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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Mandela, a ‘Yankee,’ to Be Honored in Monument Park

During Nelson Mandela’s triumphant visit to New York in June 1990, shortly after he was released from a South African prison, one of his most memorable stops was a rally and concert at Yankee Stadium, where he donned a cap and jacket and proclaimed, “I am a Yankee.”

To commemorate that moment and the life of Mandela, the South African leader who died last week at age 95, the Yankees will place a plaque in Monument Park to be unveiled on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, when the Yankees play the Chicago Cubs.

Robinson, the three Popes who visited the stadium and the victims of the Sept. 11 attack are other non-Yankees to be honored at Monument Park, beyond the center field wall. Pope Paul VI in 1965, Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 led masses at the Stadium.

The idea to honor Mandela came from the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, whose president, Hector Figueroa, called the Yankees’ president, Randy Levine. The Yankees hierarchy — including the managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, the chief operating officer Lonn Trost, the senior vice president Deborah Tymon and Levine — decided on the plaque in Monument Park.

Thanks to Bobby G.

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:30 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4613794)
Perhaps a holographic Mandela can offer praise of Mariano as part of the ceremony.
   2. Esoteric Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4613800)
I put my cursor over the link to this article, hoping to find that it came from The Onion. Sadly, it was The New York Times.

Not like I don't have a ton of respect for Nelson Mandela and all, but this has got to be the stupidest damn thing I've ever heard of.
   3. robinred Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4613802)
From the article:

Robinson, the three Popes who visited the stadium and the victims of the Sept. 11 attack are other non-Yankees to be honored at Monument Park, beyond the center field wall. Pope Paul VI in 1965, Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 led masses at the Stadium.


   4. Esoteric Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4613804)
I actually didn't know that some non-Yankees were honored in Monument Park. I suppose that changes things a bit, but still...Nelson Mandela? I dunno, man. Seems like a heck of a reach.
   5. robinred Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4613806)
During Nelson Mandela’s triumphant visit to New York in June 1990, shortly after he was released from a South African prison, one of his most memorable stops was a rally and concert at Yankee Stadium, where he donned a cap and jacket and proclaimed, “I am a Yankee.”
   6. ursus arctos Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4613809)
Definitely a reach, though less of one than any of the three popes in my book.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4613812)
Pretty stupid.
   8. haven Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4613817)
i was surprised by this, but they have a plaque for pope benedict xvi so what the heck.....
   9. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4613828)
Kudos to the Yankees for keeping Mandela behind a wall forever.
   10. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4613840)
I came to post what Esoteric posted, so I have nothing to add except good lord is this stupid.
   11. Bob Tufts Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:53 PM (#4613844)
I assume that in response to this, the Mets will retire a number to honor Gandhi?
   12. theboyqueen Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4613849)
The number zero, presumably.
   13. winnipegwhip Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4613859)
The Red Sox are retiring the number of Bobby Sands in response.
   14. Publius Publicola Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4613864)
What about Jeffrey Maier and Challenger the eagle, as long as they're at it?
   15. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4613877)
Rip down Don Mattingly's fraudulent plaque of shame (0 rings) and replace it with Rudolph Giuliani's (4 rings).
   16. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4613879)
Seems a little soon to be besmirching the man's honor like this.
   17. Bob Tufts Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4613894)
Barnaby:

I greatly admire Mandela the man - I just am not on board with the Yankees co-branding efforts.

I do not see how an organization that was late to the party regarding integration can credibly honor someone that helped end apartheid, so I am besmirching the Yankees organization.
   18. Jacob Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4613897)
Typical Yankess honoring another lawbreaker.
   19. Esoteric Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4613898)
I greatly admire Mandela the man - I just am not on board with the Yankees co-branding efforts.
You're missing Barnaby's (pretty funny) joke.
   20. depletion Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4613899)
11 is cool. Oskar Schindler Day at Citi Field!
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4613900)
Definitely a reach, though less of one than any of the three popes in my book.


Yeah I agree and that's accounting for Mandela's awesomeness, because the dude was just an amazing human being.

Funnily though, I don't really see the Yankees as that battler done wrong fighting the good cause. I kind of see them as the oppresser of the little guy...

   22. AndrewJ Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4613901)
I dunno, I'm more offended that Steinbrenner's got the largest plaque in Monument Park.

Also upset that the monuments aren't in play in the new Stadium.
   23. TerpNats Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4613906)
At Nationals Park, there's a sign on the main concourse commemorating the Mass Pope Benedict held there in April 2008. What's the big deal over Mandela here, other than typical anti-Yankee snark?

