Joe Girardi returns to Yankee Stadium later this month as the Phillies’ manager for an exhibition game against the team he helped win three World Series from 1996-99 as a player and managed from 2008-17, winning the World Series in 2009.
“I think it’ll be odd because I’m not used to going in the other dugout or the other locker room. But it would be good to get back. But it’s going be a little bit different. I have to make sure I don’t turn into the wrong door when I come down the stairs, and I think we do come in a different way as the visiting team, so that should help out. I won’t lead, I will follow make sure I go to the right place,’’ Girardi said Wednesday on a Zoom call from Philadelphia.
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Girardi and former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will be at Yankee Stadium on July 20, and after the Yankees play two regular-season games in Philly on July 27-28 the teams meet July 29-30 in The Bronx, which includes the Yankees’ home opener.
Asked what his best Opening Day memory at the Stadium was, Girardi included George Steinbrenner.
“It had to have been 2010, being able to give the [2009 World Series] ring to Mr. Steinbrenner, that has to be my fondest memory. There are a lot of fond memories because we won in ’96, ’98. … But there’s something that’s just truly special that I had an opportunity to give it to him before he passed on. It was special to me,’’ Girardi said of The Boss, who died in the middle of the 2010 season.