An Interview With Yankee Stadium and Travel Expert Gary Herman: Anniversary of Jeter’s 3000th Hit Game

Tuesday July.10, 2012

Gary Herman has seen almost 3900 Pro Baseball Games-and is a Season Ticket holder for both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Herman started his own travel group named “Royalty Tours USA” to help the average fan receive ‘the Royal Treatment’ on a budget.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Few of us ever get to see the amount of sports live at venues we would like to on a yearly basis.  Our guest today Gary Herman has seen nearly 3900 pro baseball games lifetime and has seen an average of 350 sporting events a season overall for the last 16 years.  That is quite mind boggling to try and fathom in your head.  So in this interview, you will start to understand how Gary methodically plans his events, how he is a long-time season ticket holder for both the New York Yankees and the Mets.  I assure you, there are not too many people that know much more than Gary when it comes to the city of New York’s sporting venues and sports travel across North America.  After the interview, feel free to visit Gary at his blog site.  He writes detailed articles about his weekly experiences at all of the sporting events and how he plans to attend them.  I had a chance to interview Gary a while back. 

I have known Gary for 3 years online and met him recently in New York.  While we haven’t always seen eye to eye on many things, I respect the mans ability to attend games and make it a passion of his.  We are both striving towards similar goals in bringing sports travel to the fore front of the social media.  The reason why MLB Baseball has the best fans in the world are because of people like Gary Herman.  So I am posting this interview 3 months after I originally was going to.  I want to let everyone know in the baseball realms that Gary and I were able to put our differences aside and combine our knowledge-as to help the general ballpark chasers out in succeeding towards their own goals.  I look forward to working on more projects in the future with Gary and Royalty Tours.  Between the both of us, there are some serious travel tips that an aspiring chaser can ascertain.   Just on a side note here:  Gary introduced me to a mutual friend of ours-who warned me of a traffic situation unfolding while I was in transit on Day 2 of my Guinness World Record Chase in Los Angeles.  Had I not received that tip, I would have missed a flight and travel dominoes would have ensued to epic proportions.  Thank you to Steve Fekete!!  and to Gary for introducing us!

MIcheal Casiano is seen here with Gary Herman. Casiano (Herman’s travel partner in crime,) has attended over 7000 Professional MLB and Minor League Baseball games and 12000 sporting contests All-Time. Herman has seen 56 MLB parks All-Time and will add his 57th in Miami this week. These gentlemen are recognized as  “The Pioneers of Ball Park Chasers.”

DB: “Welcome to the Experts Interview Series at the MLB Reports Gary, please state what makes you love the game of baseball, more importantly your life surrounding the New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium and sporting travel?”

GH: “I have lived my whole life in New York City. I travel around the country anytime I can to watch live sporting events. Since I live in the Northeast, I have a built-in advantage to see more than most people can in other parts of the country.

For example, here in the NYC area we have the luxury of having two baseball teams, two football teams, two basketball teams and three hockey teams on the major league level. We also have some minor league teams in the area too. In addition, within a 250 mile radius we have a countless number of other teams which makes it a lot easier to see numerous live sporting events. That takes into account, you have the time, money and desire to do so.

As for the Yankees, I’ve been very fortunate to have seen them play live many times in my life. I saw them play for the very first time live in person in July 1976. My father took me to see them play a game against the Chicago White Sox who were wearing their navy blue uniforms that included shorts at the time. That was right after the renovated “Old” Yankee Stadium reopened.

Since that time I’ve seen many memorable games at Yankee Stadium over the years in both stadiums old and new.

The past 16 years I have maintained a rigorous pace of seeing on average 350 live sporting events in the four major sports in this country. Before that I went to many places but not as many games due to my work schedule. I used to work in retail which meant I had to work many weekends. When I landed an office position in advertising my weekends became free every week. With that being said, I have seen many more live sporting events as a result.

As for the financing, I always do my best to minimize the cost of the games and places I go. Thanks to my friends who like to travel as well we’ve been able to split the expenses so we can make the impossible possible.

With modern technology such as the internet taking over our lives, things have gotten better for us. The internet is the greatest invention to date. You have to work at it to make it work wonders for you. I do my best to do just that. For someone like myself who prefers self-service, the internet is my best friend. I can do all the research I need on the web before I decide what will be a  sound decision for me to make.

As time goes on, I continue to find ways to off set the increasing costs to attend a live sporting event. With the help of others, teamwork definitely makes the dream work.”

DB:  “You were in attendance for Derek Jeter ‘s 3000th Hit game.  What was that like before the game?  What was the atmosphere when the Yankee Captain went yard for the big hit?

GH: “It was  July 9, 2011.  I was at the new Yankee Stadium for another historical baseball moment. That day I will remember forever because I got to witness Derek Jeter’s 3,000th major league hit.

The night before got rained out. That set the tone for a possible electric atmosphere that Saturday afternoon as Jeter needed just two more hits to join the elite 3,000 club.

Needless to say, people were paying a fortune to get a ticket to get into the building just in case he did indeed get the two hits he needed to make history.

I have a full season ticket for the Yankees so I had a ticket for the game without a hassle. Luckily I planned to be in town that weekend so if indeed it happened, I would be there.

