New York Yankees
If you’re struggling to choose gifts for Yankees fans in your life, I’m here to help.
Well, at least with the part about what fans need visiting Yankee Stadium. Tickets make a great gift obviously, and I’ve written a short primer here about finding deals on Yankees tickets.
But fans need other stuff too. Check out the very cool gift ideas for Yankees fans below…especially the truly awesome Hawaiian shirt!
Stop paying ballpark prices for your Yankees gear and souvenirs!
So you know, I’m including Amazon links here, and Amazon is an affiliate of mine. If you make a purchase using one of these links, this website earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. (Thanks for your support!)
So here we go…
Gifts For Yankees Fans, Part 1: Staying Warm in October
As every baseball fan knows, the Yankees play in October a lot, and cooler weather does hit the Big Apple. Make sure that your Yankees fan gift recipient is prepared for playoff events at the Stadium.
If you’re going formal, say, attending a game in a suite, you’ll stand out in this fine sweater…
Here is a pretty nice Yankees scarf, at a pretty nice price. Or try this one…(Amazon’s choice!)
I love these sneaker slippers, which have been featured on Shark Tank. (They have Cubs and Red Sox editions of these too)…
And these footie slippers would look great on a lady Yankees fan.
The Yankees fan in your life will need this knit cap if they’re headed to the Stadium for October baseball…it’s on the pricier side, but what the heck, it’s a gift. Actually this one is pretty nice too, and a little cheaper.
Stocking Stuffer Alert! Here is a pretty nice pair of gloves for a Yankee fan, because you thought of it!
Gifts For Yankees Fans, Part 2: Essential Stadium Items.
There are some tools you need when you visit Yankee Stadium…not just caps and tees and gear.
As I’ve noted here, you can bring your own food into Yankee Stadium…this is a perfect way to take advantage of that Stadium loophole and save mucho cash at the game!
If you’re going to pay ballpark prices for bottled beer, at least keep it cold with a sleeve. Try this fine set…
I’ve stated in my astoundingly helpful Yankee Stadium parking post that the Stadium isn’t very conducive to tailgating…but Yankees fans travel, right? So get this for your traveling Yankee fan’s next trip to Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago or Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay…
If your beloved Yankees fan is a Bleacher Creature, they’ll need an umbrella for rain delays, and this one is large and colorful.
Stocking Stuffer Alert! And of course, you’ll need a pen to keep score.
Gifts For Yankees Fans, Part 3: Gear + Accessories.
The Yankees fan in your life needs to blend in with a sea of navy and white in the Stadium, and any extras are a bonus. Check this stuff out for gift ideas…
This outstanding Yankees Hawaiian shirt is on the pricey side, but if you’re willing to shell out a few bucks, it makes a killer gift for those warm summer afternoons at the Stadium.
If you’re looking for something for your Yankees fan dad, this tee is perfect.
Here’s a cool tee for Aaron Judge fans…
And Mariano Rivera fans will love this eye-catching tee.
Bringing a little one to the game? Would anything look more adorable on your little new Yankees fan gift recipient than these sneakers?
Here’s Amazon’s choice, an essential MLB ‘47 Yankees cap. Great price too.
But here’s a fine selection of other hats, including some nice white and pink ones. (I even checked off the free shipping box for you!)
Stocking Stuffer Alert! For the lady Yankees fan in your life, check out this selection of earrings! There’s so many great ones I can’t choose a favorite.
Gifts For Yankees Fans, Part 4: Car Items + Other Stuff.
It’s not all about going to the Stadium…Yankees fans love good baseball reading, and reveling in rooting for the most successful team in sports.
Here’s the classic reason why people hate the Yankees.
Stocking Stuffer Alert! Yankees fans, of course, love to talk rings…and this ring makes a great accessory, especially at this unbelievable price.
For some off-season Yankees reading, here’s a great tome from my late friend Harvey Frommer. Perfect coffee table size.
Some trivia knowledge never hurts to start a conversation in the Stadium…
Even though this book is very dated, I’m adding it because I loved it myself so much…Sparky Lyle is a very funny guy and this fantasy novel is one of my all-time favorite baseball books.
Finally, you can’t bring this to a ballgame, but it makes an outstanding mancave addition.
There you go fans, some great gift ideas for the Yankees fans in your life. Be sure to send them to this blog for more great Yankee Stadium advice!
Some time ago I announced on my website that I was going to illustrate the benefits of a Ballpark E-Guide with the new Yankee Stadium Challenge…meaning finding cheap Yankees tickets, cheap Yankees parking (or other cheap means of arriving at the ballpark), or cheap food at the shiny and expensive new Yankee Stadium. No, I didn’t plan for that to be the day of Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit.
