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Yankee Stadium [I] Renovation (1974 - 1975)

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  • RichieA13 makes a good suggestion. McFarland is a scholarly reference publisher, and baseball appears to be one of their specialties. Your book might very well fit in.

    If you haven't already looked them up, here's a link to their home page, and here's a direct link to their baseball books.
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    • Dear Guys,
      Thank you so much.I will definitely look into it.

      -Mike

      Comment


      • Dear Guys,
        Here's a few pages from my favorite chapter of my book. There are about 225responses. I wrote to these kind gentlemen anywhere from 1973-2008. I hope you like this sampling.

        -Mike



        THE HEROES SPEAK

        Below is a copy of the letter I generally sent to baseball players, umpires, and sportscasters. Sometimes I asked the question more than once. Not all of these responses were the same. I wrote to Yankees and opponents I thought would have played in the Stadium in the World Series, All Star Game, etc. The vast majority of replies were via the mail. Some were in person, and even a few by telephone.

        Date




        Dear Mr. ___________,

        I’m a big New York Yankees fan who is 52 years old. I grew up in West Hempstead, Long Island, New York, from 1956 thru 1982, and had the pleasure and honor of going to many New York Yankees games. I still love the “old” Yankee Stadium.

        During the renovation of the Stadium from 1973 thru 1976 I visited the site 13 times and took about 200 photos with my Kodak Instamatic 100 camera. I’ve enclosed a couple of sample copies for you.

        I’m still collecting information regarding the renovation, as I am writing a book about this event. I have never seen one written about the revamping of Yankee Stadium, and I have found some good solid facts about it. The reason I’m writing to you is twofold:

        1. I would like to know your thoughts about the renovation of Yankee Stadium for
        inclusion in my book. Since you’ve had the pleasure and honor of playing at the
        Stadium, I would think you’d have a very interesting point of view that spectators
        such as myself would like to hear.

        2. Do you know of anyone with specific “gee whiz” information, such as what happened to the dirt from the field and the concrete taken away from the Stadium? What happened to the seats, lights, and other artifacts? Or any other facts that you feel may be relevant or interesting.

        Thank you for your time and kindness, Mr. _________. I look forward to hearing from you.
        God Bless You.

        Respectfully,



        Michael Wagner



        PERSON AND
        RESPONSE DATE RESPONSE

        Bernie Allen I am sorry. I don’t have much information to share with you.
        March 7, 2005 I enjoyed playing at the Stadium.

        Sparky Anderson Sparky signed a photo of the renovation for me.
        February 10, 2005

        Marty Appel Marty recalls a lot of seats were destroyed during the last Yankees Public Relations game from kids kicking them out of their anchors and Director, 1973-1977 trying to take them home. Marty spoke to me on the phone.
        January 7, 2004

        Sal Bando It became a better hitters park & background to hit.
        February 20, 2005

        Red Barber The tax payers should not have to pay over $100
        Legendary Announcer million for it.
        November 10, 1981

        March 18, 1986 No feeling.

        Larry Barnett Yankee Stadium is the true history of baseball. The great Umpire honor I had the first time I worked there was great. I will January 15, 2008 always remember that day. Larry Barnett, A.L. Umpire,
        1969-99.

        William Bartholomay Dear Michael: I enjoyed your recent letter as respects to Atlanta Braves Owner Yankee Stadium. I have always thought of Yankee Stadium June 4, 2008 as a shrine rather than a ballpark. It is indeed unique and over
        the years I have attended other events there such as NFL
        Football games, College Football games and Heavyweight
        Boxing Championships, etc. I have also enjoyed the baseball
        experience many times.

        I congratulate you on your interest in baseball and I am sure
        you will enjoy the “New Yankee Stadium,” which promises to
        be a magnificent structure!
        Regards, William C. Bartholomay

        Buzzie Bavasi Dear Michael: Many thanks for your nice note. I am not too Brooklyn/L.A. Dodgers familiar with the renovation of Yankee Stadium. I do know Executive that it is still a left hand hitters park. Keep in mind when my January 15, 2008 clubs met the Yankees in a World Series it was usually in the
        original field.
        No, I know nothing about the dirt and cement from the
        stadium. I can tell you that when we left Ebbets Field after the
        last game we let the fans dig up the infield, take the bases and
        the seats. I am sure the Yankees did the same thing.
        Regards, “Buzzie” Bavasi.

        Yogi Berra I’m a bit sentimental about the old Stadium, lots of nice March 21, 2005 memories playing there. It’s changed a lot-it’s still old but it’s
        more modern. I guess the big thing is the fences were brought
        in, and maybe you don’t have almost 70,000 people at World
        Series games anymore.

