Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bronx Bombers and the 161st Bid

The Yankees and the 161st Street BID Dr. Cary Goodman, director of the 161st Street BID held a press conference by the reinstalled Jeter Meter, in the last week of May. The 161st BID has been working hard so that area stores can celebrate the Yankees and attract fans and sales. The Business Improvement District recently put back up their Jeter Meter that shows Yankee Team Captain Derek Jeter’s achievements, as he heads toward being possibly the number one hitter of all time. The 161st St BID posted it on a subway column by the Derek Jeter picture on River Avenue on the east side of Yankee Stadium. Goodman said that he helps resolve problems between the Yankees and 161st Street area merchants, like arranging the entrance path of fans so that they can walk by area businesses before Yankee games. As a shore community depends on summer beach visitors, the 161st Street merchants are dependent on booming business when Yankee fans come around.

The first time the Jeter Meter was up was in July 2011, when on July 11th, Jeter became the first Yankee in team history with 3,000 hits. The BID at that time gave out 3,000 pieces of cake to celebrate that Jeter was Number 28 in hits for all players in baseball history.

Goodman said that “the Jeter Meter helps connect the community and the team. Years ago, many players lived in the neighborhood. Now, they don't. The Jeter Meter allows the merchants, residents and fans to say hello, electronically to Derek.” The meter was also on display at the recent “Baseball and the Bronx” exhibition at the Bronx Museum. Now, Jeter is Number 14 with 3,145 hits as of this date. He needs 30 more hits to overtake the record of his boyhood idol Cal Ripken Jr., who also was a shortstop like Jeter. Since Jeter is having a great season, there’s no telling what records he will beat.

By the Mariano Rivera picture on Yankee Stadium is the Mariano meter. Unfortunately, relief pitcher Mariano suffered an injury early in May. The Mariano Meter records his achievement in last year breaking the all-time record of 603 saves. The 161st Street BID gave out free cake to celebrate back in August 2011 when Mariano achieved this. Now the meter runs a get well message in English, and in Spanish the message is “Que te mejores pronto Mariano.” The meter will also list the names of well-wishers.

The 161st Street BID had a Cap Week in April that it plans to make an annual event. There were discounts on merchandise and the BID financed the giving away of an official Yankee cap to every 50th customer. Stores participating included D&J Variety Store, Home Base, Pinstripe, S&A, Jeans Plus, Stadium Souvenirs and Stan’s Sportsworld. Outside on 161st Street, the Jeter Bugs were the highlight of the Cap Week event. Goodman said that the Jeter Bugs are pre-school students from the Highbridge Head Start. These adorable, 4-year-olds did a baseball dance to an old jazz song named, Jitterbug.

To find out more about the 161st St BID, please go to their website, http://161bid.org/.

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