Monument Park (Yankee Stadium)
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Monument Park Yankee Stadium

Monument Park
Yankees retired numb monument park.jpg
Monument Park at Yankee Stadium
Location
CoordinatesCoordinates: 40°49?47.22?N 73°55?31.7?W / 40.8297833°N 73.925472°W / 40.8297833; -73.925472
FounderNew York Yankees

Monument Park is an open-air museum located in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City. It contains a collection of monuments, plaques, and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. When Red Ruffing's plaque was dedicated in 2004, his son called it "the second-greatest honor you can have in baseball, in my opinion" trailing only induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]

The history of the original Monument Park can be traced to the original Yankee Stadium in 1932, when the team posthumously dedicated an on-field monument to manager Miller Huggins in center field. Additional team members were honored with monuments and plaques in the area over the years. During the stadium's renovation in the mid-1970s, the center field fence was moved in 44 feet (13 m), enclosing prior monuments, plaques, and the flag pole outside the field of play. Over time, additional plaques were added; in 1985, the park was opened for public access. When the Yankees moved to their new ballpark in 2009, Monument Park was built beyond the center-field fences and the contents of the old one transported over.

Thirty-seven members of the Yankee organization have been honored in Monument Park, while 22 have had their uniform numbers retired. An additional honor, a monument mounted on a large red granite block, has only been awarded to six Yankees: manager Miller Huggins, players Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio, and owner George Steinbrenner.

History

Precursor

The original Yankee Stadium was built in 1923. As with many other jewel box ballparks of the era, the flag pole was placed in play. With a 500-foot (150 m) distance to straightaway center field, the flag pole rarely interfered in play. Yankees manager Miller Huggins died suddenly in 1929, and the team erected a free-standing monument in front of the flag pole in his honor in 1932.[2] The monument consisted of a bronze plaque mounted on an upright block of red granite resembling a headstone. This, in turn, led many Yankee fans over the years, particularly children, to believe that the players honored were also buried there upon their death.[3][4]

Yankee Stadium in the 1950s, with the monuments and flag pole in the field of play

In 1936, the center field fence was moved in to 461 feet (141 m) from home plate, and Huggins' monument was placed at the marker. The Yankees dedicated a plaque on the center field fence for Jacob Ruppert in 1940[5] and similar monuments for Lou Gehrig in 1941 and Babe Ruth in 1949, following their deaths.[2] A plaque was dedicated to Ed Barrow in 1954.[6] In 1969, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio were honored with plaques in the same ceremony; Mantle suggested that DiMaggio's plaque should be hung a little bit higher than his.[7]

Despite the distance, a batted ball still sometimes made it to the monuments. In the 1992 book The Gospel According to Casey, by Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan, it is reported that on one occasion a Yankees outfielder had let the ball get by him and was fumbling for it among the monuments. Manager Casey Stengel hollered to the field, "Ruth, Gehrig, Huggins, somebody get that ball back to the infield!"[8]

Monument Park I

When Yankee Stadium was remodeled from 1974 to 1975, the center field fence was moved in to 417 feet (127 m). This enclosed the area, formerly in play, containing the flag pole and monuments. As this fenced-in area between the two bullpens gathered additional plaques on the original wall, it began to be referred to as "Monument Park". It was inaccessible to fans.[9]

The original Monument Park consisted of a row of monuments with plaques lining the wall behind them

With the formalization of the area as an official Monument Park as the stadium reopened in 1976, new plaques were announced for managers Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel, as well as a plaque memorializing Pope Paul VI's 1965 visit to Yankee Stadium.[10] The Mantle and DiMaggio plaques were removed from the wall upon their deaths in 1995 and 1999, respectively, and mounted on red granite blocks matching the original three of Huggins, Gehrig, and Ruth.[11][12]

In 1985, the center field fence was moved in to 410 feet (120 m), and the Yankees made Monument Park accessible to fans prior to most games at Yankee Stadium.[9] Monument Park was also part of the public tour of the venue.[13]

