You’ll start to see the signs around New York City when baseball season rolls along in early April. Fans sport their vintage Yankees and Mets gear, dads bring kids in tow, gloves in hand, hoping to catch their first ball and a sense of the promise that the baseball year brings.
You can celebrate baseball season, Gotham-style, by scoring tickets to a Yankees game or tickets to a Mets game, grabbing a stool at an iconic sports bar or checking out a recreational league that follows the original rules of the game.
Root, root, root for the home team
If you’re lucky enough to land tickets to the home opener or another early season game, be sure to do the day right. Come clad in your favorite Yankees or Mets gear, and get to the park hungry. The two stadiums offer some mouth-watering dining options, many from local all-star chefs. At Yankee Stadium, do not pass up the meatball parm sandwich from Parm, found in Section 104.
If you’re a Mets devotee, Citi Field’s got you covered, too. Momofuku serves a version of its famed eats, including the fried chicken sandwich and the salty-sweet Compost Cookie.
Stick around for a bit after the final inning, too, because each park often puts on a post-game fireworks show sure to light up a more than a few faces.
Go behind the scenes at the Stadiums
You don’t have to be available to attend Mets’ opening day (April 3) or the Yankees (April 10) to experience the teams. Both stadiums offer exclusive tours of the parks and treat visitors to a hands-on experience with some of the most notable artifacts in the game’s history.
At Yankee Stadium, you can slip on Mickey Mantle’s outfielder glove or practice your stance clutching Babe Ruth’s bat. At Citi Field, relive the Mets’ glory days of 1986 and take an exclusive peek at the players’ gear from that winning year.
Batter up at a baseball bar
Arguably possessing the same level of passion and excitement as can be found at the ballpark, Stan’s Sports Bar is a staple of the baseball scene in the Bronx. It’s one of the most famous watering holes for Yankees fans — you’ll hear them before you even enter. Those who love the game (and more specifically, love the Yankees) can make friends with anyone and everyone in the bar, and the bartenders have been holding their posts here for decades. Just be warned: don’t root for any other team.
Venture over to Brooklyn, and you’ll find another famed haunt for longtime baseball fans: Farrell’s. Back when the Dodgers hailed from Brooklyn, this bar was home for all who wanted to sit and rant about their home team with a 32-ounce Budweiser. It remains a major baseball bar, but Yankees and Mets fans are equally welcome to come in and watch the games on the expansive TV screens.
Watch a game, old school
New York is home to the Gotham Base Ball Club, a group of devoted fans and players who gather and play the game with its original rules from 1864 at the Parade Grounds at Governors Island. They warmly welcome anyone to join as spectators and learn more about how baseball has evolved over the past century and a half.
Did you know that back in the day many spectators put on their Sunday best to attend a game? And that games were considered celebrations akin to the Fourth of July? Umpires also act differently under the original rules: They warn the pitcher once the first ball is thrown (“warning to the pitcher!”), and warn the batter once the first strike is thrown (“warning to the striker!”).
As the weather warms up and New York City experiences a spring awakening, so do the lovers of America’s favorite pastime. It’s a great place to celebrate the season opening and enrich your understanding of the history of the game.
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