seats behind the boxes in the lower deck and mezzanine were general admission. I remember going to a weekday game in 1952 and sat in the lower right field stands, they were general admission. And for really large crowds many of the seats in the upper deck behind the boxes were reserved.

  56. Richard Chester says:

    Another sponsored slogan was Mel Allen exclaiming “That ball was foul by the length of a White Owl cigar”.

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