The tours of Yankee Stadium and Monument Park had been suspended after the regular season, but due to popular demand, tours of the House that Ruth Built started up again Wednesday. NY1's Michelle Yu recently tagged along for a tour and filed the following report.
The House that Ruth Built, and the Yanks and the city altered in 1973, will forever enshrine Yankees history. And one man that has an intimate knowledge of Yankee Stadium is Tony Morante. The Bronx native has been dubbed by the Bronx Bombers as the official Yankee Stadium tour guide.
Morante's father, Tony, Sr., was a pinstripes usher in the 1940s, and Morante has been involved with the Yankees since he was a teenager.
"When I appeared in the upper deck and I looked out at this beautiful field, this plush green with blue sky and clouds, the aromas from the hot dogs and beers just left a lasting impression on me," he said. "I don't remember who played that game, but I knew I was smitten at that point."
Morante has given more than 10,000 tours of the stadium to fans. From showing them the press box, to the historic Monument Park, to the field and the dugout, he says it never gets old.
Morante has been Yankee Stadium's official tour guide since 1979 and he says the most interesting part of his job is answering questions about the site to those come and visit from all around the world.
"I have an appreciation for the history and there are a lot of other people that have that same feeling and we connect pretty well," he said.
"I wanted to make sure that I came here before they moved to the new stadium," said one tour-goer from Florida. "My son, who is also a Yankees fan, came here to see the Cathedral, to see the House that Ruth Built."
"Been a fan since a little kid and they're closing this down and I have to see everything that it has to offer and the history is amazing," said another tour-goer.
There are a number of interesting facts to be learned on the tour, like what's hanging from the deck near third base – a camera dedicated to outfielder Hideki Matsui. The camera allows his fans back in Japan to see his every move.
International fans that visit are also in awe of the rich history of Monument Park.
"With the influx of Japanese players nowadays, it's grown tremendously and baseball has grown tremendously and has become so much more international, and that is what is precious to me about Monument Park," said Morante.
With the new stadium set to launch next year, Morante has already spent months studying the new facility, which already has its share of history and lore.