An Historical Insight of the New York Yankees
and the Legacy of Old Yankee Stadium

by Michael Wagner


   

The long awaited New York Yankees history e-Book is finally here!

Featuring 620 pages, BABE'S PLACE: THE LIVES OF YANKEE STADIUM,  also showcases 91 general photos pertaining to the stadium and events, 133 color 1970's renovation photos, and 28 black and white renovation photos.

Photos and history of the building of Yankee Stadium in the 1920's are also covered. This book also includes photos and text of the Yankees in Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975.

Nearly all of the photos in BABE'S PLACE are in color. Author and historian, Michael Wagner, spent 10 years on this project, and has revealed many never-before-seen pictures and other information that any baseball fan will enjoy. 

Few books have ever been written in as much detail to cover the 1970's Yankee Stadium renovation and that have captured as much detail about New York Yankees baseball history. This book is groundbreaking in details, insights, and history.

Over 200 former baseball players, umpires, and baseball executives express their opinions of the renovation of Yankee Stadium. Come relive history today in BABE'S PLACE: THE LIVES OF YANKEE STADIUM.


Available in PDF E-Book Format

Download your copy today!

Purchase the E-Book Version





About the A
uthor

Michael Wagner has been a New York Yankees fan since he was a child, growing up in West Hempstead, New York. He was a historian for the US Air Force for 21 years and has worked on Babe's Place: The Lives of Yankee Stadium for many years compiling all of the photos and interviews he has taken over his lifetime. Michael can be reached by e-mail at babesplace03@yahoo.com or on Facebook under: Babe Ruth: Babe's Place: The Lives of Yankee Stadium. This book is a must read for any NY Yankees fan or baseball history enthusiast.


Praise for Babe's Place

Hey Michael: All I can say is: "WOW!" The book looks absolutely great -- and this from a life-long Red Sox fan. "Mack"  Got my copy already and this book is a good one! A ton of info on the Stadium, from the construction in the 1920's up to the renovation and re-opening in the seventies. Mike concentrated mostly on the renovation, which is an important part of the Stadium's history, and which, up until now, has been virtually ignored in book form. Mike gives us facts and figures from the twenties, a little team history, and a lot of info on the renovation. The reminiscing by the former players, umps,etc is not very enlightening because many of them have little to say about the renovation, but a few responses are very interesting. Mike takes us back to the late sixties and early seventies to the process and negotiations that led to the project. It's easy to see how it may not have happened because of costs and politics. We're taken to the last game at the Stadium in '73 as well as the ceremony on the field the following day. We hear from many people involved in the demolition and reconstruction.

There are some technical things explained, and a few contradictory statements from people. That's bound to happen when people strain their memories back forty years. But my favorite part of this book is the photos. Almost all of them are Mike's originals, taken from several vantage points over a period of a few years. It's great to be able to compare a certain part of the park, for example the RF stands, before, during and after the process. Remember, these are not professional shots, but Mike knew what he was after when he took these. Most of them are clear and show some nice detail. A few of my favorites--thousands of seats lined up for sale outside the Stadium, a section of the facade being removed from the roof, demos of Gate 4 and Gate 6, roofs of the ticket booths piles outside {interesting to read where some of those ended up}, the transporting of the baseball bat-smokestack to the site, and a color shot looking through the steel of the new scoreboard wall with several sections of the new frieze visible inside. There are a few pix of the Yanks playing at Shea {booo!} and a few of the RYS in '76. To me, it's the kind of book that you can open to any page and find something interesting. All in all a job well done. And don't be scared off by the price. If you're a YS buff or especially interested in the time period, it's worth it.


