Porter cherishes memories of Yankee Stadium

Porter cherishes memories of Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK -- The Astros' first trip to Yankee Stadium in three years meant that most of the players on the roster were making their first trip to the ballpark. A chance to see Monument Park in center field was a must for the players and coaches pregame.

"It's unbelievable," outfielder Brandon Barnes said. "Playing the Yankees is one of those things that's unbelievable. It's a dream come true, and to be in a ballpark like this is unbelievable."

Rookie pitcher Paul Clemens called it an honor to be able to play at Yankee Stadium, which sits next door to the site of the original Yankee Stadium, where the Bronx Bombers played for decades. The Yankees' new park was designed to resemble their old ballpark.

"It's a great facility with great baseball history," Clemens said. "It's going to be a challenge. What more can I ask for?"

Astros manager Bo Porter grew up in nearby Newark, N.J., and had several friends and family members in attendance. He had some fond memories of the old Yankee Stadium from his days as a player with Oakland.

"We played the Yankees here in the postseason in 2000, and I got an RBI single off one of my childhood heroes, Dwight Gooden," Porter said. "That's one of the greatest memories I have here. This is always a special place from my standpoint because this is where my Little League coach used to take us to watch baseball games. I love coming here."

Porter planned on having his wife, aunt and grandmother at the game, but Monday's cold and wet conditions forced an audible.

"They decided they were going to the movies," Porter said. "It's too wet and rainy. My grandmother said, 'Baby, I'm too old to be sitting out in the rain.'"

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.