Wait, what? Cheap at Yankee Stadium? Am I being serious? Yes, I am.
As I stated, you don’t often hear the word “cheap” associated with anything baseball, Yankees or New York City. Most people groan at the thought of what it will cost them to see a game at baseball’s majestic home of the most successful team in North American sports history.
Yankees tickets can be over $1,500 for one game, parking at Yankee Stadium as of this writing is $35, and a beer will run a fan as much as $11. And that’s not counting having to drive on Turnpikes and to cross bridges that often require ridiculous tolls, if you’re coming from anywhere but inside the city limits.
Most fans just think they need to accept this or maybe think that it’s worth it to see the Yankees. For all of this supposed gouging, the seats and parking lots are still full, and there’s still lines at the concession stands.
Little did I know what a challenge it would really turn out to be.
I picked the absolute worst game of the season to try this. The challenge was actually planned months ago. Sometime in April, July 10 became the date, which I then revised to July 9 for family matters.
And as you all know, on July 9, Derek Jeter clouted a home run to etch his name on the 3,000-hit list that day, the first Yankee to do so.
Folks, long story here, but it’s a great story, and it includes a lot of advice, so stay with it and I’ll try to make it worth your while.
A few days before the game, I had not yet bought a ticket, not having anticipated that the Captain would be returning to the lineup and closing in on history. Even so, I was following Ballpark Savvy’s advice, and waiting until just before game day to buy a ticket.
Generally this works fairly well; as game day approaches, the supply increases and the price usually comes down. But as stated in the E-Guide, you can’t count on this, for precisely this reason.
I decided $40 would be as high as I would go for a ticket. On Friday afternoon a ticket became available on StubHub for $41.
I was encouraged by the drop, but refused to pull the trigger. Then, as I thought might happen, late in the afternoon people began coming home from work and buying, and tickets below $60 disappeared.
Then Friday night’s game was rained out and postponed, leaving Jeter stuck at 2,998 hits, and me now really in a bad way. Ticket prices for Saturday’s game soared. StubHub’s cheapest ticket was now $90 for standing room and even more for obstructed view, and would remain at that price all night.
Yankee Stadium Tightwad Tip #1: When using StubHub or other third-party broker, set a realistic low that you want to pay, and when you see something you can live with, grab it. For high-demand games, expect the price to rise in the evenings, when folks are home from work and online.
Well, okay. Here I am, ticketless. I’ll get back to that. But now let’s talk about actually getting to Yankee Stadium on the cheap, also no easy thing.
If I were to drive straight to and park at Yankee Stadium, coming from South Jersey, I would have used I-295 to exit 7A of the New Jersey Turnpike, and then crossed the George Washington Bridge into the city. That route is, according to Mapquest, a 118-mile drive from my front door.
The bridge is $8 (free into NJ). Turnpike tolls total $12.50. Gas would be about $45, assuming no traffic…ha ha. Parking at Yankee Stadium is a whopping $35. That’s over $100 for round trip and parking.
So if I try taking the NJ Transit train from Hamilton to Penn Station, that at least takes out the absurd parking fee.
This is just a 50-mile ride, with no Turnpike tolls. Parking at Hamilton Station is $7, and the train to Penn Station is $30 round trip for an adult. From there the B or D train to the Stadium (or the E to the B/D, which is a free transfer) is $4.50 round trip. So with gas being about $19 now, that’s a total of just over $60. Much better.
Both services offer great fare prices to get from one big city to another; Megabus is a bit cheaper and has a wider reach, but for some reason Yelpers seem to think Boltbus is better about service. I can’t say, but I do know that I saw two Megabuses show up while waiting for the Boltbus, so they can’t be that bad.
The Boltbus I used was $23 round trip, including the booking fee. Add to that about $7 for gas getting to a train station in New Jersey, and $7 for the round trip train ride that took me to the bus stop. Then the $4.50 for the E-D train brings the total to about $42…not much more than parking at Yankee Stadium, and less than half what the original plan would have cost.
Believe it or not, people do pay twice what they need to.
Yankee Stadium Tightwad Tip #2: If you’re coming to New York City (or Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) from out of town and you’re close to another metropolis, by all means look into Megabus or Boltbus. The savings are large, and it’s not a bad ride at all.
Now, obviously this wouldn’t work as well for more than one person; if you want other options for getting to the game, there are plenty in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide. You can save money bringing others, too.
