April 28, 2010

WHO KNEW YOU COULD MAKE BASEBALL EVEN MORE AMERICAN?:

How Fans Can Do the Wave on the Way to the Ballgame (KEN BELSON, 4/28/10, NY Times)

In recent years, the Mets have urged fans to take the train to games to avoid the traffic jams and parking bottlenecks. Now, fans can avoid both and take a boat instead.

On game days, Delta Air Lines, a sponsor of the Mets and the Yankees, is giving away ferry rides from Wall Street to the World’s Fair Marina in Queens and the Harlem River in the Bronx. Fans going to either stadium can ride free of charge on New York Water Taxi boats that leave from Pier 11 at 5:40 p.m. for most night games.

Spots on the boats, which fit 147 passengers, are first come first served, although some tickets will be available on New York Water Taxi’s Web site. Beer, snacks and “Fly Ball” cocktails are available on board, and passengers can watch pregame coverage on large-screen televisions.


If only George Plimpton were still around, More Than Just A Token Effort: The author goes underground to see how a Subway Series would be (George Plimpton, 89/23/85, Sports Illustrated)
Last Thursday I checked out the New York subway system just in case the Mets and the Yankees meet in the World Series, and we wind up having the first Subway Series since the Dodgers played the Yankees in 1956 back when it cost only 15 cents to go to either ball park. I went to both games. I have never spent so many hours with baseball—from around noon on Thursday into early Friday, and much of that time was spent in subways.

I should start by saying I'm a bicycle man. I move nervously around New York City on a dingy three-speeder which has a wicker basket in front that contains a large U-shaped locking device to clamp the bicycle to a lamppost.

I take the subway rarely...for jury duty downtown, and to the Department of Motor Vehicles on occasion. I live so far over on the east side of Manhattan that it is a considerable walk to the nearest subway station on Lexington Avenue.

To prepare myself for this subway excursion, I telephoned Donna Evans of the Transit Authority, a very obliging source who started off by saying I was going to have a "good experience." First of all, the equipment to both stadiums was the best the Transit Authority could offer. The newly overhauled cars on the Flushing No. 7 line to Shea Stadium in Queens were built by the now-defunct St. Louis Car Company in 1963 for the World's Fair, but are considered the pride of the fleet.

"We call them the Silver Foxes," she said.

"They're silver-colored?"

"No, actually they're red," she said. "All overhauled cars in the system are painted a deep red. The tops of the roofs are silver."

"I see."

Ms. Evans went on to explain that the cars to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx were no less desirable, brand-new equipment purchased from Kawasaki—"the Japanese motorcycle people"—in 1982. "We have 32 full trains on the No. 4 line, which runs up to the Stadium. Graffiti-free. Air-conditioned. Stainless steel. Each car costs a million dollars."

I told Ms. Evans that I didn't mind what I was riding in as long as I wasn't being borne off unwittingly in the wrong direction to the outer reaches of the system. "I don't want to get off and look up and see the parachute jump at Coney Island."


Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2010 6:11 AM
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