The most famous stadium in all of Major League Baseball says goodbye to a rivalry this week, but goodbye to the baseball world at the end of the 2008 season.
Yankee Stadium, the ballpark that housed hitting legends such as Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto, Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, and even Alex Rodriguez, for over 85 years, is at it's end.
"The House that Ruth Built" as coined from Babe Ruth's historic legacy, has been the most attended stadium since 2003, and much has changed from it's origins nearly a century ago.
What once was a near 500 ft. shot to center field is now a "mere" 408 feet. Down the line has increased from 281 feet in left field, to 318 ft.. Not only the dimensions changed, however, as it's worth has shot up from an original 2.5 million dollars to an estimated 1.3 billion dollars.
The stadium has also been a home to many of history's greatest events. In 1927, Jack Dempsey defeated the younger, favored Jack Sharkey in Yankee Stadium. However, the most famous boxing match to occur at Yankee Stadium took place in 1938 when Joe Louis defeated Germany's Max Schmeling to retain his title.
Other popular events were held at Yankee Stadium, with the Notre Dame-Army rivalry being moved there from 1925 till 1947. Not to be outdone, the NFL felt that they needed a piece of the Yankee Stadium attraction, and in 1958 "The Greatest Game Ever Played" was played in Yankee Stadium.
Johnny Unitas led the Baltimore Colts to an overtime thriller win against the New York Giants by a score of 23-17. The locale was not anything new to the Giants, who played their home games from 1956-1973.
The game, which the Colts tied in the last ten seconds of the game, was considered by many to be the greatest game ever played, and why not at one of the best venues ever.
Soccer, a sport unlike most, was not excluded off the long list of Yankee Stadium sports. Pele graced the Apple's field in 1976 to play for the New York Cosmos franchise. Celtic FC, a famous Scottish Club has also played at the field.
Not to leave out any obscurities to occur at the famed estate, religious events, concerts, and recently a wedding (the only wedding at Yankee Stadium) have all been performed in the 85-year history of the park.
However, Yankee Stadium, as the name suggests, was a park that belonged to the New York Yankees. Brawls with Red Sox, game winning bloops, and playoff killing home runs were all a part of the history of the glorious ballpark.
Youths will remember it, middle-aged people will respect it, and elders will cherish it. Nothing compares to the electric feel of the Yankee Stadium...especially in October.
So what will be remembered most of Yankee Stadium? Is it Reggie Jackson's three home runs in the World Series against the Dodgers? Or Aaron Boone's game winning upper deck blast against Tim Wakefield to send home the rival Sox?
No. It's all of it. Yankee Stadium will be remembered for every event that ever took place there, and that is what it deserves...no, what it is owed.
Thank you Yankee Stadium. You will be sorely missed.