Bleacher Creatures

The Bleacher Creatures are a group of fans of the New York Yankees who are known for their strict allegiance to the team and their merciless attitude to opposing fans. The group's nickname was used for the first time by New York Daily News columnist Filip "Flip" Bondy during the 1990s, and then he spent the 2004 season sitting with the Creatures for research on his book about the group, Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium, which was published in 2005.[1]

A prominent aspect of the Bleacher Creatures is their use of chants and songs. The most distinguished of these is the Roll Call, which is done at the beginning of every home game. Often, the opposing team's right fielder, who stands right in front of the Creatures, is a victim of their jeers and insults.

For the last two decades of the original Yankee Stadium, the Creatures occupied sections 37 and 39 of the bleachers. In 2009, When the Yankees' new stadium was built, they were relocated and currently sit in Section 203 of the right-field bleachers.

Bleacher Creatures at the Yankee Stadium
Bleachers Section 39 at the old Yankee Stadium.

History

Ali Ramirez Plaque 1
The seat with a plaque dedicated to Ali Ramirez in old Yankee Stadium: Section 39, row A, seat 29

The founding of the Bleacher Creatures is often credited to Ali Ramirez. Ramirez rang a cowbell to inspire the fans to cheer (much like Freddy Sez's efforts in the Stadium's main grandstand) during the team's limited success in the early 1980s and 1990s. He died on May 8, 1996, and was given a tribute by the Yankees front office before the May 14 game against the Seattle Mariners, a game in which Dwight Gooden pitched a no-hitter. There was a plaque where he sat, in section 39, row A, seat 29 which read "This seat is taken. In memory of Ali Ramirez, 'The Original Bleacher Creature.'"[2] A similar plaque was added to the new stadium,.[3] and is cleaned by a Creature at the start of every game. The plaque is located at section 203, row 7, seat 25.[4]

It was also during this period of drought that regular fans in the right field bleachers started chanting Dave Winfield's name.[5] When Winfield left the team, they began cheering for Bernie Williams.

During one game in the 1990s, the fans started chanting the name of Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez. Martinez responded to the chanting fans with a wave, shocking the cheering fans; this started the tradition of Roll Call where the Bleacher Creatures chant the name of each starting fielder (except the pitcher and catcher). Roll Call has become one of the trademarks of Yankee Stadium.[6]

In 1996, New York Daily News columnist Filip "Flip" Bondy was asked to write a story from the fan's perspective. Bondy approached what he called "a core group of the most rabid, passionate fans", and wrote from their perspective. In that regular column, he took on the persona of "the Bleacher Creature," coining the nickname in relation to the Yankee Stadium inhabitants.

Because of the rowdiness of the fans, and the fact that many families began sitting in the more affordable bleachers, alcoholic beverages were banned from the bleachers in 2000.[7] Yankees Program Vendor Ted Banks commented that "There wasn't any special reason for that, it just got out of hand. Those people used to get wild when Jose Canseco played for the A's. A few people threw things at Ken Griffey Jr."[8]

Right about now, I'd be all stressed out on the mound. This is great. I love the view. It's a lot less stressful out here.
— David Cone, on sitting with the Bleacher Creatures, [9]

On April 5, 2002, pitcher David Cone spent the season's home opener with the Bleacher Creatures in Section 39, and even participated in their chants.[9] He was also invited to start the roll call, and did so with a shout of "Yo, Bernie!" to Bernie Williams. The Creatures cheered derisively to the right field box seats "We got Cone! We got Cone!" After the final game played at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008, Tino Martinez revealed that he had sat with the Creatures during the game the day before. Martinez said he wore a Yankees jacket, glasses and a hat, and that no one recognized him. Jim Leyritz expressed interest in sitting with the creatures on an episode of the YES Network show Ultimate Road Trip. He was spotted in the bleachers taking pictures during the final game at Yankee Stadium, but it is unknown whether he actually sat and watched the game from the bleachers.

Bleacher Creatures Yankee Stadium
Wide shot of the bleachers from the infield.

In 2004, Bondy spent the season among the Creatures and wrote a book about his experience, entitling it Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium, which was published in 2005. In the blurb, Bondy called it "a unique, anthropological view of this most dedicated tribe of rooters—their rituals, their personal tribulations, their uncanny commitment to the Bronx ball club and to each other." The foreword was written by David Cone.[1]

The Yankees and NYPD security personnel started to impose stricter anti-obscenity rules in the Bleachers during the 2007 season. Some Creatures expressed dissatisfaction with this by wearing T-shirts with the sarcastic phrase "Section 39 Fun Police" on them, and chanting "No fun allowed!" in place of the oft-said "Box Seats Suck!" chant that the section had long been accustomed to.

