By Jon Lane
Tonight, the new Yankee Stadium is scheduled for the first of two dry runs when the Yankees take on the Cubs in an exhibition game. Of course, it’s raining heavily here in New York and the forecast calls for it to continue all day into the evening.
Weather permitting (baseball fans hate those words), here’s a rundown of what’s on tap once fans enter the gates:
4:00 p.m. Gates open to ticket holders
4:20 – 5:20 p.m. Yankees Batting Practice
5:20 – 6:20 p.m. Cubs Batting Practice
6:55 p.m. Giant American Flag unfurled by 50 West Point Cadets
6:56 p.m. National Anthem performed by the West Point Band
7:01 p.m. Ceremonial first pitch
7:06 p.m. Yankees take the field
7:08 p.m. First pitch
It’s Chien-Ming Wang against former Yankee Ted Lilly. Once I arrive later this afternoon, the plan is to gather some feedback from Cubs players, fans and maybe check out the diverse menu items available for all tastes. My colleagues, Joe Auriemma and Chris Shearn, will be touring the new Monument Park.
The Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium is a unique dining experience combining rock music and Yankees baseball. While having breakfast at the bar on Thursday, I got a kick of reading Yankees news on a customized Yankees ticker while watching Eric Clapton perform “Layla.”
This release from the Yankees:
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot of Flight 1549 who successfully landed the impaired plane safely on New York’s Hudson River in January, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the start of the Yankees’ 1:05 p.m. exhibition game vs. the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, April 4. The Yankees will honor “Sully” (a Yankees fan since boyhood) as well as Flight 1549 co-pilot Jeff Skiles and flight-crew member Doreen Welsh in a pregame ceremony.
In addition, the Yankees will welcome Challenger, the renowned American Bald Eagle, who will fly across Yankee Stadium from the top of the Bleachers Café to the pitcher’s mound at the conclusion of the national anthem.