I was browsing through the New York section at Barnes and Noble when I noticed another book about Yankee Stadium. Since I was once a tour guide there, it immediately caught my attention. What is interesting about this book is that it’s not predominantly about the Yankees. It’s about the stadium and has a variety of area photographs that are rarely, if ever, seen.
The 128-page book is simply titled Yankee Stadium 1923-2008 and is a new release from Arcadia Publishing as part of their Images of America series. Written by Gary Hermalyn and Anthony C. Greene of the Bronx County Historical Society, the book contains about 170 images, many of which will bring back memories for Yankee fans and Bronx aficionados.
The authors managed to locate some strong photographs of the area prior to and during construction of the stadium. They also found images of the Harlem River waterfront and surrounding area. This would include the Bronx House of Detention, the Concourse Plaza Hotel, the Bronx County Courthouse, the Earl Theatre and even the Polo Grounds and McCombs Dam Bridge. History buffs will enjoy the shots of the Jerome Park Racetrack.
Although the book is about the stadium rather than the baseball team, there are numerous great photos of some of the outstanding men in pinstripes. The front cover carries a great photo of Yogi Berra and Allie Reynolds reading the paper, “Life in the Bronx.” Inside can be found a number of images of some all-time greats such as Babe Ruth as well as the early owners, Jacob Ruppert and Cap Huston. Miller Huggins, who managed the team from 1918 to 1929 and who was the first person honored in Monument Park, is shown a couple of times. There is a nice composite of the 1923 team who took home the Yankee’s first World Series pennant. Lou Gehrig, the Iron Horse, gets a full page as does Derek Jeter. Some other greats shown in this work are the unforgettable Casey Stengel, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Tony Lazzeri, Billy Martin, Elston Howard, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Hector Lopez and others.
That’s only a small part of the book, however, as sufficient space is reserved for the various other activities held at the stadium including nice shots of the football Giants. Who can forget the Max Schmeling – Joe Louis bout of 1936 or “Sugar Ray” Robinson’s TKO of Steve Belloise in 1949. There’s also a nice shot of Rocky Graziano and Ezzard Charles as well as one of Ali and Ken Norton from 1976.
No book can have every photo you’d love to see but this pictorial shouldn’t disappoint you. There’s enough meat in it to merit the $21.99 price tag. Yankee Stadium 1923-2008 can be found in book stores throughout the metropolitan area. I found it at the Barnes and Noble in Bay Plaza but know that it’s available wherever books are sold. Look it over.