Two snipers were standing on top of the MetLife sign at Yankee Stadium as a helicopter loomed above and dozens of Secret Service agents in black suits were stationed throughout the building hours before the home team would face the Philadelphia Phillies in game one of the 2009 World Series. “Kate Hudson must really like her security,” one fan joked.
Although Kate was, in fact, in attendance to support boyfriend, Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez (but we’ll get to that later), the metal detectors and Presidential-tight security were just that: protection for the nation’s First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President — and lifelong Phillies fan — Joe Biden. The women were there to honor America’s veterans in support of the MLB sponsored charity Welcome Back Veterans.
The crowd cheered on Obama and Biden when they escorted Yankee legend Yogi Berra and Iraq War veteran Tony Odierno, who threw out the first pitch, making the “boos” minutes ago quickly forgotten, after an announcement that Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s performance of “Empire State of Mind” would be postponed till Game 2. The Yankees have been playing the hit song constantly during their playoff run and Derek Jeter even made it his up-to-bat song.
Sportscaster Keith Olbermann wandered around the field during batting practice while Britney Spears’ single “3” blasted in the ballpark. Derek, A-Rod, Johnny Damon and other Yankees stars didn’t seem to mind the windy pre-game conditions that even knocked over some of the nets during practice. Alec Baldwin was seated in the front row behind home plate and waved to the fans who clapped when he was shown on the Jumbotron.
A couple sections down from Olbermann was new Yankee Stadium regular Kate Hudson, who was joined by her mother Goldie Hawn’s longtime companion, Kurt Russell and three others, in the second row behind third base, just feet from where her man A-Rod plays on the field.
The L.A. natives were all about the Big Apple last night. Kurt even wore a Yankees zip-up jacket and gave A-Rod a thumbs up after his double play in the 7th inning. Alex returned the gesture by pointing back at the actor and flashing his signature smile. It appears Kate’s gotten the parental approval from Kurt, who Kate considers her father. The family munched on fries, peanuts and beer, and never stopped cheering till the end, despite the Bombers coming up short in the 6-1 defeat. Kate’s been a regular at home and away games since news of her relationship with A-Rod became public. As with an L.A. Lakers game, you can expect Kate and other stars to be out again tonight at Game 2. After that, the Yankees head to less star-studded Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for Saturday’s Game 3.