Thrilled Young Ballplayers Play Where Old Yankee Stadium Once Stood
Just in time for a new baseball season but more than a year behind schedule, Heritage Field officially opened Saturday where the old Yankee Stadium stood, and a new generation of ballplayers are excited to take to the diamond where New York Yankees greats once roamed. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following reports.
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In the shadow of the new Yankee Stadium in Bronx's Macombs Dam Park, dozens of players from the International Little League took to the diamond Saturday at the long-awaited Heritage Field.
The field, which is on top on the footprint of the old Yankee Stadium, took five years to complete and was more than a year behind schedule.
"I feel very, like, excited because I get to see the Yankee Stadium and that inspires me because I want to get to play in Yankee Stadium some day," said ballplayer Jeffrey Rosario.
"It's nice this is the way the legends used to play. I really want to have a chance to play here," said ballplayer Chris Almanzar.
Blue stitching is sewn into the ground so players can always see the outline of the diamond made famous by Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.
Community groups and local schools teams used to play on fields where the new stadium now stands but had to relocate as it was built.
Some minor setbacks delayed the opening until last November when Heritage Field was complete.
On Saturday, the three fields were officially opened to the many teams who have permits to play here.
"Anybody who would've come in this neighborhood a couple of years ago and come here today, it's night and day. We've made such significant changes to the neighborhood," said Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte.
The field's closeness to the new stadium has some players hoping and wondering whether they will get to meet some of their favorite Yankee players. Their coach thinks that is a definite possibility.
"This is the future major league baseball players. And the present is close, it's like we're living together now," said coach Gabriel Barcacel.
Even if the young players do not get to meet their favorite players, it is not going to be hard to be inspired by them, with remnants of the old stadium all over the new fields and the new one just across the street.