Bases Covered

The shimmering green grass, the fresh white lines, and a theme song as rousing as the national anthem: what’s not to love about the return of baseball? To get in the spirit, we spoke to Scarsdale resident Brandon Steiner, the owner of memorabilia company Steiner Sports Marketing, Inc. He first saw the Yankees in 1966 (on a day when Mantle hit home runs from both sides), and he goes to about 40 Bronx Bomber home games every year. Here, we give you his tips on how best to enjoy the 2011 season.

Where to sit at Yankee Stadium Steiner recommends the Legends Suite, 1,800 seats in 25 sections down by the baselines, for doing business or meeting successful people. But he notes that “the true spirit of the ball park” is under the right field bleachers. The best views on the cheap, he says, are in the Delta Club and some of the 100-level seats.

Where to sit at Citi Field The new home to the Mets also has a Delta Club, behind home plate, that Steiner says is “the best.”

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Where to sit to catch a foul “Always, the best place to sit is over one of the on-deck circles on the top level,” says Steiner, but notes that, if you can afford it, the first row, around the first and third base lines, also gets a lot of pop fouls.

How to get cheap tickets There are the usual seats in the upper decks, which Steiner says can be as low as $20, but he also recommends waiting it out on StubHub! or checking out sporting goods store Modell’s for its deal with the Yankees.

Whether to get tickets out of town Philly, Steiner notes, “is not that far, and the price of tickets is considerably less” there to see the Phillies than here for New York teams. The difference can be big enough that, even with gas or train fare, the trek might be cheaper than a hop to Flushing. Boston’s a bit more of an effort (and a wallet-buster), but we agree with Steiner that “there’s nothing like going to Fenway, and that in itself is a treat.”

How to know about promotional days beforehand “”

How to get an autograph “It’s getting a little tougher now,” says Steiner, but…get there early (during batting practice, often), and be ready with memorabilia and markers that will write. Wear the opposing team’s gear if you want an autograph from one of its players. Bringing up where players went to high school or college “hits home,” and “if you have a cute kid, that helps.”

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Where’s the best park food? Yankee Stadium, says Steiner, “no question. From the sliders to the special steak sandwiches.”

Where should Yankees/Mets fans go to be with other fans? Steiner points out that a lot of Yankee fans gather at Mo’s New York Grill in New Rochelle, which is owned by Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera, while he says that lots of under-21ers of both stripes go to Steiner’s own ice cream sports shops, Last Licks Ice Cream in Scarsdale, Rye, and Armonk. He feels that Armonk and Scarsdale are Mets strongholds, but notes that there haven’t been a lot of devoted hangouts lately because there hasn’t been “a lot to cheer about.”

What about hanging with other Red Sox fans and similar traitors? A group called the BLOHARDS (Benevolent and Loyal Order of Honorable Ancient Red Sox Die Hard Sufferers of New York) does local luncheons for “ultimate Red Sox fans” before series with the Yankees. They also host viewing parties and organize buses to the home opener in Boston, presumably to hide their shame among their own kind.

What players are poised for a breakout season? Steiner thinks pitcher Phil Hughes is going to step up for the Yankees. He also points out that it’s a contract year for veteran Mets shortstop José Reyes and centerfielder Carlos Beltran. “I know they want to get paid right. They’re not gonna leave anything on the table.”

Seeing great baseball in Westchester Steiner says that Thornwood, Mamaroneck, and Elmsford have all cranked out good little league players recently.

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