Yankees keep eye on wind, homers
NEW YORK -- While monitoring the wind and home runs, the New York Yankees are selling off their old stadium in bits and pieces.
Chief operating officer Lonn Trost said more wind studies will be done at the $1.5 billion new Yankee Stadium, but the weather during the first two homestands might have been unusual. Forty-seven home runs hit, four shy of the record for the first 13 games at a major league ballpark. Thirty-two of the homers were hit to right field.
"There were wind studies performed before. There will be wind studies performed as we go forward, and we're just looking like you are to see whether or not it's the weather, the wind, what happens when the old building goes down," Trost said Tuesday.
He spoke after a news conference to announce memorabilia sales from the old Yankee Stadium. Seats are going for $1,500 a pair and $1,999 for specific pairs -- the Jeffrey Maier chair will be sold separately -- through Yankees-Steiner Collectibles, cheaper than the top single-game ticket price at the new ballpark.
The home-run total at the new stadium is vastly higher than the most in the first 13 games of a season at the old Yankee Stadium, 36 in 2007, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"Based upon wind analysis and wind studies, the winds we were having were the least likely winds to occur," Trost said. "We'll always look and we'll always analyze. And right now, I don't know if I can do anything about wind."
The team does know what it's going to do with what remains of the old ballpark.
A piece of the famous facade and the grass with the interlocking "NY" logo behind home plate cost $50,000 each. A 1-square-foot piece of sod goes for $120 and freeze-dried grass in $80. Some items will be auctioned online through July 24.
The Yankees paid New York City $11.5 million for the memorabilia from the ballpark, which was owned by the city. Trost criticized Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a frequent Yankees opponent who said the team underpaid.
"He continues to grandstand, that he has an agenda, that we don't know what it is," Trost said. "I certainly hope his constituency likes what he's doing, because they're paying for it."
Trost said demolition of the old ballpark, which is under management of the city, will start in July. The team is discussing what to send to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The seat Maier sat in before reaching over the right-field wall to give Derek Jeter a home run against Baltimore in the 1996 playoffs will be sold specially. The wall was cut out that Jeter jumped over during his famous 12th-inning catch against Boston on July 1, 2004, along with the seats he landed in likely will be auctioned.
"We kind of want to savor the wall," said Brandon Steiner, whose company is handling sales.
Current and former players have asked for their favorite memorabilia from the old ballpark. Mike Mussina said in September he wanted the huge flag pole. Moving the frieze won't be easy.
"It's not easy to remove and not light," Steiner said. "It won't be easy to take that far without a major vehicle."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press