        The other thing is the clubhouse is pretty luxurious-and much
        more comfortable than when we played.The Stadium’s
        changed but it’s still a great place for baseball-it’s still like a
        shrine.

        Hope this helps, and best of luck with your project. (And if
        you find anyone with pieces of the old Stadium willing to
        loan or donate to the Yogi Berra Museum, please don’t
        hesitate to contact me!)

        Ewell Blackwell Good.
        March 27, 1975

        John Blanchard
        Interview at New York Yankees Fantasy Camp, Legends Field, Tampa, FL during a rained out day. Wednesday, November 15, 2006. I showed him some photos I took
        of the renovation.

        J.B.: I like it. The work the City of New York had done…didn’t they put the cab on
        that?

        M.W.: So you like it better than the old Stadium?

        J.B.: The renovation I don’t like. I don’t like the bringing in of the fence. I don’t like
        that. The hitters do. The pitchers don’t (laughs). The overall Yankee Stadium
        renovation…yeah, I like it. I thought it was well done. You can only do so much
        to an old ballpark. And, they did it. It’s very good. It’s still “The House That
        Ruth Built,” and they didn’t vary too much from it. Now…they’re going to tear
        this beautiful place down, and I tell you there’s going to be a lot of fans in New
        York that will feel badly about that.

        M.W.: I’m hoping what they’ll do is take debris from the Stadium and put it in the new
        one. I guess for good luck. So you could say that part of Yankee Stadium is here,
        I guess.
        J.B.: Here’s what I plan to do… I would like to have something from there…
        preferably a couple of seats.

        M.W.: I’m sure they’re going to sell them.

        J.B.: They’re going to sell them alright. I’ve heard numbers from
        $300 to $400, and they’ll get their money for it. Good Lord, they have 60,000
        of them.

        M.W.: They still sell old seats from the Stadium when you played, on ebay and auction
        houses, and they usually sell for $1,000, $1,500, or so.

        J.B.: I’ll never get one, but I’d love to have one. The concrete…when the big
        (wrecking) ball hits the side of that building, little chips of concrete…my sons
        and grandsons said, “Grandpa, can you get a piece of the concrete? Then my
        older son said, “Geez, Dad, when you go back next time, like during an Old
        Timers Day game, we can get out there early.” They want little vials of dirt
        around home plate. I thought, “God, why didn’t I think of that?”

        Milt Bolling Have not seen the renovation personally; however, I liked the November 20, 2007 original. Sorry. I can’t help you.

        Red Borom Dear Michael: It was good to hear from you and to know of November 5, 2007 your book project of Yankee Stadium. I have no idea as to
        what happened to the seats, lights, concrete or dirt from the
        field. My only memory was of the unusual dimensions of the
        field. It was so oddly shaped, 296 feet down the right field
        line and 470 feet in left center, known as “death valley.” Left
        field line I believe was 340 feet. I saw two broken bat home
        runs down the right field line.
        I’m sure if you could contact some former Yankee players,
        they could give you more information about the stadium.
        Best of luck with your book. Sincerely, Red Borom

        Steve Boros Mr. Wagner – I don’t think I can be much help to you. Steve March 25, 2008 Boros

        Dick Bosman Michael – I don’t remember much about the renovation
        December 17, 2007 except we had to play at ratty Shea Stadium. I didn’t pitch
        much there & that was OK with me! I did like the things they
        did although I loved to pitch in the ‘old’ Stadium. Thank you
        for your interest. Sincerely, Dick Bosman

        Comment


        • Dear Guys,
          The following information is from my Yankee Stadium renovation book. I've seen a couple of different figures on this thread. As far as accuracy, do you feel the numbers are accurate, or should they be changed? This is talking about 1976.

          I sent to some agents and publishers and still have to hear back from them. I'll be sending more inquiries out this week.

          As always, thank you, guys. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2009 will be a great year.

          Most Sincerely,
          Mike Wagner


          The 500 renovators saved approximately 75% of the original outer walls. They also retained virtually all of the foundation work and basic structure of the Stadium. The Field Level stands stayed roughly 50% original, as was the Mezzanine (now Loge). A lot of dirt and debris was left under the stands. Usable earth backfill was used, recycled, or sent to landfills throughout the New York City area.

          The Upper Level remained about 90% preserved, although the roof was now gone. The Bleachers stood nearly 75% intact. NAB-Tern worked on the cement Bleachers. The front portion of the Bleachers was removed to make room for Monument Park and the bullpens. Part of the rear section was eliminated to erect a loading dock. The middle of the Bleachers was painted black to reduce glare for the hitters and so pitched balls wouldn’t blend in with fans’ white shirts.

