Monday, September 22, 2008

Yankee Stadium 1923 - 2008

Last night, the New York Yankees played their final game at Yankee Stadium. Next season, they will play in a new stadium, across the street.

I'm sure it'll be nice, but it won't be the same. The history alone behind Yankee Stadium makes it awesome - Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, Maris, Jackson, Guidry, Munson, Jeter, Stengel, Torre, Huggins - the best of the best have played on this field, have walked through it's tunnels and clubhouse, have sat in its dugout. That can't be replicated, no matter how state-of-the-art the new place is.

It was a great game to watch last night, though, even if it was just about meaningless, save for it being the last game played at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks beat the Orioles, and it was nice to see the era come to a close on a somewhat high note. It would have been better, of course, to see the last game be Game 7 in the World Series. Bottom of the ninth. Score tied. Bases loaded. Three balls and two strikes. Jeter at the plate. A base hit up the middle.

But it just wasn't meant to be this year.

That didn't mean it wasn't special though. The gathering of Yankee greats, past and present, was something to see. When Bernie Williams came back, the roar was almost deafening and I was watching it at home. I can only imagine how loud it was there, in the thick of it.

The Girl went to her first Yankee game this year with her Dad. I only wish the Boy could have seen a game played there as well. There is no place in the world quite like Yankee Stadium. I can only hope the new stadium somehow captures some of that magic.

Babe Ruth hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium back in 1923. Eighty-five years later, Jose Molina hit the final home run. Derek Jeter thanked the fans for their support through the years while other Yankees scooped up stadium dirt as mementoes. It was an amazing thing to watch, and no matter how great this new stadium is, it just won't be the same.

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