User: The Monument
Mount Sinai, Long Island, NY
From Baseball Fever

Dear Mr. Wagner,

I had a chance to read your book and it is excellent! I think this book is for any baseball fan in general, not just Yankees fans. What an incredible job you did. There is so much information in here and you obviously did your homework. This is a unique book and a great read. I would recommend this to anyone, especially with the holidays coming soon. Again, great job and great read. What a history lesson!
-----------------------------------------------------------
Brad's Ultimate New York Yankees Website

website - www.HistoryOfTheYankees.com
blog - http://historyoftheyankees.blogspot.com/
User: Historyoftheyankees
Center Moriches, New York
From Baseball Fever
Babe's Place: FOUR STARS!!!


Mike,

I just finished reading your book tonight, and I have to say it was a fantastic and very informative read!!!

It's amazing that this was your very first book project, because it read like it was written by a veteran pro!

I HIGHLY recommend this book to all baseball fans (especially Yankee fans). It is without a doubt, a "must read"!!

Again, congrats on your masterpiece..


User: DN4L
From Baseball Fever



Sample Photos and Content

 

  


 


Exerpt from Chapter 5

Chapter Five
1976 – ROUND TWO
Along with America’s 200th anniversary, the showplace for the Bronx Bombers was well on its way to its scheduled April 15 opening. To some it would be known as “The House That Lindsay Rebuilt,” to others “Yankee Stadium II.” By the end of February, the city had spent $46 million to refurbish the 873,163 gross square foot stadium.  It’s amazing that the original Yankee Stadium took only 284 days to complete, and cost $2,308,000 in 1922-1923.

Fixing up the surrounding area, including building two large parking garages, brought the renovation bill up to $54 million, $65 million, $101 million, or $160 million with debt service. It depended upon which newspaper you read.  According to Edwin H. Brunjes, the Director of Design, Department of Public Works for the City of New York, the true cost totaled $110 million.  The actual renovation of Yankee Stadium tallied $59 million. Purchasing the land from the Knights of Columbus, the Stadium from Rice University, and the rest of the environs accounted for the remaining $51 million price tag. [1]

Approximately 6,900 vehicles could now be parked for Yankee Stadium events. These spaces would generally be full when attendance reached 15,000. The ramp from the Major Deegan Expressway would be completed in the next year.  Over time, New York State relieved the city by paying for the cost of the project.

These expenditures were hard for many people to swallow, as the city had a $1.5 billion budget gap.  All the while, teachers, firemen, and policemen were among the groups of citizens losing jobs.  Many city services suffered cutbacks.  Even with the loss of 50,000 city workers through layoffs and attrition, Mayor Beame’s budget ran to about $12 billion. [2]

Walsh Construction Company, 711 Third Avenue, New York City, a division of the Guy F. Atkinson Company, served as Construction Manager for the renovation of Yankee Stadium. Walsh deserves much credit for the Stadium opening on time. As the official representative for the New York City Department of Public Works, it managed the key contractors in the renovation.  It acted as consultant to the Department during the final design phase of the job, for a $767,000 fee. [3]
Praeger, Kavanagh, and Waterbury used computer-generated drawings for this undertaking, years before other architectural firms began this practice.  Jacqueline Thompson worked on the sight lines, dugouts, locker rooms, restaurant, and toilets.  The computer was enormously helpful to the architects in setting up the geometry of the complex, “splayed U” configuration of the existing building.  The labor force created 140 viewing areas and ramps for wheelchair-bound fans.  These spectators would also find easily accessible drinking fountains and toilets.  Men would use bathrooms painted blue, and women’s rest rooms were painted red.

Exact reproductions of the louvers cost $1.5 million, as the originals couldn’t be saved.  Yankees architect Perry Green proudly said, “The Yankees’ main concern was that the ball park be modernized while retaining its historical aura.  That was my assignment.”  He also asserted, “It’s like the old Yankee Stadium.  It’s got character and charm.  Old Timers will feel as if they’re in the old Yankee Stadium.”

