The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the aroma of hot dogs and the bright sun glistening off the infield dirt.
In New York summer, when New York’s entertainment options are endless, those sensations are among the most popular. And while a first-time visit to the Mets’ Citi Field in Queens or Yankee Stadium in the Bronx provides an excitement not found in many other ballparks, a glimpse of a future Mets or Yankee superstar is also available with a trip to see the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees, the short-season, minor-league teams in the New York-Penn League. So, take your pick, and spend a day or night at your chosen field!
NEW YORK YANKEES
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle. Many of baseball’s all-time legends have worn the pinstripes for one of the world’s most iconic sports franchises.
In 2018, slugging Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sánchez and Giancarlo Stanton comprise the Bronx’s latest Bombers. At press time, the Yanks were off to a hot start and appeared ready to wage a season-long war for first place with their archrival, the Boston Red Sox.
A visit to Yankee Stadium is not just a game, but a venture into baseball history. Although the new stadium is just 10 years old, it has maintained the look and feel of the original edifice, including Monument Park, still located in center field, which houses the teams 27 World Series trophies and plaques. Monument Park also recognizes former Yankee greats and stays open until 45 minutes before game time. A game ticket provides access to the Yankees Museum, which details the team’s storied history. Tours of the stadium, not included in the game-ticket price, are offered throughout the season.
On July 21, 2018, a pregame “Hands on History” tour allows guests to hold famous artifacts in the museum. Memorabilia could include game-used items from the likes of Ruth, Mantle and Derek Jeter. The Yanks have 12 home games this month, including the always entertaining Subway Series with the Mets July 20-22.
NEW YORK METS
A World Series team as recently as 2015, the Mets have a new attitude under first-year manager Mickey Callaway. They also have two of the National League’s top pitchers in veterans Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, while Asdrúbal Cabrera and Yoenis Céspedes are proven, exciting big-league hitters.
Citi Field recognizes both the Mets and New York’s National League history with architecture paying tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ebbetts Field. Head to the top of the park and be entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Met dancing in the food court. “Family Sunday” begins two hours prior to every Sunday game on the Mets Plaza, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Activities include kids’ inflatables, face painters, balloon artists, entertainment and a postgame Mr. Met Dash, when children 12 and under can run the bases. Investigate six decades of franchise history in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum, filled with artifacts and images. Interactive touch-screen exhibits showcase video and audio highlights of the Amazins’ signature moments.
The Mets have 14 July 2018 home games, which include Jacob deGrom Bobblehead Day, Yoenis Céspedes Shin Guard Day, a single-admission doubleheader with the Phillies, Free Shirt Friday, Reversible Rally Cap Day and W.B. Mason Toy Truck Day.
The Cyclones’ MCU Park, on Surf Avenue in Coney Island , just two blocks from the beach, has been deemed “the most fun park in America” by FOX News. The location is perfect for a day of strolling the world-famous boardwalk, followed by an evening of watching a game.
The 14-game July 2018 home schedule is packed with fun-filled promotions. Fireworks take place July 1, 3, 4, 6, 14, 16 and 21, 2018. Kids can run the bases four times during the month, while everyone in attendance can do so on four other occasions. Family “Sunday Fundays” include a ticket, T-shirt and $5 food voucher for $20. Giveaways include Brooklyn Bridge socks, toy trucks, tie-dye baseballs on Grateful Dead Night and Black Panther bobbleheads on Marvel Super Hero Day. Other theme events include Italian Cultural Night, Vegan Night (with pregame yoga), Boy Scout Night, and an appearance by the “Great Hambino.”
STATEN ISLAND YANKEES
Situated next to the Staten Island Ferry, Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George on Staten Island provides a picturesque waterfront setting and offers a grand view of the Manhattan skyline. The stadium has been home to some of the top major leaguers in recent years. Former Staten Island Yankees now playing for the big club include Brett Gardner, Gary Sánchez and Greg Bird. Staten Island alums now on other teams feature Robinson Canó, Melky Cabrera and Ian Kennedy.
Family fun is a constant before, during and after the games. July’s Music Mondays feature local band Darkness on the Edge of Town’s 40th Anniversary show, the Wu-Tang 25th Anniversary and 808s & Heartbreak 10th Anniversary. Postgame fireworks explode July 4, 7, 14 and 21, 2018. Giveaway promotions include gavel mini-bats, pizza cutters, foam shields and beanies. Themes this month include Military Appreciation Night, Dirty Dancing Night, Camp Days, Martial Arts Night, Italian Heritage Night and Super Hero Day.