“My dad and I, holding hands tightly, wend our way through the streets teaming with thousands of fans approaching the stadium. ‘Give me the best two tickets you got’ My Dad tells the grizzled, cigar-smoking ticket seller. Up the escalators and through tunnels, we climb higher and higher until we exit the last passageway, walk into the blinding sunlight, and then stop for a moment and stare: The wide expanse of dazzling green grass. the silky smooth brown infield dirt. The undisturbed chalk batter boxes crowding home plate. The usher takes us higher into the stands, then stops, flips down and brushes off our seats. We sit, listen, scan the crowd and the field, and wait for the game to begin.”
These were the words inscribed on a wall at Bosi Contemporary, an art gallery in New York City. The small story was written near the entrance of a gallery of photos called The Stadium, each taken by Jon Plasse, one of New York’s most popular fine arts photographers. I walked into the room and my eyes were immediately drawn to this blurb. To my left was my father who read it along with me. In that one moment something very special happened. My Dad and I, separated by generations of knowledge and skills were able to read this and share the same thought, “I know this feeling.” Jon Plasse put together a collection of photos capturing the original Yankee Stadium’s final years. While my Dad’s first visit to the historic building was years away from mine, we both knew that it was special. That stadium was like home. Plasse was able to capture these feelings inside a series of black and white pictures.
“That’s Jeter.” My Dad said pointing to a slightly blurred figure moving across a baseball diamond on one photo. “I know him by his stride.” It brought a smile to my face. I was thinking the same exact thing maybe half a second before he said it. I thought about how funny it was that he watched Jeter’s first game and will soon witness his last. I was only able to see a small fraction of the Yankee captain’s greatness compared to my Dad. We all know that famous stride of Derek Jeter.
We looked through each photo carefully, examining every detail. We pointed out the numbers that we could make out on the backs of some of the Yankee players and made valiant attempts to guess who they were. We rifled off as many as possible but we couldn’t tell you how many we got right. Plasse’s photos beamed a sort of emotion that I would never have expected. A picture of the gates around the rubble of Yankee Stadium was a sad sight and yet brought a sort of comfort to us knowing that we’ve both seen that. We knew that gate. We really didn’t like that gate. Pictures from the grand stand made my Dad shake his head as he imagined trying to see from that high up and I flashed back to a smaller me, taking in my first Yankee game up there with a pair of heavy binoculars that I just couldn’t seem to get to work.
While it took us a long time to reach the gallery from our home in the suburbs of New York State, the photos, a rather small collection, were definitely something special. Plasse was able to capture moments that weren’t historic or 100% memorable. but were still able to bring a smile to your face. Seeing the black seats in center field brought me back to the days before I fell in love with baseball when I couldn’t understand why it was forbidden to sit in those seats. It was a beautiful collection and each piece brought something new to our minds. I couldn’t have imagined something like that. But that’s baseball. It’s something like no other. It connects generations and generations and brings that kind of emotion. Plasse’s pictures showed wins and losses, champions and bench players. Baseball is a beautiful thing and these black and white photos represented just that. I left a note for Plasse on a notebook left on a desk for comments. It read:
“Jon, this was a terrific gallery. Eyes from all points of the stadium brought it back to life. We sure do miss that old place”
We sure do.
Plasse’s gallery is located in Bosi Contemporary at 48 Orchard Street, New York City. The Stadium will be open for visitors until April 19th of this year. Admission is free and it is worth paying a visit to. All photos in the collection will be available for purchase and all proceeds go to charity. It’s such a wonderful experience and is well worth the visit.
Looking to go to a game? Check out ParkWhiz for Yankee Stadium parking. They have several available lots that they partner with to offer you the best deals.