The Bleacher Creatures are what makes that stadium. To have that honor to play right field in front of them every day has been great. I think I've developed a great relationship with them. It's been awesome the way they've really brought in the new stadium and we're having an absolute blast.
— Yankees Rightfielder Nick Swisher, [10]

In 2009, the Yankees lifted the 9-year alcohol ban in the bleachers in the New Yankee Stadium, where the Bleacher Creatures were relocated to Section 203. While no beer vendors come through to the bleachers, fans are permitted to purchase beer in the stadium and take them back to their seats.[11] A few Creatures have admittedly stated they can now desist in their beer smuggling efforts, which they were able to do for years with the help of local delis who used to wrap up sandwiches with beer cans. Other sources of previous smuggling included "a guy who would sell those airline-size liquor bottles out of a bathroom stall, like a drug dealer."[11] An April 2009 segment on ABC World News Tonight revealed that the end of the beer ban is a temporary experiment, and if things get out of hand in the section, the Yankees' management might reinstate it.[12]

Chants and songs

A prominent aspect of the Bleacher Creatures atmosphere is their use of a variety of chants and songs used during the game that are unique to their section. These chants can sometimes be heard throughout the Stadium.

Roll Call

YoMelky!
Bald Vinny, calling out the center fielder's name to begin the Roll Call.

The Creatures' most famous and long-standing chant is known as the roll call. In the top of the first inning, when the Yankees are on the field and their starting pitcher is getting ready to throw the first pitch, everyone in the section stands and begins clapping. After the pitch is thrown, Creature "Bald" Vinny Milano gestures for the crowd to calm down, then cups his hands around his mouth and shouts out the name of the center fielder (e.g.: "Yo, Aaron!", for Aaron Hicks). The whole group proceeds to chant the name until there is a response, usually in the form of a wave or a point; some Yankees respond with extra enthusiasm, such as Johnny Damon (who typically dropped to one knee and pointed at the Creatures with both hands) and Nick Swisher (who came to attention, faced the Creatures, and saluted). The Creatures move through the lineup, going from the center fielder to the left fielder, right fielder, first baseman, second baseman, shortstop and third baseman, in that order. (With the exception of a few rare instances, the pitcher and the catcher are not a part of the roll call.) Anti-obscenity laws were exercised in 2007, but are not always strictly enforced; if they are able, the Creatures will turn to the right field box seats at the completion of the Roll Call and chant "Box seats suck!" During the days of the bleachers' no-alcohol-sales policy, fans in the right-field box seats occasionally replied with a chant of "We've got beer!" If the Yankees are playing the Red Sox, the intensity of the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry takes hold; the Creatures then cut the 'box seats' chant short and instead chant "Boston sucks!" until that dissipates. If police cut this short, the Creatures resort to chanting "No fun allowed!", or nothing at all. If a non-pitcher is replaced in a defensive position, the replacement is given the same chant. Sometimes, after a long rain delay, the Creatures will start another Roll Call just for fun. Also, until the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, the Creatures would chant "1918!" and hold up signs saying "CURSE OF THE BAMBINO!" and pictures of Babe Ruth to remind the Red Sox of the last time they won a championship.[13]

SwisherSalute
Nick Swisher salutes the Bleacher Creatures during roll call

Former Yankee third baseman Scott Brosius was notorious for not responding immediately to the roll call, as other players on the diamond would. Sometimes he would even wait as long as a minute to respond, getting a kick out of the persistence of the Creatures. In Hideki Matsui's first game at the Stadium in 2003, the chant of "MAT-SU-I!" went on for approximately twenty minutes, because he did not know what was going on or how to react. In a 2009 press conference, former Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi said that "The biggest thing I miss is (the Bleacher Creatures') roll call. There's no doubt about it, it's the best thing in baseball."[14]

Notable exceptions

In 1999, when David Wells made his first appearance at Yankee Stadium after having been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, his name was chanted. In his tenure with the Yankees, he was the only Yankee pitcher to be included in the Roll Call every time he pitched. Alfonso Soriano's name was chanted when he made his first appearance after being traded to the Texas Rangers.[15] In the 2006 home opener against the Kansas City Royals, the Bleacher Creatures chanted the name of long-time Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams, who was the designated hitter that day, right after the rest of the defensive lineup. Williams, whose future in baseball was uncertain in the offseason, was in the clubhouse at the time and did not hear the Creatures. The chants continued for around 5 minutes until Williams came out and waved.[16] At the beginning of the 2007 season opener, the Creatures started a chant of "We want Bernie!", a reference to the fact that Williams was no longer with the team.[17]

On July 16, 2010, the Bleacher Creatures elected to not do the roll call out of respect for the recent passing of both Bob Sheppard (public address announcer) and George Steinbrenner (principal owner). Michael Kay of the YES Network acknowledged this during the top of the first inning during his play-by-play details of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays.[18] The Creatures have done the call in memoriam for former players Phil Rizzuto on August 14, 2007, and Bobby Murcer at the 2008 MLB All Star Game.

