Yankees vs. Mets: A Musical Subway Series

Yankee StadiumLiving as I do in the borough of New York City known as The Bronx, I enjoy attending several NY Yankee baseball games per year. It’s a true NYC experience: the local fans, the nearby elevated subway track, and the apartment buildings which are visible from most seats.

I’ve always liked the music they play at Yankee stadium but had never analyzed their musical choices until I journeyed across town to Citifield, the NY Mets’ new ballpark, for the first time last year.

Citifield is truly spectacular! It’s architecture features wonderful ironwork, every seat has a good view, and the staff is warm and friendly. But halfway through the game, I realized that the music was leaving me cold. The ‘organ’ sounded like a synthesizer with added drum machine, and the majority of the songs played were middle-of-the-road rock songs, such as Journey and Foreigner. OK in itself, but not particularly “New York.” A friend explained that many Mets fans drive in from nearby Long Island, and the choice of music is probably geared toward that demographic.

Fair enough, but what makes the Yankees’ music seem more appropriate for a New York City ballpark?

Since that day I have made it a point to listen closely to the music at Yankees’ games and I’m always amazed at the sheer variety of musical genres. Each game features rap, contemporary R & B, pop, mainstream rock, Sinatra, and yes, traditional ballpark organ music. You can also hear a little jazz. I’ve even heard the John Coltrane tunes ‘Giant Steps’ and ‘Countdown!’

So which team has better music?

Well, of course the answer is “in the ear of the behearer.” But if the criteria is that the music reflect the culture of New York City as a whole, then the Yankees win this subway series hands down.

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