NEW YORK - A construction worker's bid to curse the New York Yankees by planting a Boston Red Sox jersey in their new stadium was foiled yesterday when the home team removed the offending shirt from its burial spot.
After locating the shirt in a service corridor behind what will be a restaurant in the new Yankee Stadium, construction workers jackhammered through the concrete and pulled it out.
The team said it learned that a construction worker who was a Red Sox fan had buried a shirt in the new Bronx stadium, which will open next year across the street from the current ballpark, from a report in the New York Post on Friday.
Yankees President Randy Levine said team officials at first considered leaving the shirt where it was.
"The first thought was, you know, it's never a good thing to be buried in cement when you're in New York," Levine said. "But then we decided, why reward somebody who had really bad motives and was trying to do a really bad thing?"
On Saturday, construction workers who remembered the employee, Gino Castignoli, phoned in tips about the shirt's location.
"We had anonymous people come tell us where it was, and we were able to find it," said Frank Gramarossa, a project executive with the general contractor on the site.
It took about five hours of drilling Saturday to locate the shirt under two feet of concrete, he said.
Levine and Yankees CEO Lonn Trost watched yesterday as Gramarossa and foreman Rich Corrado finished the job and pulled the shirt from the rubble.
In shreds from the jackhammers, the shirt still bore the letters "Red Sox" on the front. It was a David Ortiz jersey, No. 34.40.71455 -74.00713