Why Not Yankee Stadium For New York's Finale?

Glenn Franco SimmonsAnalyst ISeptember 18, 2008

Why didn’t Major League Baseball change its 2008 schedule so that the New York Yankees could play their last game in the cherished Yankee Stadium?

Dubbed as “The Final Season” by the Yankees, you would have expected MLB schedulers to have realized that baseball needed this moment.

For you Yankee-haters, I’m with ya. I hate the Yankees nearly as much as I hate the L.A. Dodgers, but MLB tradition is at stake.

Instead, the Yankees will play the Baltimore Orioles for the final game in the grand stadium that graces the Bronx.

Rather undignified, isn’t it?

In the dusty, ancient annals of legendary baseball lore, it’s said that “The House that Ruth Built” was the first “baseball park” to be called a stadium and to feature triple decks.

It’s also the stadium that featured John Phillip Sousa and the Seventh Regiment Band when it opened in 1923.

Do you understand the significance of that? Sousa was the preeminent composer of our nation’s military and patriotic marches and songs.

The Official Site of the New York Yankees says on the stadium’s opening day Sousa and the band “... led both clubs to the flagpole in deep center field where the American flag and the Yankees’ 1922 pennant were raised. Appropriately, Babe Ruth christened his new home with a three-run homer to cap a four-run third inning as the Yankees coasted to a 4-1 win.”

There is more than just baseball history in this stadium, however.

This is where Joe Louis stunned the world with a legendary KO of Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling on June 22, 1938. This was at a time when Nazi eugenicists were advancing the inane theories of so-called Aryan superiority.

The New York Giants also played games at the stadium from 1956-1973.

The Red Sox lost to the Yankees in the first game played in the stadium, so wouldn’t it be fitting for the Red Sox to lose the last game in Yankee Stadium?

Perhaps that’s why MLB didn’t amend the schedule; it didn’t want to renew the jinx for a franchise that foolishly traded away Babe Ruth.