On May 15, 2011, the Bleacher Creatures chanted Jorge Posada's name after his recent feud with Yankee management, despite Posada not playing in the game. Posada acknowledged them from the dugout.[19]

On June 25, 2012, former Yankee center fielder Johnny Damon was greeted by a Roll Call chant when he returned to Yankee Stadium as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Damon, who played for the Yankees from 2006–09, acknowledged that he may have been the first Yankee player to answer the Bleacher Creature Roll Call with a signature pose, a tradition continued by other Yankee players, including Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and Brett Gardner.[20]

On June 3, 2013, former Yankee right fielder Nick Swisher returned to Yankee Stadium and was called on roll call, even though he was now a member of the Cleveland Indians.[21]

On September 22, 2013, both Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera were included in the roll call, despite Pettitte being the starting pitcher and Rivera being a relief pitcher.

On April 29, 2014, former Yankee second basemen Robinson Cano returned to Yankee Stadium and was third in the lineup for the Seattle Mariners. After being booed by the crowd at the top of the first inning, he acknowledge the roll call in the bottom of the inning, however this was followed by chants of "you sold out."[22]

During the 2015 American League Wild Card Game, CC Sabathia was included in the roll call to support him, as he had left the team to fight his alcoholism.

The Cowbell Man

After the death of Ali Ramirez, the original Cowbell Man, the bell was given to Creature Milton Ousland. As the official "Cowbell Man", nobody else is authorized to use it, although it was agreed upon by the group that other Creatures could take over the duties when he couldn't attend. This agreement was reached due to the many fans who were disappointed that the tradition was not carried out at every game.

The cowbell is primarily used to initiate a chant during a Yankees rally. After rapidly banging on the cowbell, and getting the attention of the Bleacher Creatures, Ousland plays a few notes on it, which the Creatures then imitate with claps. After repeating this several times, Ousland begins banging another few notes more rapidly, and the Creatures begin shouting "Oh-Ohhh!" in unison and moving their arms in a repetitive pointing motion. At the end, Ousland hits the cowbell three times, and the Creatures say "Yankee baseball. Mets suck. (visiting team) sucks. (Visiting team's right fielder) sucks. Box Seats Suck. Everybody sucks."

I used to get all tensed up when I was younger coming here, but finally I said, 'Hey, it's the same dimensions, the baseball field is the same,' They just get a little rowdy, that's all. I try not to pay attention, but after a while, they're gonna talk to you.
— Mike Cameron, former Mariners center fielder, [8]

Other chants and jeers

The Creatures also have an assortment of other chants which they use at most games.

In 2001, some Creatures, led by Japanese Creature, Hiro, learned Japanese so that they could yell obscenities at former Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki. Japanese curses were chanted whenever Ichiro came to town.[23] Ichiro was traded to the Yankees in July 2012.[24] During his first game as a Yankee he was unaware of the roll call and did not respond to the calls.[25]

Among other chants, the Creatures sometimes scream, "Jump!" at fans in the upper deck who are standing near the railing,[8] or "Down in front!" to fans who are standing up in the section, often for a picture opportunity. At times they turn to their own members and banter with them, chanting "Eagles suck!" if one of them is a known Philadelphia Eagles fan, or "You sell drugs!".[8] Their most famous chant besides the Roll Call is the "Box Seats Suck!" chant, which was outlawed by stadium security in 2007, but allowed back in 2009 when the Yankees moved to the new Stadium.

For many years the Bleacher Creatures would pick a fan of the opposite team and during the singing of YMCA between the 6th and 7th inning and instead chant "Why are you gay?" In 2010 however, at the request of the Yankees, several key Bleacher Creatures agreed to discontinue the chant.[26]

Creatures are also known to chant "Asshole!" when there is a known Red Sox or Mets fan, or a fan of an opposing team present in the bleachers.

