There are few sports that capture the atmosphere of New Yorkers better than Major League Baseball (MLB). Baseball fever takes hold of New York City in the spring when the new MLB season begins. Even if you have never watched baseball before on television or in person, you will find a trip to one of New York’s ballparks to be a hugely entertaining experience, even if you don’t know much about what’s happening on the field!
Fortunately, there are two behemoths on the MLB scene that you can sink your teeth into and are both based in the heart of New York City. Let’s take a look at what it’s like to watch baseball and support the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.
Discovering the New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are undoubtedly the most decorated MLB team in New York City. Since their establishment in 1901, they have a stunning 27 World Series titles under their belt. In fact, some people regard the Yankees as the most successful sports franchise in the whole of American sport. That’s because the Yankees have won more titles than any other franchise in America’s four major sports leagues—football, ice hockey, baseball and basketball.
Some 44 former Yankees stars have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which underlines the franchise’s superiority and stardom throughout the decades. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to recognize names like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, both of whom played for the Yankees with such ground-breaking distinction.
The Yankees have an ongoing rivalry with the Boston Red Sox, mainly because the Yankees and the Red Sox have been contenders for various World Series titles throughout the years. You might be wondering why the Yankees don’t consider the neighboring Mets as their biggest rivals, but you’ll find out shortly why they’re considered more like friendly cousins.
Where do the Yankees play?
Since 2009, the New York Yankees have played in a brand-new, purpose-built Yankee Stadium at a cost of $2.3 billion. It was built just one block north of the original Yankee Stadium, but its unique design has managed to incorporate many of the much-loved elements of watching Major League Baseball at the first Yankee Stadium. The roof of the stadium includes a carbon-copy of the copper frieze that trademarked the original stadium.
The new Yankee Stadium has a capacity of just over 50,000 and is sold-out most games. The design of the new stadium means that the views are pretty much unobstructed in all areas of the grounds, from the grandstand and upper level to the lower bowl.
If you’re considering buying a match ticket to a regular season MLB game at Yankee Stadium, the cheapest seats can be found at the grandstand level, with some costing as little as $12 per person. If you want to be at field level, be prepared to pay north of $150.
The best snacks and beverages at Yankees games
Food at baseball games is such a big deal. Fortunately, NYC’s teams don’t disappoint in this regard. The Yankee Stadium offers everything from deep-fried mozzarella sticks and zingy buffalo wild wings to mouth-watering baby back rib burgers and “Grand Slam” milkshakes.
Discovering the New York Mets
The New York Mets are by far the newest Major League Baseball team in NYC. Established in 1962, some 61 years after the Yankees, the Mets were one of baseball’s original “expansion teams”, designed to ride the wave of MLB’s popularity and expand its appeal. Life didn’t start so well in the MLB for the Mets; they registered the worst-ever regular season record of 40-120.
However, just seven years later, the city of New York rose to applaud the “Miracle Mets”, whose team stunned the baseball world to win the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. The victory is still considered to be one of the biggest upsets in World Series history to this day. The Mets bagged their second (and last) World Series title in 1986 against the Yankees’ rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The Mets even faced their cross-town neighbors, the Yankees, in a 2000 World Series final that was dubbed the “Subway Series”. The Yankees comfortably won the final, but their rivalry has always remained friendly throughout the years.
There has been precious little for Mets fans to shout about since the turn of the millennium. The Mets have had an average start to the 2019 MLB season, too, with the Phillies looking to be the most likely candidates to push for the National League title, along with the prestigious L.A. Dodgers.
Where do the Mets play?
Since 2009, the Mets have played their trade from Citi Field. It is comparatively smaller than Yankee Stadium, holding just under 42,000 spectators. Citi Field has also played host to some other sporting events, including soccer matches for the USA, including New York City FC in Major League Soccer (MLS).
Single-game tickets to watch the Mets generally start from $15, which are the tickets in the Promenade Outfield area, high in the sky. If you want a decent view of the action, look for tickets in the Metropolitan area, with “Platinum” tickets costing almost $300, but it depends on how much you want to get involved in the action!
The best snacks and beverages at Mets games
Stadium food at Citi Field is equally as delicious as the offerings at Yankee Stadium. There are some interesting new additions, as well as plenty of traditional snacks that have been enjoyed for generations. A true Queens favorite—the classic dumplings—are a big hit with Mets fans; they’re filled with pork, chives and scallions and topped with soy sauce. There’s also a monster “stuf’d” Reuben sandwich that melts in your mouth—providing you can get it in your mouth!
Sweet fiends will also enjoy the traditional crunchy, crispy churros, complete with Nutella, dulce de leche or traditional Boston cream dipping sauce. It’s quite simply the perfect sugar boost needed when the game goes deep into the seventh inning.
Simply put, very few experiences in New York resonate as much as a trip to the evening baseball game. The atmosphere under the floodlights is tremendous, and the fans are vocal (to say the least). Even if you have young ones in tow, there are plenty of areas that are family-friendly to get your first taste of Major League Baseball in NYC.