Coach Dave Curran meets with Jasper men’s pitcher Gerry Markey to award him for outstanding pitching. AMY SURAK/COURTESY
By Jocelyn Visnov, Editor-in-Chief
100 years ago, two significant landmarks officially finished construction and opened up facilities in The Bronx; old Yankee Stadium and Manhattan College.
The connection between Manhattan College and Yankee Stadium has continued to thrive ever since both landmarks occupied the borough. The stadium’s proximity has allowed several guest speakers and coaches to visit Manhattan College to speak with students and work with baseball players.
While old Yankee Stadium has since been torn down, the new stadium was rebuilt just across from the original site in 2009.
Records of the new stadium indicate that alumni of the school of engineering such as Thomas Scarangello were involved in the structural planning and building of the new Yankee Stadium fans know and love today.
Amy Surak, Director of Archives had previously written about the college’s link to Yankee Stadium as part of a special collection.
“Opening day at Yankee stadium marked the first entry of major league baseball into the borough,” Surak wrote. “New York Governor Al Smith, whose son attended Manhattan College, threw out the first ball, and Babe Ruth, educated by Catholic Brothers, baptized the new stadium by hitting a home run. The Bronx connection to the national pastime took root and the long history remains a resilient thread between the two institutions. In the 1930s, for example, Manhattan’s baseball team maintained successful seasons under the guidance of Bert Daniels, erstwhile third baseman and outfielder of the New York Yankees.”
According to Surak’s research, Gerry Markey ‘58, a former member of Jaspers men’s baseball team, attended the Metropolitan Collegiate Baseball Conference in 1957 where he received an award for outstanding pitcher from Yankee pitchers Johnny Kucks and Tom Sturdivant.
In addition, famed pitcher Dizzy Dean, who was known at the time as “the voice of the Yankees” held a pitching clinic for the Jaspers in the Spring of 1950.
Senior sports fanatic at MC, Matthew Catania first visited Yankee Stadium with his grandfather when he was 13.
“The Yankees are the only professional sports team who actually played in the Bronx up until FC for soccer,” Catania said. “The Yankees are a real staple for the Bronx, and Manhattan College to come up with the seventh inning stretch, which is now used at Yankee Stadium and of course the MLB but yeah, it’s [Yankee Stadium] just a really historic landmark.”
Catania also noted that part of what makes Yankee Stadium so special is the history of talented baseball players who have played there.
Yankee Stadium has long been a place of fun and camaraderie for the Jasper community. With only one subway swipe and a ticket for entry, students and alumni alike can easily enjoy a baseball game and some time away from campus without ever leaving the borough.
Robert Colleti ‘91, Chair of MC’s Alumni Association, shared his memories of attending Yankees games as a student.
“During my time at Manhattan, I recall sitting in the very last row of the upper deck in the old stadium on opening day,” Coletti wrote. “It was cold and windy way up there, but it was a spectacular view of the whole field and I was there with five or six friends. I have also had the privilege of sitting in the first row behind the Yankee dugout in the new Yankee stadium with my family and having Gary Sanchez toss us a ball.”
Just this past fall, MC students and alumni gathered in Yankee Stadium to honor the college’s 100-year anniversary of the Bronx campus.
Fatima deCarvalho-Gianni ‘93 attended the game with her husband whom she met at MC.
“Taking the subway down to the old Yankee Stadium was incredible,” deCarvalho wrote. “Many students went, and we sat in the nosebleed section and loved every minute of it … Students would play drums and wear Yankee and Manhattan swag. We would also sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ since this was a tradition at our basketball games.”
deCarvalho also shared that she was able to enjoy the event with her daughter Emily Gianni, a current senior and second-generation Jasper.
“It was a wonderful experience seeing old friends, new friends and students I taught who now attend Manhattan College,” deCarvalho said. “Having a daughter who is also a senior at Manhattan College was a wonderful bonding experience as well.”