Bobby Bonilla was affectionately called Bobby BlowMea while playing for the Baltimore Orioles in 1996. [27]

The move to Section 203

In the new stadium, the Creatures occupy Section 203 of the stadium's right field bleachers.[28] Before the start of the 2008 MLB Season, several creatures publicly expressed their anger with the move out of the old stadium. Roll Caller Vinny Milano was one of them in particular:[29]

As far as 39 goes next year, there is a right-field bleachers now, there will be a right-field bleachers in the new stadium. When it comes time to pay for our seats, I believe they will offer us something 'comparable' to what we have now and we're pretty much gonna be at their mercy. I have zero faith that anyone that works with or is involved with the Yankees actually cares one way or another if any of us go to the new stadium. Personally, I'm not even sure that I will make the move.

The Yankees organization did work closely with the Creatures to ensure that they sat together again, and designated a total of 136 season-ticket packages for them in section 203.[4] The move was monitored by long-time Creature Teena Lewis, known as the "Queen of the Bleachers", and Marc Chalpin, who organized a list of about 50+ Creatures to ensure they would all be sitting together again in the new stadium.[4] Despite the Creatures' concerns over how the Yankees management would handle the move, Lewis said that, "The Yankees helped us because I calmed everybody down over the years. We behaved ourselves, took away some of the chants, and they pretty much paid us back."[4]

Unlike Section 39 in the old stadium, Section 203 and the rest of the bleachers have access to the entire park. In reference to this new lack of seclusion, and the fact that beer sales are now legal in the section, New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy summed up the new situation by saying, "At this new-fangled stadium, the golden liquid flows like soda and the walls are down that once protected the aristocracy from the bleacher proletariat. This is bound to create some class warfare down the road, some storming of the Legends suites." Bondy also praised the Creatures for "handling the transition with commendable grace and flexibility."[4]

Controversy

VinnyFromBleacherCreatures
After a too-exuberant "Box Seats Suck!" followed by an obscene gesture, Bald Vinny is about to be ejected from the Stadium by a NYPD officer.

Since the inception of the Bleacher Creatures, many people have held a negative viewpoint towards the section for their notorious attitude towards opposing fans and players, and their raucous nature in general. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter Dan Raley called the Creatures "oblivious to the outside world. Demanding, relentless and venomous" in a 2001 article. He also claimed that "They have thrown batteries, coins and a knife at opposing players" and that "They throw punches at one another."[8] Longtime stadium usher Michael Swann, who used to work in Section 39 of the old stadium, also had a negative recollection of them:[8]

Some are real obnoxious people, some are real foul-mouthed people. Yankee management says if you say certain words and get out of hand, you have to go. But when we try to throw them out, management won't back us. These people won't show us their tickets. They intimidate out-of-towners with tickets into moving to seats somewhere else. They're obnoxious.

On occasion, one or more Creatures are asked to leave the stadium by police. The bleacher beer ban in 2000 was blamed on the Creatures, which they regard as a false accusation.[6] They have also been accused of heckling rattled musicians in high school bands, which they do not deny.[6]

Despite all of negative attention that they receive, the Creatures have been shown in a more positive light in recent years. They have been praised for their loyalty and dedication in numerous articles and features from Filip Bondy, and in his book as well. On April 3, 2009, ABC World News Tonight did a segment on the Creatures, calling them "the most loyal fans any team could want."[12]