In honor of Jackie Robinson, his No. 42 was retired throughout baseball on April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of his major league debut. The Yankees erected a plaque for Robinson[14] Players active at the time of the number's retirement in 1997 were granted a special exemption permitting them to continue wearing the number for the remainder of their careers; the last such active player to wear No. 42 was Yankee relief pitcher Mariano Rivera.[15]

Monument Park II

The second Monument Park

When the Yankees moved into the new Yankee Stadium after the 2008 season, the Yankees established a new Monument Park behind the fence in straightaway center field, below the Center Field Sports Bar that serves as the batter's eye[16] Built of pearl blue granite from Finland,[17] this new monument park features the five Yankee monuments in a central area around a black marble Yankees logo. This is flanked by two short stone walls which hold the retired numbers. The plaques are mounted on the back wall and the September 11 monument is on one end of the park.

In contrast to the old stadium, the new Monument Park is not readily visible from the field, and its relatively drab appearance and inconspicuous placement have led some to derisively nickname it "Monument Cave". Spectators can visit Monument Park prior to the beginning of each game. It closes 45 minutes before first pitch.[18][19]

The Yankees honored Rivera by retiring his uniform number on September 22, 2013, during his final season, making him the first active player to be enshrined in Monument Park.[20] Mantle wore his No. 7 when he coached the Yankees in 1970, even though it was retired the previous year, while Berra wore his No. 8 while he coached the Yankees from 1976 through 1985, though it was retired in 1972. Similarly, when Martin returned to manage the Yankees in 1988, he wore his No. 1, which had been retired in his honor in 1986.[21]

The Yankees dedicated a plaque to Rivera on August 14, 2016.[22] The Yankees retired Derek Jeter's No. 2 and dedicated a plaque to him on May 14, 2017; this was the final single-digit number to be retired,[21] although the number 0 is still available for use.

Honorees

Honored baseball members

The following players and other Yankees personnel are honored with monuments or plaques in Monument Park. Monuments are considered a greater honor than plaques, and have only been awarded posthumously.[23]

