I rarely ever win anything. Yet, somehow, I was chosen as a winner for the #NYYPhotoDay contest that was held earlier in the month. Fans submitted pictures to the Yankees’ twitter account, which were then judged and picked for a chance to attend Photo Day at Yankee Stadium on June 10th.
For anybody who ever pondered attending Photo Day — and wondered how much interaction you’re able to have with the players — I thought I would document the day and whether it was worth it or not. Luckily, the weather was perfect and the Bombers demolished the Orioles after the festivities, so it was a great day for this Yankees fan.
I won’t be much help to people in terms of pricing since I won these tickets for free. To credit the Yankees, I thought my free tickets to the game after Photo Day would be in the upper deck somewhere, with which I was totally fine. Instead, they put my brother and I three rows behind the Legends seats halfway up the first base line. That gave us a great view of Aaron Judge in right field.
The Photo Day itself was a blast. I was a little worried when I saw the line for entry wrapped all the way around the Stadium at the bleacher entrance, but the crowd filled in nicely around the outfield warning track. I stood more than halfway back towards the end of the line and still had a front row spot when the players came out of the dugout to make their rounds.
Players are not allowed to give out autographs, but they all did a great job of shaking everybody’s hands, saying hello, and stopping for photos. Judge was obviously mobbed from the start. Give him credit, though. He stopped at every fan for as long as he could before security hurried him along before batting practice. I wasn’t able to stop him for a photo, but shook his hand and told him that he’s incredibly awesome. His hand completely swallowed mine. The dude is a monster.
Luckily, we were able to get plenty of good photos with some of our favorite Yankees. For the most part, everybody was super nice and gave all the fans the time of day. My terrible phone took some awful pictures while I waited for my brother to arrive, but here’s a low quality image of me and Didi Gregorius. He is as awesome in person as his victory tweets.
I hate my phone with a passion for failing me when CC Sabathia and Dellin Betances came by, but they still shook my hand and were friendly to everybody who stopped them for a picture. When my brother finally arrived with his superior phone, we started snapping furiously, beginning with my favorite character of the day: Gary Sanchez. He seemed genuinely excited to meet people and the experience made me love the guy even more.
Joe Girardi was also super friendly and talkative.
One of the nicest guys we met has been catching a lot of heat lately, but Chase Headley seems like a really likable guy. With Torres out, I’m rooting hard for Headley Lamarr.
Headley’s backup, big Toe!
Matt Holliday was really cool, too. I was trying to get my damn phone to work.
Obviously, the whole experience being free certainly helped my enjoyment of the day. But after experiencing first-hand what the day was like, I would have paid to do it. You may miss a couple guys (Brett Gardner slipped past me when I was talking to Betances), but it was an awesome day that gives you the time to say hello to your favorite players, shake their hand, and like them even more. If you have a chance to attend Photo Day next year, do it!