And this is two years BEFORE Jimmy Wynn joined the Yankees!
On June 10, 1975, the New York Yankees, who were enduring their second season of shared tenancy with the Mets at Shea Stadium, while their beloved “House That Ruth Built” was being renovated — dig the Yankees’ “seating chart” below — presented a 21-gun pre-game salute in honor of Army Day, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the formation of the U.S. armed forces. The results, however, were more slapstick than stirring.
Though they were loaded with blanks, the army cannons — which were placed on the warning track, facing away from the diamond — still produced enough concussive power to knock down part of the centerfield fence, set another section of the fence ablaze, and knock out several car windows in the Shea parking lot. I’ve found the mention of this unintentionally amusing event in several sources, including Sparky Lyle’s immortal memoir The Bronx Zoo, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen any actual footage. As I wrote in BH&PG, “Anyone looking for a convenient metaphor for the Pentagon’s botched handling of the Vietnam War, or the chaos and danger of New York City circa 1975, wouldn’t have had to look much further.”