September 22, 2008

So long, Yankee Stadium

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

It was a long and trying season for the Yankees, their last on the hallowed grounds of the House That Ruth Built. And last night, they played the last (99% sure they won’t make the playoffs) game there and did their home crowd proud by beating the Orioles.

It still doesn’t make sense to me that the Orioles were the last team to visit Yankee Stadium though. The only reason I could think of for not scheduling the Red Sox as the final game opponent is that facing Baltimore would lead to a sure win while Boston would’ve played even harder to send Yankee Stadium to the grave with a loss in the finale.
 
Having visited the stadium this season, I can tell you first-hand that it’s not like your average home-field. You can look around anywhere on the field or in the halls and feel the history. Some of the greatest dynasties in the history of MLB have called Yankee Stadium home and each Yankee great has left their mark on the stadium and if you know anything about the team, that’s a lot of legends and marks.

85 years worth of people have filed through those turnstiles. We’ve watched legends like Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gerhig and Yogi Berra. They’ve seen boxing matches, football games and speeches from three Popes.
 
The world, not just baseball, is losing one of the wonders of the world. At least New Yankee Stadium, the House That A-Rod and Jeter built, will bare a resemblance and one day, some 85 years from now, maybe a sports writer like myself will be telling tales of opening day to the new field and the legends that it made. What started with a Babe Ruth home run, ended with Mariano Rivera closing the door – fittingly.

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