          Comment


          • Hmmm. "A lot of dirt and debris was left under the stands." I smell time capsule. I can not imagine what little jewels might be hidden.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by orioles667083 View Post
              Hmmm. "A lot of dirt and debris was left under the stands." I smell time capsule. I can not imagine what little jewels might be hidden.
              It's only a matter time before we see what the old girl will show us. I hope something cool turns up; maybe like an old Babe Ruth jersey or something.
              sigpic

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              • Mike ...

                Have you contacted a guy named Alan Rosen? ... I knew him years ago ... he's a baseball collectibles dealer who has some connection to the Yankees ... as a matter of fact he loaned Pete Rose the bat Ty Cobb used, which Rose used, when he broke Cobb's all-time hit record in the 80s (I think Rose broke the bat on a foul tip) ...

                Anyway, if I remember correctly, he had gotten a set of questionaires the Yankees had sent out to all their players, in the late 1970s, asking them about their favorite memories of old Yankee Stadium ... now, I haven't seen him in 20 years, so I don't know how to find him, but I do remember the questionaire turned in by Mickey Mantle and remember something about having sex in the bullpen as one of his favorite memories (LOL)

                Comment


                • Alan Rosen, also known as "Mr. Mint," is still very active in the sports memorabilia business. He advertises every week in the Sports Collectors Digest.

                  His website is http://www.mrmint.com/.
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                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Mike Wagner View Post
                    Dear Guys,
                    The following information is from my Yankee Stadium renovation book. I've seen a couple of different figures on this thread. As far as accuracy, do you feel the numbers are accurate, or should they be changed? This is talking about 1976.

                    I sent to some agents and publishers and still have to hear back from them. I'll be sending more inquiries out this week.

                    As always, thank you, guys. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2009 will be a great year.

                    Most Sincerely,
                    Mike Wagner


                    The 500 renovators saved approximately 75% of the original outer walls. They also retained virtually all of the foundation work and basic structure of the Stadium. The Field Level stands stayed roughly 50% original, as was the Mezzanine (now Loge). A lot of dirt and debris was left under the stands. Usable earth backfill was used, recycled, or sent to landfills throughout the New York City area.

                    The Upper Level remained about 90% preserved, although the roof was now gone. The Bleachers stood nearly 75% intact. NAB-Tern worked on the cement Bleachers. The front portion of the Bleachers was removed to make room for Monument Park and the bullpens. Part of the rear section was eliminated to erect a loading dock. The middle of the Bleachers was painted black to reduce glare for the hitters and so pitched balls wouldn’t blend in with fans’ white shirts.
                    "Several sections in left field were eliminated to erect a loading dock."

                    Comment


                    • Dear teamrap and Gary,
                      Thank you for the info about Mr. Mint. I really have my book finished to my satisfaction, so I will not contact him. I do thank you, however. If I knew about this a while ago I would have contacted him about it. If I were to contact him now, and if he were kind enough to pass these notes to me, my book would be delayed by probably a couple of weeks or more.

                      I do have info from a number of such players and umpires, as about 230 of them were kind enough to respond. I just have a couple of sentences to change. These won't affect my time schedule. Especially since I've sent to a number of publishers and agents.

                      Thank you, guys.

                      -Mike

                      Comment


                      • Dear SparkyL,
                        Thank you for the correction. I'll make the correction immediately.

                        Sincerely,
                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • http://corbett-rigging.com/Pictorial.aspx

                          This looks like the YS bat being transported and installed during the renovation.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by IPO View Post
                            http://corbett-rigging.com/Pictorial.aspx

                            This looks like the YS bat being transported and installed during the renovation.
                            WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?

                            so you're saying the bat wasn't always there?

                            what was there before the bat? a ball?

                            it must've been really lame with no bat.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by IPO View Post
                              http://corbett-rigging.com/Pictorial.aspx

                              This looks like the YS bat being transported and installed during the renovation.

                              Great find! Every time I see something new like this, it makes me curious as to what else is out there.


                              Originally posted by jimmyjimjimz View Post
                              WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?

                              so you're saying the bat wasn't always there?

                              what was there before the bat? a ball?

                              it must've been really lame with no bat.
                              Nothing was there but a sidewalk. In fact, the property line was extended and the bat sits in what used to be the middle of 157th St.


                              Richard


                              EDIT: Here's a picture from before the renovation.

                              Last edited by RichardLillard1; 12-31-2008, 11:15 AM.

                              Comment


                              • I thought you guys might find these interesting, while nosing around for a Yankee Stadium aerial, I found these two shots which are just about perfect for comparison.


                                From here: http://pictopia.com/perl/get_image?p..._photo_id=7951


                                From here: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/24/55...950aeb37bf.jpg


                                Richard

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