Videos by OutKick
Very few ballparks in the United States carry the same home-field advantage as Yankee Stadium. The Bleacher Creatures are loud, proud and obnoxious in the best way.
Baseball is better when fans are rowdy, and there is no better example than right field in the Bronx.
A prominent aspect of the home-field advantage stems from the Bleacher Creatures, who are known for their chants and heckles. The most distinguished tradition is the “roll call.”
The concept is simple and it takes place in the first inning.
Fans join together as one voice and call out each Yankees player’s name, as if they are taking attendance. They do not stop chanting a player’s name until he turns and acknowledges the chant.
Although the exact date of the first roll call is unclear, it’s believed to have begun in 1998. Regardless of when it first started, it has been a thing for at least two decades.
The whole thing began when a loud-voiced lumber salesman, nicknamed ‘Megaphone John,’ shouted the name of first baseman Tino Martinez. Martinez turned to the outfield and waved his glove.
Megaphone John then did the same for second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, who did the same. The entire tradition only evolved from there.
Guys who have retired talk about their time in New York and say that one of the best things they remember is coming up in the dugout to listen to the Bleacher Creatures do roll call every day. That’s crazy to us, because we’re just fans who want to have a good time.— Vinny Milano, who led the “roll call” from 1998 until 2015, via MLB.com
At the forefront of the entire roll call is one man, who commands the utmost respect. Video from Friday’s Yankees game against the Twins gives a closer look.
The man in charge quiets the entire section, announces his presence and begins to clap. When the man in front of him did not clap along, he tapped him on the shoulder and told him to get involved.
He runs the show and demands that everybody around him adhere to his orders!
It’s the shoulder tap for me. That’s next level!