Yeah, I know it was supposed to be a national day of mourning for shutting down "The House that Ruth Built", but its end is fitting. Joe Torre's Dodgers won their division. The Tampa Bay Rays win the division. The Boston Red Sox are in the playoffs.
And the Bronx Bumblers are cleaning out their lockers. Forever.
For many, Yankee Stadium represents strength and power. To me, it represents something less: Bad Royalty.
New Yorkers think that because they care about something, I should care about it, too. They think that championships are a birthright. They think that with money and power, you are guaranteed happiness.
But if that were true, the Yankees would have home-field advantage through out the playoffs this year, as they turn out the lights for good.
I like nothing more than the absence of pomp and circumstances and a national audience in playoffs to close out Yankee Stadium. Excuse me, I love that. L-O-V-E!
But I do have one fond memory of Yankee Stadium. During the playoffs, in New York, the typical New York Yankee "Hooligan Fans" were trying to pelt Jay Buhner with coins and batteries and were hurling insults like street punks. They did hit Buhner, but in the shoulder or chest.
Later in the playoff series, when the Yankees went to Seattle, a Seattle hooligan nailed Yankee outfielder, Bernie Williams, in the lip with something.
Other than that, I'm not sure that I have any fondness about Yankee Stadium. As a child, though, I did love the Yankees. I cried when Thurmon Munson crashed in Akron. I cheered Jackson's third home run in the World Series. But that was just me being a dumb kid.
I used to go to Seattle's Kingdome to watch the Mariners. The place was awful, but it was home and I loved it. I saw Nolan Ryan pitch. I saw Randy Johnson's first no-hitter. I saw Bill Swift take a line drive off his forehead, the ball bounce once and go into the stands. I chatted with Lou Piniella on his way to the stadium. I was a "Lefebvre Belebvre." I talked with Norm Charlton, Bobby Ayala, and Jeff Nelson while sitting right behind the bullpen.
I would buy a seat in the nosebleed section and be able to sit practically anywhere in the stadium that I wanted. Eighth row for R.J.'s no-hitter. Third-base line for Nolan Ryan. The one-game playoff between the Mariners and Angles to determine who made it to the postseason.
I never took a wrong turn leaving Yankee Stadium only to find myself surrounded by fans begging me for an autograph, simply because I exited the stadium through the same tunnel that the players left. I never saw Junior and his dad play their first game together on the same team in Yankee Stadium. I never saw the Mariners string together back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back doubles against Oakland in Yankee Stadium.
So why should I care about Yankee Stadium? Ichiro didn't eclipse George Sisler there. Junior didn't hit a home run in eight consecutive games there. The Mariners didn't win 116 games there.
Now open “the House that Money Built” and don’t tell me to be enamored with it. Don't tell me how much of a "place of historical significance" Old Yankee Stadium is. If that place was actually a place of National Historical Significance, they’d put up a sign to say so and let it crumble away like the Parthenon.
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