Fans who frequently attend Yankee games have become accustomed to a few things. One is seeing a great team that wins more often than not; two is overpriced beer/food/jerseys/etc.; and three is Roll Call by the Bleacher Creatures.
Well, the man who leads roll call, Bald Vinny, announced on his blog last night that he is stepping down from his role as lead Bleacher Creature and will not renew his season tickets.
This is a sad day for Yankee fans everywhere as Roll Call is one of the (many) highlights of seeing a Yankee game in person. From section 203 in the right field bleachers, the fans yell a player’s name until he turns and acknowledges them in some way. The outfielders usually have set actions they perform; Brett Gardner does a double flex motion, Granderson puts his hand over his chest and pretends to have a heart attack a la Fred Sanford in Sanford and Son, and Swish Dog turns around, stands on his heels and gives the Creatures a salute (the Swisher Salute).
The crowd eats this up.
The infielders are usually more nonchalant about it. Jeter will do a dismissive wave, A-Rod just brushes it off with a wave, Tex turns and waves, and Cano doesn’t get too into it either. The pitcher and catcher aren’t included (except for the one time AJ asked to be included).
For those of you who still have no idea what I’m talking about, video of roll call can be seen here.
Every year since 2001 (with the exception of 2005), Bald Vinny has been leading this sensational ritual with his booming voice that could sometimes be heard on TV broadcasts. Now that he has a family, he explained on his blog, he felt it necessary to step down due to the grind attending 81 games per season takes on a fan.
However, Bald Vinny is not just a guy who leads Roll Call. He is much more than that. He exemplifies what it means to be a diehard fan — taunting opposing outfielders, taunting fans of the opposing team, getting the home crowd riled up, and rarely, if ever, missing a game.
In addition, he also sells t-shirts on River Avenue across the street from where the old Yankee Stadium used to sit. For anyone who has stopped by his stand before or after a game and had the privilege of meeting him or has interacted with him on twitter (@baldvinny), you know he is a nice, genuine, funny guy who loves his team.
We will miss you and your devotion to the team, good sir.
The Bald Man said on his blog that Roll Call will still go on but another Creature will lead it, which is good news. But games will still never be the same. Thanks for all you’ve done for us as Yankee fans, good luck in your future endeavors.