So of course now you’re thinking, Kurt, this is all fine and well, but what good is getting there cheaply if you don’t have a ticket for the game?
Did our hero make it inside Yankee Stadium? Was he able to witness in person a first in Yankees history? Did he finally cave in to reality and go deeply into debt for a once-in-a-lifetime experience?
Click here for Part 2 of Kurt’s Amazing Yankee Stadium Story!
Previously in this narrative, I shared the story of seeking cheap Yankees tickets online for Derek Jeter’s 3,000th-hit game at new Yankee Stadium, to no avail.
But despite my lack of success, I decided to get on the Boltbus to New York City and further push my luck. As documented, yours truly at least managed to get to New York City inexpensively, in no small part by avoiding parking at Yankee Stadium.
But the larger problem of needing a ticket to enter remained.
Upon arriving in Manhattan, I decided to try Modell’s in Times Square. Modell’s and the Yankees have jointly found a way to unload some unsold seats, by offering them at half price on game day. (This tip is included in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide.) They are based on availability, however, meaning my chances of landing a ticket for under $40 were, of course, slim.
As I reached the ticket counter, someone was signing the credit card slip for tickets he had just bought. As soon as the transaction was completed, I asked the gentleman behind the counter, “What’s the most inexpensive ticket you’ve got?”
Before he could answer, the customer informed me: “One hundred and eighty-five dollars.”
Well, at least I got a picture.
Yankee Stadium Tightwad Tip #3: The Modell’s in Times Square does indeed have Yankees tickets available on game day, even for prime games, but you will not often find the lower priced seats. But, if you do want the premium seats, there will probably still be plenty available, and at half of the extensive price. For that, Modell’s is worthwhile.
Plan C now. I took a walk over to 6th Avenue to board the D train, the weekend express train that flies north to the 161st St.-Yankee Stadium station. I exited the subway and there the gorgeous monument to baseball dynasty stood.
Already people were setting up shop…parking signs were being put up, hot dog carts were already peddling, and the beautiful hot morning already had the air of a day of baseball.
The first stop was at the game day window at Gate 4…or more correctly the line for the game day window, which stretched a good half a block to Jerome Avenue. Evaluating the situation, I decided that this was not worth the risk, and that there were other avenues that needed to be exhausted first. Which they would.
By this point hunger was setting in, a condition inexpensively cured with a sandwich and a knish from the Court Deli, a couple of blocks east of the ballpark on 161st.
Somewhere around this time a new camera card became a necessity, and following the directions of some nice Bronx folks, I was able to locate a nearby Target and fix the problem, while finding some less expensive parking I hadn’t noticed before. All a plus, at least for my readers…
So while passing the time I took a photo-op at the 153rd Street-Yankee Stadium Metro-North Station, which was built along with the new Yankee Stadium to provide a rail option from northern suburbs. The new station is impressive, with a great view of the Stadium, and is just a short walk through Macombs Dam Park to the House That Jeter Built.
Unfortunately, fans had not yet started arriving on this route. I thought this might be my best chance to find unhardened suburbanites eager to rid themselves of extras, but found only a few folks headed to the game. Still early.
At the bottom of the platform exit stairs were two attractive women representing Stan’s, the nearby sports bar that is a favorite of ballgame goers. They handed me a card advertising their specials– $3.00 drafts during the 7th and 8th innings of the game. All well and good, I said (actually I think my exact words were “Woo-hoo!”), but does Stan’s have extra tickets?
The ladies wordlessly turned their heads in the direction of a scalper standing right there. Who, of course, seized on the opportunity to skin the vulnerable dreamer alive, showing me a ticket he just happened to have for sale.
The correct date, a decent seat, and he made sure I recognized that this was a valid ticket. The face value was $45. “How much?”, I asked, solely to get a sense of the market.
“A buck and a quarter.”
For a second I was tempted to pull a dollar bill and a quarter out of my pocket, the same way Mel Gibson does in “Lethal Weapon”, acting like an incredibly stupid drug buyer. Instead I just chuckled and walked away over his loud objections: “How much were you expecting to pay?” “It’s only gonna be more closer to the stadium!”
Well, at least he was looking out for me. That was thoughtful of him.
Ballpark E-Guides Tightwad Tip #4: Try to find someone looking to get rid of extras before you patronize scalpers. Scalping is illegal in most states, so you shouldn’t be doing it anyway, but people with extras are far less likely to gouge you.
The scalpers in NYC especially are professionals, they do this every night, and they know exactly what they can get for a ticket from an eager fan. Someone with an extra usually just doesn’t want to eat it, so offer a fair price for it…don’t insult them. They may be doing you a big favor.
