Last night the Yankee organization, ball players and devoted fans said farewell to the house that Ruth built. The Mecca of all stadiums was constructed in 1923 in the Bronx on 161st St & River Ave and will now be torn down to the utter disappointment of fans in a playoff free 2008.
The New York Yankees are crossing the street to their 1.3 billion dollar stadium where the baseball ghosts no longer roam the locker room, stands, fields and more importantly body and minds of fans who felt their presence.
One fan from Jersey had this to say about the new stadium
“I would have been happy being 80 or 90 years old and still coming to this stadium. “The new stadium is beautiful, but I don’t know if the ghosts are going to be there. You can feel that, standing here — Babe Ruth, DiMaggio. It’s not going to be the same.”
The ceremony started when fans rose to their feet to honor Bernie Williams with the loudest and heart breaking standing ovation in a field packed with Yankee hall famers. Bernie Williams who was a huge part of the Championship Yanks during the late 90’s the Joe Torre era.
Part of the introduction included hall of fame Yankees, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gassage and the families of Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, Billy Martin, Thurman Munson.
The 92 year old daughter of babe Ruth threw the ceremonial first pitch.
Couldn't help but mention Steinbrenner's class when he excluded both Joe Torre and Roger Clemens from the video presentation of Yankees no longer part of the organization. Both were fundamental parts of the Yankee franchise. Historic manager Joe Torre led the Yanks to four championships and Roger Clemens won two in the pinstripe.
Arguably the most highlighted factor of why the Yankees will miss the playoffs, Steinbrenner’s ego!
Petite reached the mound to keep the festivities alive throwing the first pitch of the night and quite possibly the last in a Yankee uniform. He finished his Yankee stadium run with a win (14-14) in a must win game for the Yankees who hope to keep their playoff hope alive.
Johnny Damon swatted one into the stands to put the Yanks on top and Jose Molina crushed the last home run in Yankee Stadium to put the game away, 7-3.
Mariano Rivera called for HIS mound in the 9th to close for one last time in a stadium he called home for years. Derek Jeter was pulled out in the 9th to the cheers of “Der-eek Jeee-terrr” and had to give a curtain call to keep the game going.
Rivera’s final pitch produced a grounder to Cano and a quick out at first. The best closer of all time walked to first and asked for the ball. The game was over and players remained on the field removing anything they could from Yankee stadium. Either picking up some dirt and throwing it in a bag, removing their locker from the locker room or taking pictures of the packed stands.
85 years of historic baseball trajectory finalized with the classy words of Derek Jeter, team captain and then a stroll through the infield and outfield with the Yankee players acting all giddy – at least some, Posada and Pettitte didn’t break a smile.
Many individuals from different sports TV shows and radio hosts laugh and ridicule Yankee fans that cried or sobbed over “A piece of cement” – their words.
Everyone has their own opinion on the historic establishment.
I sure felt it!
The Yankees in their final season on 161 street set a record of attendance, 4,298,543.
The biggest stage in baseball history comes to a close but the emotions lived in and out of this historic establishment must never die… Let’s keep the Yank spirit alive…