Baseball walked up the stairs in Section 3. He was 9 years old and worn a Derek Jeter jersey and a Yankees hat. Plastic tubes snaked up his back and over his shoulder and into his nose. His father followed with an oxygen tank.
The climb was slow and there were stops to turn and look into the heart of Yankee Stadium.
Two steps and a glance at the field where the boy has seen highlight clips of Mickey Mantle’s homers and Reggie Jackson’s and Yogi Berra’s, too. He has seen the footage of Jeter’s shot that helped beat Baltimore in 1996 and David Justice’s drive that finished Seattle in 2001.
Three steps and a turn to look at where Tino Martinez’s ninth-inning home run landed in game four of the 2001 World Series and then over to deep left where Scott Brosius’s blast landed the next night.
Two more steps and a long stare at the mound. Don Larsen threw a World Series perfect game from there and David Wells and David Cone tossed their perfectos from the same spot.
Another three steps and a look at the boy’s first baseball moment: A shot by Aaron Boone that sent the Yankees to the 2003 World Series.
Three more steps and the boy was at his seat and hoping for a win. He has learned that you don’t always get what you want.
But he’ll be back with renewed hope and his Jeter jersey and Yankees hat and tubes and oxygen tank because this is where baseball lives.