Now at least I knew where the market stood: three times above face value, and not likely to go down before the game started.
The next order of business was to do a lap around the Stadium, every so often shouting “anyone got an extra?” in as inoffensive a manner as I can manage to folks beginning to pour in. No luck. But I did find some free street parking nearby. (Shared in the E-Guide!)
About this time I met up with my good friend Gary Herman, he of Royalty Tours USA. Gary has seen an average of 350 sporting events a year for many years now, and he documents his experiences on his blog, including sharing some helpful tips that have found their way into E-Guides.
If there’s a Guinness record for this kind of thing, Gary has to be a candidate, and most amazingly of all, he pulls all this off while working a full time job and not being independently wealthy.
By this time, somehow, the game day window crowd was separated from the exchange window, and now the line was down to only about 20 people. Gary stood with me in line, both of us knowing that it was a long shot for me to get a ticket. Gary promised me he could get a ticket for me next time if I need it. I didn’t doubt that.
I arrived at the window in short order, and asked the agent what the most inexpensive ticket was. Brief punching of keys on the computer. “I have a wheelchair seating ticket, on top of the batter’s eye in center field. One hundred and twenty-five dollars.”
Before I could begin working on Plan D, Gary taps on the window and pesters the agent a bit. “I just saw two kids leaving with 30-dollar tickets. You don’t have anything?”
The agent tries again. The clouds part. The sun shines through. Choirs sing. “OK, this just came up. Standing room, upper level in the left field corner. Thirty dollars.”
I am ecstatic. I gleefully hand over the credit card, take the ticket, sign the receipt, thank the agent profusely, and Gary and I leave the window and head for the food joints on 161st, ear-to-ear grin on my face. I’ve won.
Nothing could go wrong now…right?
Uh-oh…what’s with the ominous tone at the end of what should have been a triumphant victory for the tireless author of Ballpark E-Guides? Did Kurt get carsick? A hangnail? Second thoughts? What could have gone wrong?
Click here for the third and final episode of Kurt’s Derek Jeter Day Adventure!
In Part 2 of this mini-series, yours truly shared how I managed to somehow secure a $30 ticket for the July 9 game at new Yankee Stadium, just hours before gametime, on a day with higher demand than many playoff games. As miraculous as it was, it turned out things weren’t so rosy after all.
After landing a ticket with what could only be described as ridiculous luck, Gary and I took a walk over to the nearby McDonald’s to meet up with both Michael Casiano (the King of Royalty Tours) and Gary’s cousin Andy, who was celebrating his birthday with a Yankees game.
We blended in with the pre-game crowd, buying water bottles and picking up sandwiches at the takeout restaurants. With the ticket quest apparently over, I could finally relax, and soak in the scene of hundreds of fans clad in Yankees gear and of outside vendors selling snacks and drinks.
Ballpark E-Guides Tightwad Tip #5: Before Yankees games, there is (or used to be, anyway) a gentleman who sells very large and ice cold bottles of water on 161st Street east of the Stadium, for $1 each. You can’t miss him; listen for the “one-dollar ice cold water, one dollar water”, punctuated with a periodic “Why you pay five dollar inside!” It’s baseball at its best.
And yes, you can bring them into the Stadium (so long as they are sealed), and save mucho cash.
About an hour before the game, we head towards the ballpark, with Gary promising to take me through the Royalty entrance and avoid the mob scene at the gates. Having written the book on how to get around the Stadium, I knew about this, but in fact I’d forgotten about it.
We reach the double secret entrance, and sure enough there is no line at all. The Ticket Scanner Guy scans Gary’s and Andy’s tickets and sends them through. Then he scans mine.
Beep-beep-beep! Invalid barcode.
He tries again. Beep-beep-beep! Nope.
Scanner Guy looks at the ticket, and then shows me that it’s for the September 22 game, the makeup game for the Friday game that was rained out. Someone behind me shouts, “Oh boy, one of those guys!”
Scanner Guy tells me to take it back to the box office. Gary, witnessing this from the good side of the gate, has a look of distressed shock on his face. I tell him not to worry, even though I expect I’m probably really screwed now.
Heading back to the box office, I’m asking for Divine Help now, because my company’s reputation could be on the line here. “God, I know there are bigger problems in the world, so it’s okay if I don’t make it inside. But any help from up there would really be appreciated!”
I arrive at the ticket agent’s window and explain. I deliberately am as nice as can be, knowing that this was just a mistake.