Retired numbers lined the rear wall of the original Monument Park
Retired number for Jackie Robinson in the original Monument Park
Key
Honoree Name of the honoree
Position(s) Fielding position(s) or role in the organization
Number retired (x) Date number retired (and number), if applicable
Plaque Date plaque dedicated, if applicable
Monument Date monument dedicated, if applicable
dagger
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger
Recipient of the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award
Honorees
Honoree Position(s) Number retired Plaque Monument Ref
Miller Hugginsdagger Manager -- May 30, 1932 May 30, 1932 [24]
Lou Gehrigdagger First baseman July 4, 1939 (No. 4) July 6, 1941 July 6, 1941 [25]
Jacob Ruppertdagger Owner -- April 19, 1940 -- [5]
Babe Ruthdagger Outfielder June 13, 1948 (No. 3) April 19, 1949 April 19, 1949 [26]
Ed Barrowdagger General manager -- April 15, 1954 -- [27]
Joe DiMaggiodagger Outfielder April 18, 1952 (No. 5) June 8, 1969 April 25, 1999 [28]
Mickey Mantledagger Outfielder June 8, 1969 (No. 7) June 8, 1969 August 25, 1996 [29]
Joe McCarthydagger Manager --[a] April 29, 1976 -- [30]
Casey Stengeldagger Manager August 8, 1970 (No. 37) July 30, 1976 -- [31]
Thurman Munson Catcher August 2, 1979 (No. 15) September 20, 1980 -- [32]
Elston Howard Catcher / Outfielder July 21, 1984 (No. 32) July 21, 1984 -- [33]
Roger Maris Outfielder July 21, 1984 (No. 9) July 21, 1984 -- [33]
Phil Rizzutodagger Shortstop / Broadcaster August 4, 1985 (No. 10) August 4, 1985 -- [34]
Billy Martin Second baseman / Manager August 10, 1986 (No. 1) August 10, 1986 -- [35]
Lefty Gomezdagger Pitcher -- August 1, 1987 -- [36]
Whitey Forddagger Pitcher August 3, 1974 (No. 16) August 1, 1987 -- [36]
Bill Dickeydagger Catcher July 22, 1972 (No. 8) August 21, 1988 -- [37]
Yogi Berradagger Catcher / Outfielder July 22, 1972 (No. 8) August 21, 1988 -- [37]
Allie Reynolds Pitcher -- August 27, 1989 -- [38]
Don Mattingly First baseman August 31, 1997 (No. 23) August 31, 1997 -- [39]
Mel Allendouble-dagger Broadcaster -- July 25, 1998 -- [40]
Bob Sheppard Public address announcer -- May 7, 2000 -- [41]
Reggie Jacksondagger Outfielder August 14, 1993 (No. 44) July 6, 2002 -- [42]
Ron Guidry Pitcher August 23, 2003 (No. 49) August 23, 2003 -- [43]
Red Ruffingdagger Pitcher -- July 10, 2004 -- [1]
Jackie Robinsondagger Second baseman April 15, 1997 (No. 42) April 17, 2007[b] -- [14]
George Steinbrenner Owner -- September 20, 2010 September 20, 2010 [45]
Mariano Riveradagger Pitcher September 22, 2013 (No. 42) August 14, 2016 -- [22][46]
Tino Martinez First baseman -- June 21, 2014 -- [47]
Goose Gossagedagger Pitcher -- June 22, 2014 -- [47]
Paul O'Neill Outfielder -- August 9, 2014 -- [47]
Joe Torredagger Manager August 23, 2014 (No. 6) August 23, 2014 -- [47]
Bernie Williams Outfielder May 24, 2015 (No. 51) May 24, 2015 -- [48]
Willie Randolph Second baseman / Coach -- June 20, 2015 -- [49]
Mel Stottlemyre Pitcher / Coach -- June 20, 2015 -- [50]
Jorge Posada Catcher August 22, 2015 (No. 20) August 22, 2015 -- [51]
Andy Pettitte Pitcher August 23, 2015 (No. 46) August 23, 2015 -- [52]
Derek Jeterdagger Shortstop May 14, 2017 (No. 2) May 14, 2017 -- [53]

Other honorees

In addition to baseball related recognitions, the Knights of Columbus donated plaques in honor of the Masses celebrated at Yankee Stadium by Pope Paul VI on October 4, 1965; Pope John Paul II on October 2, 1979; and Pope Benedict XVI on April 20, 2008.[54] The Yankees also dedicated a monument to the victims and rescue workers of the September 11 attacks on September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the attacks.[55] The Yankees dedicated a plaque to Nelson Mandela on April 16, 2014, to commemorate his life and 1990 visit to Yankee Stadium.[56][57][58][c] On June 25, 2019, the Yankees dedicated a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Uprising, which sparked the modern day movement for LGBT rights in the United States.[59]

Image gallery

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Although the Yankees adopted uniform numbers in 1929, McCarthy never wore a number with the Yankees.[21]
  2. ^ The Yankees unveiled a new plaque for Robinson as part of the ceremony retiring No. 42 for Rivera on September 22, 2013.[44]
  3. ^ The ceremony was scheduled for April 15, which is Jackie Robinson Day, but it was delayed by rain.[58]

