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Archive for June 12th, 2011

During the second inning of Friday night’s game versus the Indians, five teenage boys filed into a row of empty seats high atop the Yankee Stadium grandstand. An inning later, the beer man came walking through the section. One of the teens casually raised his hand, and the eager vendor quickly approached. Upon seeing the youthful appearance of his potential customers, the beer man stopped dead in his tracks. “I need to see some ID,” he suspiciously asked.

A Yankee Stadium beer man pictured in 2009 (Photo: NY Times).

One of the five teens was wearing black dress pants and a green collared shirt. He must have been the one with a job. Because of his professional appearance, which contrasted against the t-shirts and shorts worn by his friends, perhaps one could be convinced he was of drinking age. So, when the vendor made his request, he was the first to step forward.

After being handed a driver’s license, the beer man looked it over carefully. The date of birth checked out, but the suspicion was not abated. He peered at the card again, looked up at the boy, and then back down at his hand. After a momentary pause and a shrug of the shoulder, the beer was finally handed over.

“I need two,” the emboldened teen stated, while offering up a $20 bill. “Who’s it for,” the vendor replied, “I need his ID too”.

Without missing a beat, another of the teens opened his wallet and shuffled the cards within. Prominently displayed in the clear plastic compartment was a New York State driver’s license, but the boy wasn’t looking for that one. Instead, he gingerly reached behind the card and pulled out another license, this one issued by the state of Michigan.

Once again, the vendor’s eyes darted back and forth between the card and its holder. Although common sense demanded otherwise, the picture matched and the date of birth checked out. The second beer was handed over. “Keep the change,” the teen told the vendor, a brimming sense of adult pride clearly evident in his voice.

It’s easier to get a beer at Yankee Stadium than a Jorge Posada figurine.

Friday was Jorge Posada Figurine Night. Just behind the turnstiles, a stack of boxes was piled high, and as each adult passed, a stadium employee handed one over. Lured by this scene of Christmas in June, two young boys around the age of 10 hurriedly approached the stack and eagerly held out their hands.

“You’re too young,” the employee told the boys as he extended his arm over their heads to hand a box to the father. As a look of disappointment came over their faces, the father laughed, thinking the man was having some fun at his children’s expense.

“No, seriously,” the employee said, “they’re only for adults 21 and over”.

“Really,” the father asked? “I am sorry,” the employee replied. “Oh well,” the dad said, turning back to his sons, “I guess you can share mine”.

If only the boys had remembered to bring their driver’s license.

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