Friday, January 26, 2007

Parking Lot 15

It’s the bottom of the fourth inning on a cold afternoon in parking lot 15 at the corner River Avenue and East 165th Street. A drive to left center splits the outfielders. Standup double. There is nothing but standup doubles on this field because, well, it’s not a field. It’s a parking lot that’s filled with BMWs and SUVs on game days, but it’s the only place for the kids to play today.

It’s freezing and kids are playing baseball in the Bronx.

In a parking lot.

Macombs Dam Park – the home of the new Yankee Stadium – is a construction site and the baseball field across from the current Yankee Stadium has fencing up so the neighborhood kids won’t trample the grass.

No matter how hard we try, we can’t kill baseball. Thanks to kids who turn a parking lot into a field and the pair that’s using the handball court for a batting cage. Baseball is alive in the Bronx.

Imagine what a little help could do.

"We intend to invest serious man hours and money to make this work," Yankees’ President Randy Levine says. "There is a tremendous opportunity to grow the game off the field, as well as on the field."

He is, of course, speaking of the potential partnership between the Yankees and the Chinese Baseball Association that would send coaches, scouts, player development and training personnel to China in an effort that could lead to a Yankees’ baseball academy there.

"Anything we can do to provide the necessary tools and resources in an effort to speed up that process, it would be a benefit to us and to everybody in our industry," General Manager Brian Cashman says. "It’s exciting. There’s talent all over the world. It’s finding ways to access it. The next wave is clearly coming from China."

And parking lot 15?

-Information from The Associated Press was used in this post.


nyyfaninlaaland said...

Wow! Got here from reference at Pete Abraham's LoHud blog - he's a fan. Not what I expected, but your writing brightened my So. Cal. night - this NJ emigre could really feel the NY midwinter chill again in your posts. Maybe a little florid for the typical yammerer over there - they're currently debating whether Bernie should be crucified or gassed for not going away and suggesting he might saddle us with his class, grace, and his appalling .280 BA and 12 HR piss poor production as our 4th or 5th OF that will barely play. Nope, we should just watch a very young and talented Melky Cabrera rot on the bench in preparation for his future.

Anyway, thanks for the dose of intelligence - it helps me to remain hopeful in this often crazy world where most listen to nothing but their own blithering drivel. It's the same from the local 7-11 right up to the White House.

Todd Drew said...

Thanks for the note. I’m just trying to do something a little different. I’m on the streets and around the Stadium everyday and I attend every game. It’s a narrow view from the point that I never leave the city, but it is a realistic view of what is like to live and be a fan around here.