When Vinny Milano was repeatedly asked, via Twitter, whether the Creatures would still include Alex Rodriguez in the roll call despite his recent struggles and suspension, Milano insisted that A-Rod will still be part of the roll call and that no Yankee would ever be intentionally skipped.[30]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Bondy, Filip (2005). Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium. New York: Sports Publishing.
  2. ^ "Awesome Men Throughout History: Ali Ramirez". tsbmag.com. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "Bleacher Creatures honor memory of founding member". Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Bondy, Filip (April 2, 2009). "Special night on tap for Bleacher Creatures at new Yankee Stadium". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  5. ^ "Heckling Hall of Fame". HeckleDepot.com. Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Moran, Malcolm (November 1, 2001). "Bleacher creatures add life to Bronx". USA Today. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  7. ^ Bondy, ibid., p. 20-22.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Haley, Dan (October 23, 2001). "Rowdy, obnoxious ... meet the Bleacher Creatures". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
  9. ^ a b Bondy, Filip (April 6, 2002). "Creature Comforts Suit Cone". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  10. ^ Traina, Jimmy (September 22, 2009). "Nick Swisher Q&A". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Olshan, Jeremy (March 31, 2009). "True Brew Fans: Bleachers are Again Beer-Able". New York Post. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  12. ^ a b "What's a Thirsty Bleacher Creature To Do?". ABC News. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  13. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
  14. ^ Brennan, Sean (April 20, 2009). "For Jason Giambi, visit to new Yankee Stadium is sinking in". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  15. ^ "Soriano Takes Wrong Turn". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Notes: Bernie makes 'roll call'". Major League Baseball. 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  17. ^ "Bernie calls in as well-wisher". NY Daily News. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Log into Yuku - Free forums, social networks, communities, chat rooms, Yuku is a universe of free social networking communities united by people and their passions. Create a free social networking forum instantly or join one of the thousands of social networks, forums, and social communities in the YukuVerse". Yuku. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "Bronx fans make loyalty to Posada known | yankees.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. May 15, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  20. ^ "You can thank Johnny Damon for Nick Swisher's salute; News". Mlb.mlb.com. June 25, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  21. ^ "Watch video of the Bleacher Creatures greeting ex-Yankee Nick Swisher from stands". NJ.com. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  22. ^ "New York Yankees fans boo, taunt Robinson Cano of Seattle Mariners in return to Yankee Stadium - ESPN New York". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  23. ^ "Former Bleacher Creature Foe Ichiro Now a Friend". keefetothecity.com. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  24. ^ "New York Yankees acquire Ichiro Suzuki from Seattle Mariners - ESPN New York". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  25. ^ "Jeff Jacobs: Ichiro's Home Debut Comes Against Struggling Red Sox". Hartford Courant. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  26. ^ "Bleacher Creatures to stop gay chant". NY Daily News. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  27. ^ "Red Sox fan ventures though Yankee Stadium bleachers". YouTube. December 31, 1969. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  28. ^ "We've Moved! Section 203 Tee". Vinny Milano. 2009. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  29. ^ Bondy, Filip (March 30, 2008). "Bleacher Creatures don't want to see old Yankee Stadium go". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  30. ^ "Bleacher Creatures Won't Ban Alex Rodriguez From Roll Call". CBS New York. Retrieved August 8, 2013.

External links

Barrel Man (Denver Broncos)

Barrel Man, real name Tim McKernan (September 5, 1940 – December 5, 2009), was a superfan of the Denver Broncos. In all types of weather for 30 years, he attended every home game at both Mile High Stadium and INVESCO Field at Mile High wearing nothing but an orange barrel that covered his torso and a cowboy hat and boots. His costume was reminiscent of rodeo clowns (or barrelmen) who serve as a distraction to animals in the rodeo arena in order to protect riders who have been thrown and of the stereotype of the miner who lost his stake and had nothing left to wear but a barrel. He was the first Broncos fan inducted into the VISA Hall of Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.McKernan began attending Broncos games in 1967, eventually missing only four of them. He first wore a barrel in 1977 after making a $10 bet with his brother over whether wearing one would get him on television. He won, wearing one painted to resemble an Orange Crush can. The soft drink brand was also the nickname for the defensive unit of the orange-jerseyed Broncos who won the American Football Conference Championship that season. McKernan also showed up at games for the Denver Gold of the short-lived United States Football League in the mid-1980s, wearing a gold-painted barrel. McKernan retired his act after the 2007 season at the age of 67, but announced that he would continue attending games in normal dress.McKernan had serious health issues in 2003, after an abdominal aneurysm ruptured. After that time he was restricted by doctors to wearing his barrel for one half of play, and then only when the temperature was above freezing. These health issues were a major reason behind McKernan's deciding to give up the barrel in 2007.

Retired after 40 years as a mechanic for United Airlines, McKernan and his wife were based in Gunnison, Colorado, but spent their offseasons traveling in their recreational vehicle. Due to the space constraints of living in an RV, McKernan sold his Super Bowl XXXII barrel for $30,000. The barrel, autographed by 49 Broncos from their first Super Bowl winning team, was sold to Nicholas Martinez of Las Animas Colorado. McKernan gave 10% of his profits to Jubilee House, battered women's shelter in Gunnison.McKernan died on December 5, 2009, of respiratory failure caused by idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at age 69. The last Broncos game before his death was a rout of the Giants on Thanksgiving Day. In November 2012, the History Colorado Center honored the Barrel Man as part of an exhibit called Denver A to Z: Adrenaline to Zombies and (almost) Everything in Between. A statue of McKernan epitomizes D for Devoted.

Bleacher

Bleachers, or stands, are raised, tiered rows of benches found at sports fields and other spectator events. Stairways provide access to the horizontal rows of seats, often with every other step gaining access to a row of benches.

