Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my day at the ballpark

I spent most of Tuesday at a technology seminar at Yankee Stadium. One of my vendors secured invitations for myself and a colleague, so we went to the Bronx this morning to learn about data de-duplication, get a free meal, and a tour of the stadium.

When I arrived at 10:15 AM, there was no sign of anyone outside the stadium. For those of you who have been to Yankee Stadium before, the subway lets you out in a run-down looking neighborhood, and I felt a little conspicuous walking around a deserted building looking for the employees' entrance. I eventually found it and my friend, and we went up to the club level and the "Great Moments Room" for the seminar. We watched a PowerPoint presentation, learned about the company's technology, and got a bit of a sales pitch. Then they gave us lunch (hot dogs, potato salad, grilled chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, and dessert) and gave out one free gift (apparently a gift certificate for the Yankees' team store).

Finally, around 1:30 PM, they started the tour. Our tour guide Larry (who looked like he was right out of NY Central Casting) took us down to the field and showed us the home dugout. Everyone took photos of themselves sitting where Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada spend their summers, including me. (I may not be a Yankees fan, but when else will I have a chance to get that photo?) Then they showed us the clubhouse (no photos allowed!) where we learned that Thurman Munson's locker is still there, as is Cory Lidle's, but Munson's still has his name on it while Lidle's remains unmarked. Derek Jeter has two lockers, supposedly because he gets so much fan mail. And Alex Rodriguez and a few other free agents still have lockers, even though they won't be back with the team, because as long as they haven't signed elsewhere they're still technically Yankees. After the clubhouse we walked around the warning track to see the monuments in the outfield, and then we were done with the tour and on our way back to work. Hey, it was better than spending the day in the office.

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