References

  1. ^ a b Moses, David (July 10, 2004). "Ruffing finally gets his plaque". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ a b Red, Christian (June 7, 2008). "Yankee Stadium's Monument Park: Stories of place where legends go". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ Landers, Chris (July 24, 2018). "The long and winding story behind Yankee Stadium's Monument Park". MLB.com. Retrieved 2021.
  4. ^ "Results in Major Sports Yesterday". The New York Times. May 31, 1932. Retrieved 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Yankees Will Honor Col. Jacob Ruppert". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. April 9, 1940. p. 13. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ "15 Apr 1954, 355 - Daily News at". Newspapers.com. April 15, 1954. Retrieved 2021.
  7. ^ "Quite A Day For Mickey At Proud Yankee Stadium". Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina. Associated Press. June 6, 1969. p. 9. Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ Migoya, David (July 13, 2008). "Yankee Stadium>> In its final season, "The House That Ruth Built" hosts the All-Star Game at 6 p.m. Tuesday, KDVR-31". The Denver Post. p. C-09. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ a b Sandomir, Richard (September 21, 2010). "Everyone Agrees: Steinbrenner's Plaque Is Big". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "7 Mar 1976, Page 115 - Asbury Park Press at". Newspapers.com. March 7, 1976. Retrieved 2021.
  11. ^ "26 Aug 1996, Page 1C - Poughkeepsie Journal at". Newspapers.com. August 26, 1996. Retrieved 2021.
  12. ^ "26 Apr 1999, 21 - The Herald-News at". Newspapers.com. April 26, 1999. Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ "16 Apr 2011, Page B12 - Hartford Courant at". Newspapers.com. April 16, 2011. Retrieved 2021.
  14. ^ a b "ESPN -- Yankees honor Robinson -- MLB". Sports.espn.go.com. April 18, 2007. Retrieved 2010.
  15. ^ Feinsand, Mark (April 14, 2020). "Mariano 'blessed' to be last to wear Jackie's 42". Retrieved 2021.
  16. ^ DiComo, Anthony (November 12, 2008). "Monument of Babe Ruth removed: Artifact will make its way to new Yankee Stadium by year's end". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009.
  17. ^ Newcomb, Tim (June 27, 2014). "Ballpark Quirks: Yankee Stadium's living museum in Monument Park". SI.com. Time Inc. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ Madden, Bill (May 9, 2009). "An open letter to Boss: Please, fix Yankee Stadium". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009.
  19. ^ "Impressions of the Opener". The Journal News. April 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  20. ^ Begley, Ian (September 22, 2013). "Yankees honor Mariano Rivera". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ a b c Callahan, Maureen (March 30, 2014). "Jeter's retirement marks end of Yanks' single-digit numbers". New York Post. Retrieved 2014.
  22. ^ a b [1]
  23. ^ Brunell, Evan (August 24, 2010). "Steinbrenner to be honored in Monument Park". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2010.
  24. ^ "Mayor to Speak at Unveiling Of Huggins Memorial Today". The New York Times. May 30, 1932. Retrieved 2010. (subscription required)
  25. ^ "Memorial to Lou Gehrig Unveiled". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. July 7, 1941. Retrieved 2011.
  26. ^ Roden, Ralph (April 20, 1949). "Six Home Teams Score Victories in Opener". St. Petersburg Times. p. 8. Retrieved 2009.
  27. ^ Hand, Jack (April 15, 1954). "Baltimore Tops List of 'Second Openers' Today". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. p. 12. Retrieved 2012.
  28. ^ "An American icon: DiMaggio honored at Yankee Stadium with monument". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. April 25, 1999. Retrieved 2009.
  29. ^ Vecsey, George (June 9, 1969). "61,157 Hearts Here Throb for Mantle as No. 7 Joins 3, 4 and 5 in Retirement". The New York Times. p. 61. Retrieved 2012. (subscription required)
  30. ^ Wallace, William N. (April 21, 1976). "Yanks Top White Sox, 5-4, As Shirt Dispute Flares; Yankees Win, 5-4, In a Shirt Battle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012.
