Yankees Let Fans Take Batting Practice at Stadium; Bring $1,500 and a Bat

New York Yankees fans can stand at home plate at Yankee Stadium and take batting practice swings just like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez -- for a price.

Bring your own bat, and leave your spikes at home.

On June 5, the Yankees and Steiner Sports Collectibles will hold their event that includes batting practice, tours of the stadium, a catered lunch and gifts -- all for a cost of $1,500 to $3,000 per batter.

“There is no experience like this,” Steiner Sports President Brandon Steiner said in a telephone interview. “People just melt when they get on the field.”

The Yankees-Steiner Home Run Classic event is scheduled for a Sunday when the Yankees are in California playing the Los Angeles Angels in the finale of a nine-game road trip, so no Yankee players will be at the stadium. This is the event’s third year and two previous participants -- out of several hundred -- have hit home runs over the outfield fence, Steiner said. There will be a limit of 110 participants this year.

Fans will have their picture displayed on the stadium scoreboard and then get two rounds of live-pitching batting practice lasting a total of about 5 minutes. Participants must be 18 or older and can bring one guest for free to watch their batting session from the stands. Additional guests cost $150 apiece, according to an e-mail sent to Yankees ticket holders.

Fans aren’t permitted to wear cleats, can’t run the bases and must use wooden bats they supply. Only still pictures are allowed, not video recordings.

Tour, Lunch

Following their batting practice session, fans will get a tour of the Yankees’ clubhouse and museum followed by a lunch catered by Lobel’s of New York, a premium butcher shop. A standard-package gift bag for each participant includes a photo collage from the day and a game-used baseball from this season.

Yankees memorabilia is available in other packages, with items including a ball signed by Jeter or a Yankee Stadium commemorative seat.

The $3,000 “Perfect Package” includes a signed photograph featuring the six Yankee pitchers and catchers who have been involved in perfect games -- Don Larsen, Yogi Berra, David Wells, Jorge Posada, David Cone and Joe Girardi. The Yankees and Steiner Sports have been partners since 2004 and began the batting practice event in 2009, the first year at the $1.1 billion stadium in the Bronx.

Steiner said his company will conduct similar events at Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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