Dear Yankee Stadium

Dear Yankee Stadium,

Most MLB venues have their little between inning traditions beyond the baseball-wide 7th inning stretch. A classic at Yankee Stadium is the Great Subway Race, a fun idea that can be much more entertaining than it currently is.

The New York Yankees have a lot going on in between innings as corporations look to advertise and increase ADD in every game break possible. The jumbotron in center field is constantly broadcasting something. Be it best smile in the stadium, brought to you, the fan, by a toothpaste company, displaying an embarrassing or blatant ass kiss message on the Zales Fan Marquee, lucky rows winning Nathan’s hot dogs or Happy Birthday wishes by Party City, the downtime is filled the same way it is when you watch it live on television: with a whole world around you to ignore if you want to.

Somehow, a few of these annoyances are categorized as traditions and, therefore, not as obnoxious for sentimental reasons. There’s the grounds crew doing the YMCA, the ball under the cap game, match game, and the Great Subway Race.

The Great Subway Race shows graphics of the three subway lines that go to Yankee Stadium racing to the game.

In 1994, three fans actually raced from the ends of the 4, B, and D trains to Yankee Stadium. The real life race was organized by New York City Transit and Modell’s Sporting Goods to promote a new line of Metrocards commemorating the Yankees, of course. The 4 train had an unforeseen delay, and although it was the favored route, the B train was victorious.

If only the Great Subway Race incorporated some of the true attributes of the New York City public transit experience. The subway cars clatter in their video race, but that’s about it as far as any aspect of reality is concerned.

Here are some ways the Great Subway Race can be more realistic and interesting:

  • On days when the 4 train (usually making only express stops in Manhattan) runs local, it can’t win
  • On the weekends when the B train doesn’t operate, it can’t win
  • A slow down and inaudible announcement makes a train lose the lead
  • A train gains ground in the race by jumping over a subway rat
  • Trains can be delayed due to train traffic ahead
  • Trains can be delayed due to medical emergency
  • Trains can be delayed due to police activity, which can be shown as a rowdy, misbehaving Red Sox fan being kicked off the subway

These are suggestions that will captivate and enlighten the stadium’s attention, an initiative that earns those advertising dollars.


Rachel L. Arbeit


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