Endearing nickname given to the die-hard fans of the New York Yankees who occupy the right field bleacher seats. Despite the lack of alcohol since 2000, the Bleacher Creatures are the loudest and most rowdy bunch in Yankee Stadium during every home game.

As in any ballpark, the bleachers are the least expensive place to sit in Yankee Stadium. Fans who are willing to give up armrests, back support, shade, a view of the scoreboard and a decent view of the field can pay bottom dollar to see a game. Historically, the bleachers have been identified with lower class hooligans who get drunk, start fights, and taunt the outfielders while they await a fly ball. In May 2000, Yankee Stadium took the unexpected route and banned all alcoholic beverages from being sold in the bleachers; because fans can't bring beer into the stadium and the bleachers are isolated from the rest of the seating area (so fans can't sneak down to better seats) this meant that Bleacher Creatures had to get drunk before the game.

The Bleacher Creatures' claim to fame in recent years has undoubtedly been the roll call. During the top of the first inning, when the Yankees are in the field, the Bleacher Creatures chant the name of every fielder except the pitcher and catcher. Each player's name is shouted continuously and rhythmically until the player acknowledges the Bleacher Creatures with a wave or a tip of the cap. The cheers are so loud and noticeable, they can be heard clearly on radio and TV broadcasts. Both radio and TV commentators defer to the Bleacher Creatures during the roll call. The Fox network even puts up graphics to highlight each player as he is announced.

Of course, the Bleacher Creatures have a number of other tactics at their disposal, depending on their opponent and the current situation of the Yankees. For example, in April 2003, the Bleacher Creatures paid tribute to injured shortstop Derek Jeter by chanting his name as part of the roll call during the Yanks' home opener. When the Boston Red Sox are in town, cheers of "1918" -- the last year the Red Sox won the World Series -- fill the stadium. The Bleacher Creatures have also established rivalries with other seating areas: taunting chants of "We have beer!" from the box seats to the bleachers following the 2000 alcohol ban were met with responses of "Al-co-hol-ic!" from the Bleacher Creatures. Other chants include the simpler "Box seats suck!"

I've never been a Bleacher Creature, opting for the pricier but closer seats with their better view. Still, if you ever go to Yankee Stadium, keep your eyes and ears peeled.


Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2001-11-01-creatures.htm,
http://www.nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry053000.html,
http://www.heckledepot.com/chants.shtml

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