I do not see how an organization that was late to the party regarding integration can credibly honor someone that helped end apartheid, so I am besmirching the Yankees organization.
I trust for your sake that you're not a Bosox fan, because their approach toward black players made the Yankees look somewhat progressive by comparison.
   24. TerpNats Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4613909)
During Nelson Mandela’s triumphant visit to New York in June 1990, shortly after he was released from a South African prison, one of his most memorable stops was a rally and concert at Yankee Stadium, where he donned a cap and jacket and proclaimed, “I am a Yankee.”
I'm presuming nobody showed him the MLB standings that day. (I suppose I just contradicted #23, but anyone who remembers the 1990 Yankees knows that comment is too accurate to be labeled mere snark.)
   25. Bob Tufts Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4613913)
Terp:

I grew up in the Boston area surrounded by reminders of the Red Sox racial issues and heard players discuss ongoing issues during my playing days. My Red Sox fan days disappeared when I had to root for the laundry that I wore.

I didn't like the overuse of "Boston Strong" and I don't like the Yankees' "use" of Mandela - or any political and religious figures by sports teams - and the use of sports teams by politicians.

   26. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4613944)
Pretty stupid.


It's a marketing gimmick. Not sure why people don't understand that.
   27. Shock Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4613946)
It's a marketing gimmick. Not sure why people don't understand that.


Yes, it's not like you ever complained about the Mariano marketing gimmicks.

(good lord.)
   28. Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4613948)
There can not be too many statutes nor too many plaques to honor Nelson Mandela.


   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4613949)
Yes, it's not like you ever complained about the Mariano marketing gimmicks.

(good lord.)


Somehow I don't think Mandela consented to this.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:31 AM (#4613951)
It's a marketing gimmick. Not sure why people don't understand that.


A pretty stupid marketing gimmick.
   31. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 09, 2013 at 08:26 AM (#4613993)
Nelson Mandela: “I am a Yankee.”

Nobody's perfect.
   32. TRBMB Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4614001)
His plaque will be placed somewhere in the garage that is now Monument Park.
   33. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4614002)
Eh, I guess I don't see much wrong with Yankee Stadium including commemorations of people who are commemorable and who held commemorable events there (well, "there" ignoring the change of stadium).

As for it being a "marketing gimmick", I kind of doubt it will sell a ticket. I strongly doubt it will sell very many at all. Maybe a few extra at the dedication ceremony? I'm pretty sure the Yankees don't think otherwise.

And as for the objection that Mandela probably did not "consent", what a bizarre objection. He was, is, and will be honored in many ways that he did not "consent" to. Our world is replete with things honoring people who did not consent to being honored by them.
   34. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4614003)
Might as well put up monuments to Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot while they are at it.
   35. TerpNats Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4614004)
I didn't like the overuse of "Boston Strong"
I saw this in Virginia in 2007 in reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings -- the "we are all Hokies," days where employees were asked to wear maroon and orange, the incessant use of the Tech athletic logo (not the university's more appropriate academic logo, which went almost completely unseen during all this). It was, in effect, a huge pep rally in the wake of a horrific incident. If something similar happened in College Park, God forbid, I don't want to see Testudo (the terrapin mascot) employed as part of the healing process; it would trivialize tragedy.
   36. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4614008)
And Bob Tufts, you personally are very much more complicit in contributing to the well-being of an institution that had for many years fought against racial equality than anyone else here.

I'm not saying you're very complicit in furthering the goals of racists. I'm just saying your argument seems overwrought and silly. I mean, seriously? The Yankees shouldn't honor Mandela because sixty years ago they hadn't integrated? I guess they shouldn't have honored Robinson either, or Howard for that matter. And you certainly should not have taken a job with Major League Baseball.

Plus, even ignoring that your argument seems overwrought and silly, it's contrary to Mandela's overall message of forgiveness.
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4614034)
I wonder what Ted Cruz's Facebook followers think of this.
   38. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 09, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4614046)
Seems like a nice gesture.
   39. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4614059)
I am confused (in a bad way) by #36.

Bob can speak for himself, but wow I think you are going way overboard. It sounds to me like Bob in general does not appreciate the casual cross-contamination of the sports world and real world. And specifically he doesn't like the Yankees and finds what they are doing somewhat hypocritical.