Green knew the importance of Yankee Stadium when he declared, “This is Yankee Stadium, in the middle of New York City.  We didn’t want one of those cookie-cutter stadiums, these perfectly round nothings they’ve been putting in every city.  Go into any one of them and you don’t know whether you’re in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Philadelphia, or Atlanta.  You have to call an operator to find out what town you’re in.”  He proudly exclaimed, “You always know where you are in Yankee Stadium. That the original odd-shaped contour of the stadium had been left undisturbed, it was like no other park and we wanted to keep it that way.” [4]

NAB-Tern Constructors, a Joint Venture of NAB Construction Corp., and Tern Construction Company, held the largest contract of all, worth $22,220,000. NAB was located at 11220 14th Avenue in College Point, New York, while Tern had been situated at 223 North 8th Street in Brooklyn, New York.  NAB-Tern functioned as the contractor for the General Construction work for the endeavor.  They were responsible for the major part of the venture, such as piling, concrete, masonry, waterproofing, carpentry, miscellaneous iron, sod, landscaping, and all finishing crafts.  Nearly 50,000 cubic yards of concrete went into the Stadium’s renovation.

NAB worked on most of the finish work, such as sheetrock.  Tern did most of the concrete and heavy work. Colonial Sand and Stone supplied several thousand cubic yards of concrete for this venture.  The company later went out of business.  The NAB-Tern partnership lasted a number of years after the renovation, but then dissolved.

Their iron workers fabricated aluminum railings, ramps, canopy roofs, and the copper- clad frame that held the scoreboard.  Although a six-month iron shop workers strike did occur at one point, NAB-Tern finished their tasks in time for the 1976 baseball season.  Throughout the renovation, workers usually showed up at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. to start their labors. [5]

A.J. Pegno Construction, College Point, New York, constructed the footbridge that would be located near the 138-foot-tall Babe Ruth baseball bat.  Edwin H. Brunjes designed this walkway, as well as the parking garage next to the Stadium. This concrete and plexiglas skywalk went over the railroad tracks and allowed patrons to walk from the parking garage to the Stadium.  This year-and-a-half project received the New York Concrete Industry Board Award for Aesthetics expression, as it was recognized as one of the best architectural concrete jobs in New York City at the time. Public funding supported the cost of the bridge. Pegno’s workers also renovated the River Avenue subway station, as well as the River Avenue elevated train line.

In fact, in 2006 and 2007, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducted a poll of people's favorite buildings in the United States. The survey commemorated AIA's 150th anniversary in 2007. The connection was more emotionally based than anything else.  Yankee Stadium ranked number 84. The Empire State Building came in as number one.  A total of 248 structures were rated by 2,448 AIA members. A second survey of 2,214 people in the general public then cast their ballots.  All voted on up to 20 buildings per person.  New York City led the group with 32 buildings on the list. Washington, D.C., came in second with 17 structures. [6]

The team’s fans would take escalators or ramps to their seating levels. NAB-Tern constructed the concrete escalator towers, which took patrons to the upper levels of the arena. These three structures, containing 21double-width Otis Elevator Company escalators, replaced the original  entrances, located at Gates 4 and 6 as well as the top five feet of Gate 2.  Escalators could travel between 90 and 120 feet per minute, and were reversible to handle large crowds. Otis spokesmen said the reason for the escalators being outside the Stadium was to handle large volumes of people without congestion. Yankee Stadium proper housed five elevators for staff, handicapped spectators, and deliveries. The contract with Otis cost $1,580,731.

The ramps that fans originally used to reach the various elevations of the ball park were “grandfathered” under the old building codes by the city, since their slope exceeded the modern building regulations.  These ramps could not be rebuilt due to space restrictions, so they continued to be used as they had been since the Stadium opened in 1923.

Karl Koch Erecting Company, Inc., located in Carteret, New Jersey, fabricated and erected most of the structural steel.  Their Local 40 union ironworkers also constructed all of the precast seating floors and their supporting structure.  Koch had a second contract awarded in September 1973.  Work began in December of that year and completed on time in March 1975.  The $6,669,500 contract was the second biggest awarded for the remodeling.


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