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The Bleacher Creatures: Love Them or Hate Them


Let’s play a game called “Spot the Flying Beer Can.” I’ll go first… / Courtesy of The Guardian


There’s nothing quite like being in the stands of Yankee Stadium, with few places better to enjoy New York. Behind your bleacher seat, a man holds a sloshing beer in front of his veteran jersey, the pinstripes aged a light yellow. At the seventh-inning stretch, listen as he bellows a strange rendition of “God Bless America” tainted by foul breath and a chicken tender hanging from his mouth (is there a better chicken tender than at Yankee Stadium?). Notice that no opposing team’s fans sit around him; he’s jeered them all back to where they came from. 


We’re gonna need a bigger bucket. / Courtesy of Ball Nine


A common critique for Yankee fans is that they are “classless” or “tasteless” people, as Cleveland players named them after being pelted by garbage from the stands. It’s no shock that Yankee fans are the baseball world’s most hated fan base. But, the history of the most iconic group of Yankee fans is fascinating.

The stadium’s loudest and most reliable group sits in section 203 overlooking right field. In 1996, the New York Daily News coined the group the “Bleacher Creatures.” With their creative jeers and unrivaled energy, the Creatures give Yankee Stadium its authentic charm. In the same column where they earned their name, the Daily calls them “a core group of the most rabid, passionate fans”—a perfect summation of their energy. Though the section tends to take impulses too far, it embodies the stadium’s pride and intense loyalty to New York City.


The Godfather himself, Ali Ramirez. / Courtesy of The Citiview New York


The Creatures owe their existence to one Yankee fan from the 1980s: Ali Ramirez. Ramirez was a Puerto Rican immigrant and WWII veteran who lived in the Bronx—and he was a die-hard Yankee fan. In the old Yankee Stadium, Ramirez sat in the general admission section, the bleachers, where tickets were cheapest. There, he attended every home game and rang a cowbell to encourage enthusiasm. Ramirez’s energy attracted other fans to his section, and the Bleacher Creatures were born. Today, a plaque sits on the end of row 29 in section 203. It reads:

THIS SEAT IS TAKEN. In memory of Ali Ramirez, “The Original Bleacher Creature.”


Throughout the years, Yankee Stadium has always been a beacon of excitement and city pride. Section 203 takes that energy even further and creates a space for fans—who have never met—to cheer for their team and antagonize the enemy and its followers. Fun, right?

Well, we might not all agree that the Bleacher Creatures are fun, but they certainly are an interesting bunch. Next time you find yourself at Yankee Stadium, maybe you’ll give them a hand with their iconic roll call—or maybe you’ll give them a target to jeer at. Either way, they’ll have just as much fun with you.


 

Edited by Hadlea Lindstrom


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