Benches range from simple planks to elaborate ones with backrests. Many bleachers are open to the ground below so that there are only the planks to sit and walk on. Some bleachers have vertical panels beneath the benches, either partially or completely blocking the way to the ground.

Bleacher Creatures (toys)

Bleacher Creatures (founded 2011) is an American company producing plush figures of licensed personalities from sports and entertainment. The company has produced toys of over 1000 different figures, and also produces wigs, masks, and capes with licensed logos.

The company was founded in 2011 by Matthew Hoffman, a sports-licensed industry veteran, beginning with licensed plush likenesses of famous athletes marketed for children. Bleacher Creatures first player that they released was a 14" version of Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

The company holds licensing deals with companies including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, World Wrestling Entertainment, DC Comics, Warner Brothers, and MGM Studios. Their products have global distribution, and plush figure sales in excess of three million units.

Cow-Bell Man

This article is about the New York Mets' Cow-Bell Man. For the New York Yankees' Cow-Bell Man, a title jointly held by Ali Ramirez and Milton Ousland, see Bleacher Creatures.

Edwin "Eddie" Boison, known as Cow-Bell Man, is a stadium fixture for the New York Mets. He can be seen at nearly every home game at Citi Field, wandering around the concourses while banging a cowbell. He typically wears personalized jerseys with the sobriquet Cowbellman. In 2009, he wore a batting practice jersey with the number 15, which from 2005-2011 was assigned to outfielder Carlos Beltrán. Prior to the Mets' acquisition of Beltran, Cow-Bell Man's jersey featured the number 10, worn by Endy Chavez. Cow-Bell Man is usually seen strolling around Citi-Field interacting with the fans. As of September 2015, Cow-Bell Man wears a Met jersey with "Cow-Bell Man" and #21. Now wears 52 like Cespedes.

Dawg Pound

The Dawg Pound is the name of the bleacher section behind the east end zone in FirstEnergy Stadium, the home field of the Cleveland Browns, a National Football League (NFL) franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio. It is known for having passionate fans.

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances (; born March 23, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2011, and was named an MLB All-Star in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Fireman Ed

Edwin M. Anzalone (born September 19, 1959), better known as Fireman Ed, is a superfan of the New York Jets. One of the most well known National Football League fans, he has risen to prominence by appearing on many local radio shows. He was not the creator of the famous chant, "J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets!, Jets!" which originally was led by two retired NYPD Jet fans – alternating from one end zone to the other end zone, in the upper deck only.

An actual New York City firefighter, Fireman Ed was injured on the job in 2007.

During the butt fumble game, a rout of the Jets by the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night 2012, Anzalone left the game before halftime, stating that he would no longer lead cheers at Jet games as Fireman Ed. At the first game of the 2015 NFL season, Fireman Ed returned to lead cheers for the Jets.

Game On (Canadian game show)

Game On is a Canadian sports trivia television game show that was a variation on Jeopardy!. It ran from 1998 to 2000 on Global and was shown on GameTV. The show was hosted by Tim Steeves in season 1 and David Merry in Season 2, with Jennifer Hill as the female co-host. Three male contestants compete in this game. The set was designed to resemble a sports enthusiast's wood-paneled basement recreation room decorated with posters, trophies and other sports memorabilia. The host stood behind a 1970s-style wet bar while the three contestants sat in leather lounge chairs. To answer a question, a contestant pressed a button on a device that resembled a TV remote control.

The series was created by Michael Geddes of Lone Eagle Entertainment in Toronto, Ontario, who producers of two other Canadian game shows, You Bet Your Ass and Inside the Box. The show was taped at the Toronto Production Centre in Toronto.

Harmonica Incident

The Harmonica Incident took place on a New York Yankees team bus on August 20, 1964, en route to O'Hare International Airport. Infielder Phil Linz, slightly resentful at not being played during a four-game sweep by the Chicago White Sox that was believed at the time to have seriously set back the Yankees' chances at that year's American League pennant, began playing a harmonica in the back of the bus. Manager Yogi Berra, feeling that Linz's behavior was inappropriate given the team's recent poor performance, angrily called on him to stop, whereupon Linz threw the harmonica and loudly complained about being singled out despite not having been at fault for the losses.Journalists on the bus following the team reported the incident in the next day's newspapers, and it became national news. Although Linz was fined for the incident, he received an endorsement contract from harmonica manufacturer Hohner after the company saw an increase in sales. The contract more than made up for Linz's lost money from the fine. Radio stations in Boston urged fans of the Red Sox, whom the Yankees played immediately afterward, to greet Linz at the plate in Fenway Park with a harmonica and kazoo serenade. At an exhibition game against the crosstown New York Mets, Mets players tossed harmonicas onto the field.

