NEW YORK -- Yogi Berra made his way to the front of the Stadium Club on Tuesday, donning an All-Star Game lapel pin on his blazer and tugging a DHL All-Star FanFest cap down around his crown, greeted on the stage with a sly grin from Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
If you were promoting a Yankee Stadium All-Star Game and the celebratory atmosphere that is sure to envelop New York City this July, could there be two better spokesmen to help out?
Berra and Jeter have been named the official spokesmen for the 2008 DHL All-Star FanFest, which will be held July 11-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York and is Major League Baseball's major fan event for the All-Star Game festivities.
"It's going to be good," Berra said. "I wish I was playing in it. The players should be proud to play in the last [All-Star] game at Yankee Stadium. It's a terrific place."
As spokesmen, Berra and Jeter will help generate awareness and excitement about the interactive baseball theme park and the largest baseball fan event in the world. DHL All-Star FanFest is making its first visit to New York City and officially launches the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Week.
"Anytime you do something with Yogi, it's fun," Jeter said. "It brings attention and it brings some excitement to the FanFest here. Not everyone has the opportunity to come to the games, but you still have an opportunity to participate in some of the events.
"That's the biggest event that Major League Baseball has. I'm looking forward to it for the people of New York and I think people in other cities are looking forward to it as well."
The DHL All-Star FanFest will feature more than 40 interactive exhibits and attractions, Major League clinics and seminars, free autograph sessions with Yankees legends and Hall of Famers, memorabilia and much more.
Fans will be able to create their own personalized baseball cards, step up and test their pitching and batting skills against life-size video images of their favorite players, examine an exhibit on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., and take a look at the world's largest baseball -- 12' in diameter and signed by greats like Ted Williams and Hank Aaron.
Then, of course, there's the Stadium looming just a few miles away -- opened in 1923 and completing its 85th year of service, with a magnificent new $1.3 billion facility rising just across the street and looking more and more ready for a first pitch every day.
"It's a great feeling. I hate to see it go," Berra said. "But the new stadium is going to be beautiful. Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we do it?"
Berra, a 15-time All-Star during his playing career, holds fond memories of the pre-renovation Yankee Stadium, where he played before the building was remodeled during the 1974 and 1975 seasons.
"I remember the old one better than this one," Berra said. "The home runs I hit in the old stadium, they had to go a long way. This is a good stadium. It's too bad we have to tear it down and build a new one, but I think it's great they have a new one."
Tickets for DHL All-Star FanFest are in high demand, with 2008 sales pacing 70 percent ahead of those of last year's event in San Francisco. Tickets can be purchased via Yankees.com, AllStarGame.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-1212. Tickets for DHL All-Star FanFest are sold on a timed-entry basis, providing fans the ability to reserve the day and time of their choice.
All DHL All-Star FanFest attractions are free with the price of admission. The only additional event costs are for concessions and memorabilia. Ticket prices are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors, military personnel and children ages 3-12. Children two and under are admitted free.
Major League Baseball is also offering several discount options, including discounts of $5 off each ticket purchased as part of a DHL All-Star FanFest Family Pack. These packs are sold in ticket denominations of four, five, six and seven.
Berra, who won three American League Most Valuable Player awards, began his career with the New York Yankees in 1946 and was selected to play in 15 All-Star Games. He played on 14 AL pennant winners and won 10 World Series championships as a player, more than anyone in Major League history. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Jeter is the only player to win both the All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same season (2000). He was named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996 and played on four World Series Championship teams. The three-time AL Gold Glove winner was named the 11th team captain in Yankee history on June 3, 2003.
Jeter said that he believes it is too premature to think about being on the American League's roster for the All-Star Game, but he certainly would treasure a selection -- arguably more than any of his previous times representing the Junior Circuit.
"It's always fun, and I think this one will be even more special because it's in Yankee Stadium," Jeter said. "It's fitting. I've said it time and time again, this is the greatest stadium on the planet in my opinion. I'm a little biased, obviously, but with this being the last season I think it's only fitting that the All-Star Game is here this year."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.