Because of the competitive nature of professional sports, fans tend to become extremely wrapped up in their favorite team. The Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium have their own unique way of becoming wrapped up in the New York Yankees, and they have become something of a legend in professional sports. Occupying large sections of the right field bleachers, the Bleacher Creatures use chants, songs, cheers, and jeers to make their presence known both to their beloved Yankees and to the opposing team’s right fielder.
The Bleacher Creatures are known throughout the league as extremely aggressive fans. They are particularly rabid toward rivals the Boston Red Sox, as well as toward any team the Yankees have faced in a World Series. Teams that are less of a threat to the Yankees receive less aggressive chants and jeers, but the Bleacher Creatures are generally rowdy at every game – even going so far as to aim their jeers at Yankee fans in box seats. One major staple of the land of the Bleacher Creatures is the cow bell man. While the original cow bell man died in the mid nineties, a replacement took up the practice of banging the cowbell to initiate chants and cheers. Alcohol was banned from the bleachers as a more diverse crowd, including children, began buying the cheaper bleacher seat tickets.
One of the most prominent cheer of the Bleacher Creatures is the roll call. The fans in the right field bleachers begin chanting the name of a Yankees player until that player turns to acknowledge them in some way, usually with a wave. This practice began in the 1980’s and continued throughout subsequent decades. Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez was the first Yankee to acknowledge the Bleacher Creatures during roll call. The roll call follows a certain pattern, beginning with the outfielders and moving to the infielders. The roll call does not include the pitcher or catcher, and on occasion, the roll call will include tributes to former Yankees or recently deceased players.
The term "Bleacher Creature" was coined by writer Filip Bondy, who had set out to write a story about the rabid right field fans. Because he wrote from the perspective of those fans, he attributed the words in the book to these Bleacher Creatures; thus, the term was born. Later, Bondy wrote a book about his experiences in the right field bleachers.