The ticket agent already knows, apologizes and gives me a refund. I somehow work up the nerve to ask if there is anything now. The ticket agent punches it up, and amazingly, finds another standing room ticket, this time on the lower level, for $60. I hand over my credit card.
And then, in a moment of chutzpah that I am not often known for, I change my mind, ask for my credit card back, and request that the agent keep checking for something under my rigid $40 price. The agent promises to keep trying and asks me to wait against the wall.
Twenty minutes pass. On the television in the office, the starting lineups are announced. I can hear the crowd at the announcement of Jeter’s name. The national anthem is played.
I stand and wait, along with several others, wondering if they are in my boat and I’ll end up in a bidding war that I would surely lose. Other agents–who had previously been shouting that $375 tickets were all they had–begin to pull down the shades on their windows. The game is now absolutely, unquestionably, really, really Sold Out.
My agent gets up and walks away. I am actually worried now that this doesn’t cause the agent heart trouble, because I understand it was just a mistake and I knew going in that this was a very long shot.
Five more minutes pass. The agent returns and motions for me to come to the window.
“OK. I’ve got a standing room, field level on the third base side. Looks like someone just turned this in on StubHub.” I prepare for the price and wonder what I am going to do.
And the agent says: “No charge.”
I can’t believe it. “Really?” I nearly shriek. “Yeah”, the agent says. “I screwed up, and you’ve been really patient about it, so no charge.” I thank the agent profusely, and stick my hand as far as I can underneath the tray so he can give me five on my fingers, which gets a smile.
Ballpark E-Guides doesn’t deal in intangibles. An E-Guide isn’t going to tell you how to suck up to your boss or befriend someone you ordinarily wouldn’t because he has season tickets. But this is something I should share. If a ticket operator or agent makes a mistake, by all means try to stay cool and be as understanding as you can.
Many New Yorkers might have loudly fumed obscenities at this agent, not because they are bad people but because they live in an expensive city filled with scam artists, and they often have to be on guard about being ripped off.
If you can manage to hold it together and not get upset, a person used to the opposite reaction may just go the extra mile for you. Or the extra ten miles.
I have done it again. Every single stupid, arrogant, unreasonable gamble has paid off. I head over to the nearest gate now, hearing that the game has begun. I scan the ticket at the turnstile.
Beep-beep-beep! Invalid barcode. I try again. Beep-beep-beep!
The usher tells me to try at the next gate over, but given recent experience I know this won’t work. The ticket’s been used or something and the barcode has been voided. If there was any doubt before, there can’t be any left that I’m done now.
I head back to the agent’s window and explain what happened. The agent laughs in disbelief, takes the ticket and walks away.
Five more minutes pass. The agent returns and says “The ticket is still valid, it should be good, all I can tell you is try again.”
I walk over to the same gate again, and try to scan the ticket.
Again, the usher tells me to try the next gate over. At this point, I have nothing to lose, and I move over one turnstile. Another usher looks at my ticket and says “this is standing room”. He scans the ticket with his handheld scanner. Beep!
I float into Yankee Stadium, and make it to a standing room spot just in time to see Derek Jeter crack a base hit into left field for hit number 2,999, and share in the moment with delirious Yankees fans.
I found Gary later and shared the whole story. He was, as he said in his blog post about the day, impressed.
After all of this, it turns out I would be handed one more piece of good luck: it turns out Derek Jeter hits Tampa Bay pitching pretty well. He not only clouted a mammoth shot for his 3,000th hit on the first pitch of the next at-bat, he went 5-for-5…scoring number 3,001, 3,002, and 3,003—which turned out to be the game winner. I thought he might hit 4,000 that day.
Well done, Captain.
I went to New York City on July 9 with a modest goal: to demonstrate the money-saving benefits of a Yankee Stadium E-Guide to potential customers and hopefully gather some pictures and helpful tips. I came back to South Jersey someone overwhelmed by an astonishing lesson in faith, patience, and perseverance. Everything imaginable seemed to go wrong—and somehow turned out right.
If you had told me the night before, the hour before, or even the minute before I walked through the gate that I would not only make it inside Yankee Stadium on that day of all days, but that I would do so for free, I would have pronounced you certifiable. I still would. I still can’t believe it.
In the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera comes running in to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”—another Hall of Famer, another great tradition—and shuts out the lights on the Tampa Bay Rays. Yankees win.
And Ol’ Blue Eyes’ voice booms through the PA singing “New York, New York”. As Sinatra sings, I suddenly realize that, for one day at least in New York City, I have Made It There.
Damn, I love baseball.