As an Omaha native, I can say with 100 percent certainty that Rosenblatt was and always will be dear to my heart. I grew up watching college and minor league games in "The Blatt" up until last year. Watching the final video after South Carolina won the first of their now back-to-back championships was a moment I will never forget. It was silent, not a word being said among the thousands viewing the massive screen in left field.
And then it was all but gone. The final inning played in that stadium will always be drilled in my head. I was two rows back in left field and caught a wrist band from one of the Gamecock players as they sprinted around the field celebrating.
That game was the final walk down the street filled with vendors, filled with people from all corners of the country. The final game in that stadium that built the college baseball tradition that is now known as the College World Series. But was it the final time the CWS will ever be the same?
Of the half dozen TD Ameritrade games I attended this year, five didn't involve the sprint to the seats that Rosenblatt always had in general admission. Seats didn't fill until the first pitch and it felt off. Initially, people were confused as to where they should park and where to stand in line. Vendors were all around the stadium; not just down one street. The people who made their rent by selling their driveway to people in need of parking no longer had that opportunity. So, in short, is wasn't the same—but it wasn't that bad either.
The same traditions continued as before. Right and left field both differ on their opinion on who "sucks," beach balls still flood the field after the middle of innings, and it's an extremely friendly, and sometimes intoxicated crowd.
The only thing that seems to be missing is that unknown factor that Rosenblatt had. You can't describe exactly what it was, but if you sat in those seats just once, you've felt it. Maybe it's just the tradition and superb atmosphere that Johnny Rosenblatt created. Who knows?
Nonetheless, TD Ameritrade put on one hell of a show this year. For a first year, this definitely kicked off the next chapter of College World Series history well. Congratulations to the city of Omaha, TD Ameritrade Park, the fans that flood the stadium, and most of all the South Carolina Gamecocks.