The incident had divergent effects on the team. For the players, it ended well: Berra's authority as their manager was decisively established and they went 30–11 through the end of the season, clinching the pennant that had seemed out of reach. For the team's management, which had been dogged all season by reports that Berra could not control his former teammates, it confirmed that impression, and efforts to find a replacement for Berra (that had reportedly already been underway) succeeded shortly afterwards, with Johnny Keane, who was considered likely to be fired from his position as St. Louis Cardinals' manager after the season concluded, secretly agreeing to become the Yankees' manager. His team also came back from deep in the standings to win the National League pennant, and then defeat the Yankees in that year's World Series. The day afterwards, Berra was fired and Keane shocked his superiors by resigning instead of accepting a contract extension. Keane took over for Berra a few days later.

Despite its role in catalyzing the team that season, the incident has been seen as the beginning of the end of the Yankees' 15-year postwar dynasty, since it also coincided with the announcement that the CBS television network was buying the team. Keane was never able to fully earn the respect of either the aging, injury-plagued stars or the few promising younger players, and in the 1965 season the team failed to win the pennant after recording its first losing season in 40 years. When the subsequent season started with even worse results, Keane was fired, though that did not prevent the Yankees from finishing in last place. They would not return to the World Series until 1976, after CBS had sold the team to George Steinbrenner.

Jock Rock 2000

Jock Rock 2000 is the third album in the Jock Rock series of compilation albums.

License Plate Guy

Joe Ruback, better known as License Plate Guy (born June 7), is an iconic fan of the New York Giants, best known for the license plates he wears at each game. Ruback has attended every home and away game since 2003 and was at all 283 games during the team's use of Giants Stadium.Ruback first wore a plate to a game when he was 16, but the tradition didn't become what it is now until the last decade.

Joe Ruback has made several appearances on The Boomer & Carton radio show on WFAN in New York. Ruback has become a fan favorite, but prides himself as "an average fan" and can be seen before every game (home and away) in the parking lot taking pictures with fans.. Joe has also been featured on NFL Network and Good Day New York

Ruback participates in many off the field philanthropic endeavors including "Pink Tailgate" raising money and awareness for breast cancer and those affected.In 2017, Ruback organized a charity softball game to raise money for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. Working with Landon Collins, who headlined the event, a softball match was organized between current and past Giants team members. The event also featured a dodgeball game and a home run derby.

Mets–Yankees rivalry

The Mets–Yankees rivalry refers to the latest incarnation of the Subway Series, which is the interleague rivalry between New York City's Major League Baseball (MLB) teams: the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. The Mets are a member club of MLB's National League (NL) East division, and the Yankees are a member club of MLB's American League (AL) East division.

Until interleague play started, the two teams had only met in exhibition games. Since the inception of interleague play, the two teams have played each other in every regular season since 1997. From 1999 through 2012, they have played six games per season: two three-game series (one series in each team's ballpark). In 2013, the two teams met four times: a pair of two-game series. Both clubs have qualified for the postseason in the same season on four separate occasions: 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2015, and faced off in the 2000 World Series. Analysts of the game have commented that the rivalry is the best reason for interleague play.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City; the other club is the National League (NL)'s New York Mets. In the 1901 season, the club began play in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles (no relation to the modern Baltimore Orioles). Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise that had ceased operations and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.The team is owned by Yankee Global Enterprises, an LLC that is controlled by the family of the late George Steinbrenner, who purchased the team in 1973. Brian Cashman is the team's general manager, and Aaron Boone is the team's field manager. The team's home games were played at the original Yankee Stadium from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008. In 1974 and 1975, the Yankees shared Shea Stadium with the Mets, in addition to the New York Jets, and New York Giants. In 2009, they moved into a new ballpark of the same name that was constructed next door to the previous facility, which was closed and demolished. The team is perennially among the leaders in MLB attendance.

The Yankees are arguably the most successful professional sports team in the United States; they have won 40 AL pennants, and 27 World Series championships, all of which are MLB records. The Yankees have won more titles than any other franchise in the four major North American sports leagues. Forty-four Yankees players and eleven Yankees managers have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford. In pursuit of winning championships, the franchise has used a large payroll to attract talent, particularly during the Steinbrenner era. According to Forbes, the Yankees are the second highest valued sports franchise in the United States and the second in the world, with an estimated value of approximately $4 billion. The Yankees have garnered enormous popularity and a dedicated fanbase, as well as widespread enmity from fans of other MLB teams. The team's rivalry with the Boston Red Sox is one of the most well-known rivalries in U.S. sports.

