Astronaut Garrett Reisman , a fervent Yankee fan, brought the small container of dirt with him, along with other mementos of his favorite team, including a banner and hat autographed by George Steinbrenner, who was the principal owner of the team for 37 years, from 1973 to his death in July 2010.
In a cosmic first, Reisman threw out the ceremonial first pitch via video from the International Space Station prior to the start of the Yankees' game versus the Boston Red Sox on April 16, 2008. Reisman's pitch in microgravity was the first one from space in Yankee Stadium's history.
"Launching on the space shuttle and living aboard the International Space Station is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Reisman said at the time. "But as a lifelong Yankees fan, throwing out the first pitch at a Yankees-Red Sox game is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am really honored to have this opportunity in such a historic season in the House that Ruth Built, and I would like to thank the Yankees for being so supportive of our mission up here in space. From Earth's orbit, but still deep inside the Yankees Universe, let me say, 'Go Yanks!'"