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The Tuesday Discussion: “If you could travel back in time…”

This week Mike Saffer came up with the question:

If you could travel back in time and witness any single moment in Yankee history live at the stadium, which one would you choose?

Here are the writers’ responses:

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Cary Greene – Just yesterday I was actually thinking about what it would be like to travel back in time to take in some baseball games of the past. Imagine what the crowds and the people would be like? Imagine how cool the atmosphere would be? When I saw this question I lit up with interest.

I would love to have a chance to see Mickey Mantle in his prime. I would set the dial on Paul and Ethan’s SSTN Time Machine for May 22nd, 1963. The Yankees played the Kansas City Athletics that afternoon in a game that Mantle won in the 11th inning when he hit the longest home run ever hit in Yankee stadium. The ball hit the top of the 108 foot high façade in right field.

The fun of watching a closely played game in the early 1960’s would be worth the temporary nausea that the time machine causes each time you travel in it. Also on my journey that day, I’d buy thousands of baseball card packs, visit a candy store and have a root beer and a hot dog.

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James Vlietstra – July 4, 1939… Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day

The history, the dignitaries in attendance, including Murderers Row, the iconic speech, all to honor the Sport’s third most important player of all time.

Not much else to say.

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Tim Kabel – If I could travel back in time to any game at Yankee Stadium,I would pick May 22, 1963. On that date, Mickey Mantle hit a home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to win the game against the Kansas City Athletics. The game had been tied 7 to 7. What makes this game and that home run significant is that it was the closest anyone ever came to hitting a ball out of Yankee stadium. Mickey hit the fastball from pitcher Bill Fischer and it sailed upward, just clipping the façade a few inches before it would have exited the stadium. The ball was hit with such force that it ricocheted back to the infield. I have seen some hard hit home runs but to be able to see such a feat would have been truly magnificent.

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Tamar Chalker – It’d have to be a toss up between Don Larsen’s perfect game or Reggie Jackson hitting those three homers in the 1977 series. I honestly can’t pick between the two.

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Paul Semendinger – For this, I really don’t know…

I saw Reggie’s homers on TV as a nine-year-old. I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything.

I was at the Stadium when the Yankees won the 1996 World Series, and at the “Bernie Goes Boom!” game. I was at Hideki Irabu’s debut and El Duque’s.

I saw Paul McCartney play at Yankee Stadium.

And Ethan and I saw an amazing walk-off that I’m sure he’ll mention.

Can I say all of the home games during DiMaggio’s streak?

Can I pick a non-Yankees moment and see Muhammad Ali fight?

Or the greatest football game ever played?

Ok, I guess, if I had to pick, I’d chose the day the Stadium opened in 1923 to see the Babe christen the park with a homer.

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Ed Botti – I have been to a few memorable games at the Stadium, a couple notable ones would be Game 2 1995 Division Series when Mattingly hit one out, and Jim Leyritz ended it with a walk off in the 15th. It may have been the loudest crowd I have ever been a part of. I was also at the last game of the 1984 season when Mattingly and Winfield battled it out for the batting title. I don’t remember the date, but I was also at a game at the old stadium that ended with a Thurman Munson single to left field driving home Roy White to win it. I think it was Bat day!

I saw plenty of great 1996 to 2001 games including the division clincher against the Brewers in 1996, and many games during the mid to late 1980’s.

I would have loved to have seen the great 1950’s teams, the DiMaggio 1940’s teams, Ruth & Gehrig, and of course the 1927 Yankees.

But the one game I wish I was at would have to be October 14, 1976; Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS, the night Chris Chambliss sent the Yankees to the World Series for the first time in 12 years (and first time in my memory).

I watched that game on TV with my Father and can still remember what it felt like when the ball cleared the right field wall and fans poured onto the field in celebration.

Honorable mentions, game 6 1996 World Series, Dave Righetti’s no hitter on the 4th of July 1983, Cone and Wells perfects games and of course Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit game.

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Mike Saffer – If I could go back in time and attend one moment at Yankee Stadium it would be Guidry’s 18 strikeout game. As a left handed pitcher growing up I loved watching videos and replays of him. I also think that was the first time fans stood up with two strikes and two outs to cheer for the final strike. That would’ve been electric to be a part of.

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Ethan Semendinger – I’ve already had the pleasure of attending what I would assume would be many people’s dream games: a walk-off home run from your favorite baseball player. I’ve talked about this on many Tuesday Discussion’s over the years, but being in attendance (yes, even being in the last row of the upper deck is special) on July 20th, 2009 was the coolest thing ever. Hideki Matsui hit a walk-off home run to beat the Orioles 2-1 and I’ve never let those memories leave me. Like always, I also have to thank my grandparents for not having us leave the game early when a 10-year-old Ethan was imploring them that we HAD to stay in the low-scoring game.

However- and on the same vein- if I had to pick a different game to attend my answer also comes from 2009. It was the only World Series in my conscious lifetime/memory and in Game 6 Hideki Matsui collected 6 RBI’s en route to a Win, the Commissioners Trophy, and the World Series MVP. That would’ve been cool to be at too.

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Andy Singer – This is such a hard question. There are so many moments in Yankee history that I wish I could have seen live, that it’s nearly impossible to choose. However, fandom is about the moments that made you love the team, so I gravitate towards something I was alive to see.

If I could go back to any moment in time, I would want to be 14 all over again, sitting in my parents’ kitchen late on a school night, sitting next to my father with my fingers crossed, waiting to see what Aaron Boone could do against Wakefield’s knuckleball. The pure elation I felt watching Aaron Boone become a Yankee hero while simultaneously keeping “The Curse” alive, all while watching with my father, is a moment and a feeling I would love to re-live.

#DerekJeter #MickeyManle #ReggieJackson

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