After Derek Jeter got a hit in his first at bat, the crowd sensed that history was in the air. It was an incredible scene at the Stadium that afternoon. Derek came up for the second time and the building was ready to erupt knowing he was ready to go into the history books. Jeter worked the count to 3 balls and 2 strikes. Everybody in the stands were on their feet hoping that he would deliver the historic swing. Did he ever? He drove the ball into the first row of the bleachers in left center field for a home run. What a moment it was. Derek Jeter just joined the 3K club.”

Derek Jeter was only the 2nd person ever to a HR in his 3000th hit. Jeter has hit well over .300 in the last 365 days.  Jeter went 5-5 on that day.

DB:  “As a veteran of ballpark chasing in the Old and New Yankee Stadium, can you describe the difference between the two?”

GH: “At the old Stadium across the street, the atmosphere was different. The seating area was tighter and you were closer to the field. While you had a corporate crowd on the field level near the dugout, most of the people at the game were real baseball fans. At the new Stadium, the atmosphere isn’t quite the same. The seating area is more spread out. The seats by the dugout on the field level are only for the mega rich. The intimacy is lost in the shuffle.

In addition, you’re very restricted if and when you decide to wander around the different seating areas. Security guards are stationed everywhere so you can’t move around freely like you could in the old Stadium. One big advantage here is the freight size elevators that take you from the Great Hall on the first base side of the Stadium to the main and terrace levels in a matter of seconds which is the best part of the new Stadium.”

DB:  “Some of the seats are not being sold at New Yankee Stadium, is this because of the costs, or do people not like the new stadium as much?”

GH: “The Yankees continue to draw well but they don’t sell every game out because of their outrageous ticket prices. They sell all of the somewhat reasonably priced tickets out usually with no problem but the ones on the lower level between the bases are the last to go because of their high price tag.

For me, I’m lucky to have a seat in the upper level in the grandstand right behind home plate. I consider it a bargain when I compare it to the rest of the ballpark.”

DB:  “What is your favorite mode of transportation to and from the game?”

GH: “My favorite means of transportation is the subway. When I go there after work, it’s so convenient. Once in a while, I do drive there but parking is a hassle and so is the traffic in the area. Unfortunately some people have no other choice.”

DB:  “For someone experiencing Yankee Stadium for the first time, what tips and pointers might you suggest?”

GH: “I strongly suggest that you get there early. I believe the gates open three hours before the game. By doing so, you’ll have enough time to take in the whole stadium experience. You can visit Monument Park which is located in center field. They also have a museum you can visit in right field on the main level. You may want to arrive very early so you can have a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe and/or the NYY Steak restaurant.”

DB:  “Speaking of food, what is the food like at the ballpark?  What do you eat?”

GH: “They have upgraded the quality they serve to people. For example, they have a wide variety of specialty offerings which include Lobel’s Steak sandwiches, Brother Jimmy’s Barbecue, Johnny Rocket’s Burgers and Shakes as well as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and fries. My favorite food is the Lobel’s Steak sandwich. It’s pricey but it’s delicious.”

DB:  “What is your favorite game viewed all time for Yankee Stadium new or old?”

GH: “When it comes to my favorite all time game at the Stadium old or new, that’s a very difficult question to answer.  Since I’ve seen so many dramatic moments over the years, it’s impossible to choose just one.

My List of memorable games:

I saw Dwight Gooden pitch a no-hitter in May 1996 which was the first no-hitter I ever saw live in person.

In May 1998, I saw David Wells pitch a perfect game.

In July 1999, I saw David Cone pitch a perfect game.

In addition, I’ve been many game winning home runs and comebacks in regular season and postseason play.

Furthermore, I was there when Derek Jeter flew into the stands to make that amazing catch against the Red Sox.

Furthermore, I saw the 2008 All-Star Game and the last ever game played at the Old Stadium.

As for the new Stadium, I saw them play their first home game there. I saw them win the 2009 World Series there.  I saw Derek Jeter pass Lou Gehrig on the Yankee hit list when he got his 2,722nd career hit and I saw him  join the 3,000 hit club as well.

Derek Jeter became the 28th player to collect 3000 hits on July.9/2011. Currently, Jeter has 3199 hits and is in 13th place on the ALL-Time list. Jeter has 201 hits in the last year from July. 9th/2011 to July. 8th/2012.

DB:  Thank you to our Yankee Stadium Expert Gary Herman for participating in today’s interview.  To learn more about Gary and his travels, please click here or follow him anytime on twitter here: (@royaltytoursusa).  For those people who are starting their ballpark chasing or have done it for years, Gary has a wealth of wisdom and knows how to roll when it comes to seeing sporting events.  If Gary can’t answer a question at all, you can guaran-damn-tee he will know someone in his plethora of baseball friends that will have the answerThat list includes many top ballpark chasers.

All of the photo’s today were provided by Gary Herman.

                                                                                     

 ***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on July 10, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I was at Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit game as well, and I owe my presence in the ballpark that day partly to Gary, who cajoled the ticket agent to find something in my price range! Still indebted to Gary for that one. It was a great day.

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