Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium

Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium

by Filip Bondy, David Cone
     
 
Baseball is a religion in New York, and the Bleacher Creatures in Section 39 are fundamentalists. From out here in Yankee Stadium, beyond the wall and the pale, games are viewed upside down and opposing right fielders are the targets of witty, withering taunts by the most knowledgeable fans in the game. It may be difficult to distinguish curveball from cut fastball at

Overview

Baseball is a religion in New York, and the Bleacher Creatures in Section 39 are fundamentalists. From out here in Yankee Stadium, beyond the wall and the pale, games are viewed upside down and opposing right fielders are the targets of witty, withering taunts by the most knowledgeable fans in the game. It may be difficult to distinguish curveball from cut fastball at a distance of 400 feet, but the Creatures are a very real part of the game-whether they are leading roll calls, tormenting box-seat fat cats, or inspiring rallies.

There is a whole different world outside the lines, teeming with life, whether the crowd is in the right-field stands or on River Avenue where Bald Vinny sells his bleachers T-shirts to the masses. As the Yankees jostle with the hated Red Sox and chase another pennant, their most rabid backers live and die with every ground ball, with every wild pitch. The story of their gritty lives undercuts a common stereotype. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't always easy being a Yankees fan. Even the $180 million Bombers have their bad days, their disappointing endings, to go with the 26 World Series championships.

Bleeding Pinstripes is a unique, anthropological view of this most dedicated tribe of rooters-their rituals, their personal tribulations, and their uncanny commitment to the Bronx ball club and to each other. You will meet an assortment of Bleacher Creatures, characters of a very different sort: Tina Lewis, the self-proclaimed "queen of the bleachers," a spirited cancer survivor, and the chief lobbyist for Section 39; Donald Simpson, a 9/11 victim and the bleachers' only known millionaire; Milton Ousland, the only bleachers fan authorized to bang the cowbell during Yankees games; Bald Vinny, the ultimate T-shirt entrepreneur and a good-natured hustler who has made a living off his passion; and Luis Castillo, the Yankees clubhouse attendant and the insider who started out as just another Creature in the bleachers.

"They'll never get rid of me," Tina says, "I bleed pinstripes."

This is the story of the bleeders, of how they get up in the morning and make their way to the ballpark each evening to be reborn, no matter how wrong the rest of their day has gone. It is the story of a baseball season, from a very different vantage point, from below the Utz Potato Chip sign in right field.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582617695
Publisher:
Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date:
03/28/2005
Pages:
223
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

Bondy is an award-winning sports columnist for the New York Daily News.

Cone has pitched for the Mets, Royals and the Yankees.

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