Maybe it is because I agree in general with those sentiments (though the hypocrisy angle is IMO a bit weak and I don't care much about it) but I can see where he is coming from. Now personally I don't have a problem with the gesture the Yankees are making (though it does not impress me much), but your first paragraph seems way over the line to me.
   40. Adward Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4614061)
More evidence that small market teams can't keep their stars locked up.
   41. Jeltzandini Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4614067)
Seems completely fine, since the policy seems to be to commemorate world notables who actually did something at the stadium or its predecessors. It helps fans place their stadium in historical moments, which people like. Also a chance to talk to kids who ask "Who's that guy?"

(It would be stupid if it were Yogi, Mickey, Babe, and five random world leaders ownership felt like honoring.)
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4614081)
Seems like a nice gesture.


I know, isn't it infuriating?
   43. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4614087)
your first paragraph seems way over the line to me
Then read past the first paragraph. I'm not saying Bob's seriously contributed towards helping racists. I'm saying that his idea that an organization that sixty years ago had fought against racial equality should not honor a man who was prominent in the fight against racism is silly in a way similar to saying that Bob working for that same organization means he was fighting against racial equality.
   44. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4614092)
Then read past the first paragraph.


I read the whole thing. I think you went over the line. I don't think you need to go after Bob (using loaded words like complicit) to make your point. It was unneeded and prone to incite passion and anger to no real purpose. It hurt your argument.

I think Bob's hypocrisy angle was a stretch, but one without a personal attack. I think yours was a bigger stretch AND a personal attack, and thus over the line IMO.
   45. Bug Selig Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4614098)
I wonder what Ted Cruz's Facebook followers think of this.


Get a hobby, because that's not even worthy of idle musing.
   46. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4614102)
I'd bet money (albeit not very much) that we have people here who will be able to tell us from first-hand experience.
   47. Bug Selig Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4614114)
contrary to Mandela's overall message of forgiveness.


You mean like if much of what is done in the name of "Christianity" would have offended Christ?
   48. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4614136)
On the contrary, there was a real purpose, and if you still genuinely believe that it was a "personal attack" having read the remainder, then I don't really know what more to say, but I'll try: "The claim 'X' is silly in a way similar to the way that the claim 'Y' is silly" is not an endorsement of the claim 'Y'.

I could see how you could think that I was endorsing Y if you had only read my first paragraph. But since you claim you've read the whole thing, well, all I can say is that the first paragraph was a setup for the overall point, not the point in itself.

I mean, even the very first thing past the first paragraph was a direct rebuttal of the idea that I was seriously making the claim of the first paragraph.
   49. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4614137)
I just Googled G. W. Bush's first pitch at Yankee Stadium after 911 to see if he was wearing a Yankee hat at the time. He wasn't. Whatever you think of his politics, that pitch was sweet.
   50. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4614184)
I just Googled G. W. Bush's first pitch at Yankee Stadium after 911 to see if he was wearing a Yankee hat at the time. He wasn't. Whatever you think of his politics, that pitch was sweet.

He's a True Ranger
   51. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4614680)
The first 20,000 fans receive a free Winnie Mandela commemorative necklace.
   52. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4614699)
Bob can speak for himself, but wow I think you are going way overboard. It sounds to me like Bob in general does not appreciate the casual cross-contamination of the sports world and real world.

That makes two of us. You can add corporations and the military to his list of undeserving institutions glomming onto the good feelings sports are supposed to bring.

The New York Yankees have zero real relationship to Nelson Mandela -- and as Bob rightly noted, a several decade-long history of employment apartheid -- and it's embarrassing to see them try to gain some goodwill from glomming onto his good name.
   53. tfbg9 Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4614711)
The New York Yankees have zero real relationship to Nelson Mandela


Yes.

One more level of awkwardness to this whole thing to me: they're installing a plaque in their stadium for Mandela to commemorate when he appeared...at a different stadium, in 1990?


   54. bigglou115 Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4614719)
I saw this in Virginia in 2007 in reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings -- the "we are all Hokies," days where employees were asked to wear maroon and orange, the incessant use of the Tech athletic logo (not the university's more appropriate academic logo, which went almost completely unseen during all this). It was, in effect, a huge pep rally in the wake of a horrific incident. If something similar happened in College Park, God forbid, I don't want to see Testudo (the terrapin mascot) employed as part of the healing process; it would trivialize tragedy.