  31. ^ "To Honor Casey". The Bryan Times. United Press International. October 2, 1975. Retrieved 2011.
  32. ^ "Yankee Fans Pay Tribute to Catcher". Star-News. August 4, 1979. p. 3-B. Retrieved 2011.
  33. ^ a b "The Man Who Beat The Babe". Waycross Journal-Herald. July 24, 1984. p. 6. Retrieved 2012.
  34. ^ Kerber, Fred (August 14, 2007). "For 'dreamer' Scooter, a moo-ving day". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010.
  35. ^ "Yanks Retire Martin's Number". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. August 11, 1986. p. 5C. Retrieved 2011.
  36. ^ a b Noble, Marty (August 3, 1987). "Well, 2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad: Yanks aren't overwhelmed by successful weekend". Newsday. Retrieved 2012. (subscription required)
  37. ^ a b Shaughnessy, Dan (August 21, 1988). "Is Balance Of Al Power Headed West?". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012.
  38. ^ "Yankees Honor Allie Reynolds With Plaque". Deseret News. August 27, 1989. p. 36. Retrieved 2011.
  39. ^ Chass, Murray (September 1, 1997). "On Baseball -- Mattingly's Monument To Effort". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010.
  40. ^ Davidoff, Ken (July 25, 1998). "Allen Joins Yankee Immortals". The Record. Bergen County, New Jersey. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  41. ^ Madden, Bill (May 8, 2000). "For Once, Sheppard Is Speechless: Yanks hail keeper of names". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2021.
  42. ^ [2]
  43. ^ "Baseball -- Yankees Pay Tribute to Guidry". The New York Times. August 24, 2003. Retrieved 2010.
  44. ^ [3]
  45. ^ Marchand, Andrew (September 20, 2010). "Yanks unveil Steinbrenner monument". ESPN. Retrieved 2010.
  46. ^ Feinsand, Mark (September 22, 2013). "Yankees retire Mariano Rivera's No. 42 in Monument Park during pregame ceremony". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2013.
  47. ^ a b c d "Yankees to honor Joe Torre, Rich "Goose" Gossage, Tino Martinez, and Paul O'Neill in 2014 with plaques in Monument Park; Torre's uniform no. 6 to also be retired: Ceremonies are part of a recognition series that will include Bernie Williams in 2015". MLB.com (Press release). May 8, 2014. Retrieved 2021.
  48. ^ Corcoran, Cliff (May 22, 2015). "Jersey retirement a chance to finally appreciate Bernie Williams: Five-time All-Star Bernie Williams to have number retired by Yankees". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2015.
  49. ^ "Willie Randolph being honored at Old-Timers' Day on Saturday - The LoHud Yankees Blog". The LoHud Yankees Blog. Retrieved 2015.
  50. ^ McCarron, Anthony (June 20, 2015). "Yankees surprise Mel Stottlemyre with Monument Park plaque on Old Timers' Day at the Stadium". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2015.
  51. ^ McCarron, Anthony (August 22, 2015). "Jorge Posada has No. 20 retired by Yankees on 'one of the happiest days of my life'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2015.
  52. ^ O'Brien, Charles (August 23, 2015). "Yankees honor Pettitte by retiring his No. 46". Asbury Park Press. Associated Press. Retrieved 2015.
  53. ^ Hock, Bryan (December 6, 2016). "Yankees to retire Derek Jeter's number May 14". MLB.com. Retrieved 2016.
  54. ^ Matuszewski, Erik (September 20, 2010). "George Steinbrenner Monument to Be Unveiled Today Before Yankees-Rays Game". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013.
  55. ^ "Baseball plans tributes for 9/11 | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013.
  56. ^ Glasspiegel, Ryan (December 9, 2013). "The Yankees Will Honor Nelson Mandela with a Plaque in Monument Park | Extra Mustard - SI.com". Extramustard.si.com. Retrieved 2014.
  57. ^ "New York Yankees to honor Nelson Mandela in Monument Park - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. December 9, 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  58. ^ a b "Rainout Postpones Yankee Stadium Ceremony Honoring Nelson Mandela - NY1". Bronx.ny1.com. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  59. ^ "Yankees Unveil Monument Park Plaque Commemorating Stonewall Inn Uprising". wfan.radio.com. June 25, 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links


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