Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yankees will open new Yankee Stadium with Thursday festivities

The New York Yankees will officially open Yankee Stadium tomorrow when they take on the Cleveland Indians. Pregame coverage begins on YES Network at 11:30am, while MLB Network will pick it up at 12:30pm. Thanks to Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog for this press release from the Yankees detailing the day's festivities:
Ceremonies will begin at 12:10 p.m. with the West Point Marching Band performing John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” in a tribute to the original Yankee Stadium’s opener on April 18, 1923, when Sousa performed on field with the Seventh Regiment Band prior to the game. The West Point Band will also play the “Armed Forces Medley.”

More than 40 distinguished Yankees alumni, such as Whitey Ford, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Reggie Jackson and Willie Randolph, will be introduced on-field, followed by baseline introductions for both teams. (A complete list of attending alumni may be found at the end of this release). Yankees Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Colors will be presented by a joint FDNY and NYPD color guard. After a 75-foot-by-150-foot American flag is unfurled in the outfield by West Point Cadets, Kelly Clarkson, winner of the first season of American Idol and two Grammy Awards, will sing the national anthem. At the conclusion of the anthem, the 174th Fighter Wing, an Air Force unit based in Syracuse, N.Y., will fly over the Stadium in F-16C Flying Falcons. The unit executing the flyover returned to the United States last August after supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq.

The home plate and pitching rubber to be used in Thursday’s game is the same set that was used in the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. Following the game, the items will be dug up and placed in the Yankees Museum, located in Yankee Stadium near Gate 6.

All fans in attendance will receive an inaugural season commemorative pin.

For information on parking, please visit or call (866) 330-7275.

Alumni Attending Opening Day Ceremonies: Luis Arroyo, Jesse Barfield, Yogi Berra, Ron Blomberg, Bobby Brown, Horace Clarke, Jerry Coleman, David Cone, Chili Davis, Bucky Dent, Al Downing, Dave Eiland, Ed Figueroa, John Flaherty, Whitey Ford, Joe Girardi, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Ken Griffey, Sr., Ron Guidry, Charlie Hayes, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Don Larsen, Hector Lopez, Tino Martinez, Lee Mazzilli, Gene Michael, Jeff Nelson, Graig Nettles, Paul O’Neill, Joe Pepitone, Willie Randolph, Bobby Richardson, Mickey Rivers, Buck Showalter, Bill “Moose” Skowron, Luis Sojo, Mel Stottlemyre, Ralph Terry, Bob Turley, David Wells, Roy White, Bernie Williams, Dave Winfield.

Schedule of events:

10 a.m.: Gates open

12:10 p.m.: West Point Band performs in center field

12:30 p.m.: Introduction of Yankees alumni, introduction of home plate and mound from old Stadium

12:42 p.m.–12:53 p.m.: Baseline introductions

12:53 p.m.: Introduction of giant American flag, unfurled by West Point cadets.

12:53:30 p.m.: Flyover introduction, 174th Fighter Wing

12:54 p.m.: Presentation of colors by NYPD/FDNY Color Guard

12:54:30 p.m.: National Anthem by Kelly Clarkson

12:56 p.m.: National Anthem, F-16C flyover

1:01 p.m.: Ceremonial first pitch: Yogi Berra

1:04 p.m.: Umpires and managers to home plate

1:06 p.m.: Yankees take the field

1:08 p.m.: First pitch

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