From 1903–2018, the Yankees' overall win-loss record is 10,275–7,781 (a .569 winning percentage).

Old-Timers' Day

Old-Timers' Day (or Old-Timers' Game) generally refers to a tradition in Major League Baseball whereby a team, most prominently the New York Yankees, devotes the early afternoon preceding a weekend game to celebrate the baseball-related accomplishments of its former players who have since retired. The pattern has been copied intermittently by other sports but has failed to catch on.

Phil Rizzuto

Philip Francis Rizzuto (September 25, 1917 – August 13, 2007), nicknamed "The Scooter", was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He spent his entire 13-year baseball career with the New York Yankees (1941–1956), and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

A popular figure on a team dynasty that captured 10 AL titles and seven World Championships in his 13 seasons, Rizzuto holds numerous World Series records for shortstops. His best statistical season was 1950, when he was named the American League's Most Valuable Player. Despite this offensive peak, Rizzuto was a classic "small ball" player, noted for his strong defense in the infield. The slick-fielding Rizzuto is also regarded as one of the best bunters in baseball history. When he retired, his 1,217 career double plays ranked second in major league history, trailing only Luke Appling's total of 1,424, and his .968 career fielding average trailed only Lou Boudreau's mark of .973 among AL shortstops.

After his playing career, Rizzuto enjoyed a 40-year career as a radio and television sports announcer for the Yankees. His idiosyncratic style and unpredictable digressions charmed listeners, while his lively play-by-play brought a distinct energy to his broadcasts. He was well known for his trademark expression "holy cow!"

The 7 Line Army

The 7 Line Army is a group of fans of the New York Mets started in 2012 by Darren Meenan, the founder of The 7 Line, a company that makes Mets-themed apparel. The group is named after the 7 train of the New York City Subway, which stops near Citi Field at Mets–Willets Point. They occupy the Big Apple Reserved section of Citi Field during Mets home games. The 7 Line Army also attends numerous Mets road games, sponsoring outings which attract more than 1,000 fans.

The Voyageurs

The Voyageurs is an unofficial Canadian soccer supporters group founded in 1996, notable for their support of Canada's national teams, awarding of the annual Voyageurs Cup for men's soccer at the MLS and former USL-1 levels and influence in the Canadian soccer media.

Yankee Stadium (1923)

The original Yankee Stadium was a stadium located in the Bronx, New York City. It was the home ballpark of the New York Yankees, one of the city's Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises, from 1923 to 1973 and then from 1976 to 2008. The stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York Giants football team from 1956 through the first part of the 1973–74 football season. The stadium's nickname, "The House That Ruth Built", is derived from Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the stadium's opening and the beginning of the Yankees' winning history. It has also been known as "The Big Ballpark in The Bronx", "The Stadium", and "The Cathedral of Baseball".

The stadium was built from 1922 to 1923 for $2.4 million ($33.9 million in 2016 dollars). The stadium's construction was paid for entirely by Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, who was eager to have his own stadium after sharing the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants baseball team the previous 10 years. Yankee Stadium opened for the 1923 MLB season and at the time, it was hailed as a one-of-a-kind facility in the country for its size. Over the course of its history, it became one of the most famous venues in the United States, having hosted a variety of events and historic moments during its existence. While many of these moments were baseball-related—including World Series games, no-hitters, perfect games and historic home runs—the stadium also hosted boxing matches, the 1958 NFL Championship Game (called by many The Greatest Game Ever Played), concerts, Jehovah's Witnesses conventions (see record attendance) and three Papal Masses. The stadium went through many alterations and playing surface configurations over the years. The condition of the facility worsened in the 1960s and 1970s, prompting its closing for renovation from 1974 to 1975. The renovation significantly altered the appearance of the venue and reduced the distance of the outfield fences.In 2006, the Yankees began building a new $2.3 billion stadium in public parkland adjacent to the stadium. The price included $1.2 billion in public subsidies. The design includes a replica of the frieze along the roof that was in Yankee Stadium. Monument Park, a Hall of Fame for prominent former Yankees, was relocated to the new stadium. Yankee Stadium closed following the 2008 baseball season and the new stadium opened in 2009, adopting the "Yankee Stadium" moniker. The original Yankee Stadium was demolished in 2010, two years after it closed, and the 8-acre site was converted into a park called Heritage Field.

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