See, as much as I hate agreeing with someone with "Nats" in their name I have to agree with this, but I think its a little bit deeper. When the Marshall team died WVU and a few other area schools put patches on their helmets, that was appropriate. But somewhere between then and 9-11 its become a thing to... I don't want to say make every tragedy personal but at the least it sure feels like a contest to prove who was more emotionally affected. I remember people staying inside for days over 9-11, in Arkansas. I also knew the wife of one of the men who was on the Pennsylvania flight, and it was like she had to battle for the right to mourn for her husband with any specificity. Everywhere she went, it was about the "heartache we all feel" and nobody even paid lip service to the fact that she had a real, personal steak in the tragedy that nobody else could understand.

Should a national tragedy make you sad? Yes. Should you show honor to a man who deserves it? Yes. But these kind of things diminish those to whom these events played a real, tangible role in their daily lives when they aren't carried out with respect.
   55. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4614724)
I also knew the wife of one of the men who was on the Pennsylvania flight, and it was like she had to battle for the right to mourn for her husband with any specificity.


Makes me wonder if we know the same woman. A first cousin of mine who lives in the LR area (Maumelle, I believe) married the widow of one of the men who was on that flight. I met her about a decade ago at a family reunion not too far from Shreveport, possibly before they got married.
   56. dlf Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4614753)
Bob can speak for himself, but wow I think you are going way overboard. It sounds to me like Bob in general does not appreciate the casual cross-contamination of the sports world and real world.

That makes two of us.


Three.
   57. AndrewJ Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:38 PM (#4614764)
I saw this in Virginia in 2007 in reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings -- the "we are all Hokies," days where employees were asked to wear maroon and orange, the incessant use of the Tech athletic logo (not the university's more appropriate academic logo, which went almost completely unseen during all this). It was, in effect, a huge pep rally in the wake of a horrific incident. If something similar happened in College Park, God forbid, I don't want to see Testudo (the terrapin mascot) employed as part of the healing process; it would trivialize tragedy.

I was a student at Syracuse in 1988 when Pan Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie, killing 35 of my classmates. I'm glad our response didn't deteriorate into endless group-hug photo ops -- God knows the official memorial services were painful enough.
   58. bigglou115 Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4614768)
Makes me wonder if we know the same woman. A first cousin of mine who lives in the LR area (Maumelle, I believe) married the widow of one of the men who was on that flight. I met her about a decade ago at a family reunion not too far from Shreveport, possibly before they got married.


I'd bet cash money it is the same woman. Of course, central Arkansas is a relatively small community. I've said before that I'd bet cash money you've at least met my dad, as he used to work for the Times.
   59. dlf Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4614771)
I was a student at Syracuse in 1988 when Pan Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie, killing 35 of my classmates.


I was just down the road at Colgate where we had three classmates on that flight. I remember only one official memorial service afterwards. I really don't know how to handle others' grief. My own preference is much more private than these public displays, but I understand intellectually some catharsis from mass gatherings.
   60. salajander Posted: December 09, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4614782)
Also upset that the monuments aren't in play in the new Stadium.
The monuments haven't been in play since 1973.
   61. TerpNats Posted: December 09, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4614786)
I edited a New Jersey weekly in 2001, and for several weeks after 9/11 we ran obituaries on a dozen or so local residents who died at the World Trade Center or were aboard one of the ill-fated flights. I hadn't known any of them beforehand, but talking with survivors and friends of the victims added a dimension to the misery we collectively felt that autumn.
   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4614830)
The New York Yankees have zero real relationship to Nelson Mandela

Not true. A packed Yankee Stadium was the site of Mandela's largest audience when he toured the United States not long after his release from prison. Commemorating that seems similar to some of the other non-baseball events that are also noted at Yankee Stadium. Can't imagine why anyone would object, but this is BBTF. You guys must be really steamed by all the "George Washington Slept Here" plaques, too.
   63. villageidiom Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4614831)
Robinson, the three Popes who visited the stadium and the victims of the Sept. 11 attack are other non-Yankees to be honored at Monument Park
So if Pope Francis does.Mass in NYC, because of his focus on the poor and downtrodden, he'd probably do it at Citi Field.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4614835)

"I saw this in Virginia in 2007 in reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings -- the "we are all Hokies," "

I had to visit that campus less than 48 hours later, and the school loyalty was quite fervent among the locals, especially with so much national/international media around.

Post-tragedy, NY/NJ people tend to look for scapegoats - for better and for worse.

In places like Va Tech or Penn State, they don't - for better and for worse.



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