NEW YORK -- Mark Attanasio was born and raised in the Bronx, and found it somewhat surreal Tuesday to be standing on the field at Yankee Stadium as the owner of the visiting team.
"It's nice that it's a first-place team," the Brewers' principal owner said.
Nice, but nonetheless a little bit strange. Attanasio, Milwaukee's principal owner since 2005, grew up in the Pelham Bay neighborhood and attended his first Yankees game on Opening Day 1966, a 2-1 loss to the Tigers. Attanasio pointed to the spot in the center-field bleachers where he sat and then caught himself -- he was standing in new
Yankee Stadium, not the one he visited as a boy.
Debbie Attanasio, Mark's wife, has even more vivid memories of attending Yankees games as a child. Her mother and grandmother grew up three blocks away at the corner of Cromwell Ave. and Jerome Ave.
"I went to a lot more games than Mark did," she said.
The Attanasios have already been through one Brewers-Yankees series, when New York visited Miller Park in Interleague Play in 2005, and Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker introduced the owner to then-Yankees manager Joe Torre. This time, Uecker introduced his boss to former Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson, one of Attanasio's boyhood heroes.
"Something like this, you kind of take it all in after the fact," Attanasio said. "When we made the playoffs [in 2008], it registered after the fact. If I could get a moment to focus, I could probably soak some of this in. It's hard to believe that our team is here and it's in first place."