In Baseball, Who are the Bleacher Creatures?
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.
@cardsfan27 - You could say that but there have been several different types of fan bases like this that would congregate in one area throughout the history of baseball.
I can remember that the Royal Rooters of I believe the Brooklyn Dodgers congregated in one section of the box seats to cheer on their team and there were many other fan bases like that.
To be honest I am sure that every team with a storied history has some section in their stadium with fans such as this and I am wondering if anyone can think of some others whether they be historic, like the Royal Rooters, or modern, like the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium.
@TreeMan - I really think it all depends on one's preference and whether they want to get involved in the game or just sit and watch the game.
I would suggest that if someone only wanted to sit and watch a game that right field in Yankee Stadium is not a great place for them to do it from.
I really think that these types of fans distract other fans from the game and only seek to bring attention on themselves as opposed to rallying the troops in the stadium.
It is fine to be passionate, but there is a certain point when passion turns into a cry for attention. I have seen many different types of fans like this at other major league ball parks and feel like all these types of fans at Yankees games tend to congregate in right field.
I am not putting down the fans, they have every right to cheer whichever way they choose to, but I question their motives.
Another thing to consider is that the Yankees have had so much success in their storied history that I would imagine that fans could get complacent and dull with passion with the success, however, this is not the case for these demanding fans that expect nothing but a Championship.
Fans like this are good for the game, simply because all they are doing is yelling and cheering and not doing anything real threatening.
I happen to like the Roll Call as well as the intensity these fans bring to each game, which only adds to the atmosphere among the place baseball immortals have played.
I have to say that I have been to a Yankees game when the Red Sox were playing and I do not think that it is a good idea for someone to sit in the right field bleachers among the Bleacher Creatures when the Red Sox are playing.
I have been to see them play other teams and the fans are more or less OK, but they are incredibly passionate. When I went and saw the Red Sox play and sat in the bleachers I felt like a riot could start at any time and the fans were incredibly hostile.
I understand that this is probably the biggest rivalry in all of sports and that the fans will get passionate, but I would not suggest a casual fan attends one of these games in Yankee Stadium, simply because it is an experience one might regret.
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