By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on April 14, 2010 10:30 AM
They’ve already been playing for few weeks, and the playoffs are months and months away, but Opening Day at home carries its own special significance, and the defending World Series champion New York Yankees carried it in decisive fashion with a 7-5 win over the Angels in their home stadium. George Steinbrenner was among those in attendance at the huge opening-day crowd--49, 293 people--the largest at any regular season game at the new ballpark. Derek Jeter and Nick Johnson hit home runs, Jorge Posada had three hits, and Mariano Rivera was the closer for Andy Pettitte. (The final game at Yankee Stadium last season also involved, you guessed it, Mariano Rivera closing for Andy Pettitte.) The Angels’ 2009 season ended at Yankee Stadium, when they lost the 2009 American League Championship series. The day was significant for another reason--World Series rings were handed out. Former Yankee Hideki Matsui, who was the series’ MVP, got a huge ovation. Matsui, ironically, now plays for the Angels. He signed with them in December. The first World Series ring was given to Gorge Steinbrenner. It’s made of white gold and has a blue stone under a diamond-embossed Yankee logo. Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra helped pass out the rings, along with Yankee manager Joe Girardi. A new World Series flag flew with 26 others atop the stadium. The Yankees play the Angels today and tomorrow as part of their three-game series. They play another three-game series against the Texas Rangers starting on Friday. Play ball!