The Yankee Stadium Farewell Address

May 10, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

October 19th, 2003.

It’s the bottom of the 11th.  The New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox, game seven in the American League Championship Series. Aaron Boone steps to the plate and hits a walk off home run to left field, sending the Yankees to yet another World Series appearance.

And that’s just one recent memory. The list goes on and on. For every Yankee fan, there is a group of defining moments that occurred at the old Yankee stadium that blur the lines between sports and miracles, routine and impossibility.

The short distance to the right field wall, the giant Yankee symbol painted ever so perfectly behind home plate, and the bleacher creatures in right field, who chant the names of the starting lineup. All these little characteristics added up to the one huge culture that is Yankee Stadium.

But now the Yanks have moved across the street into the new Yankee Stadium.

Extravagant? Oh Yeah!

High tech? You bet!

Worth the move? The answer to that question is going to be debated for quite some time. A month and a half into the 2009 regular season and most fans would tell you it wasn’t.

I don’t think about the home runs flying out of the park left and right, multiple injuries, the losing record, and the fact that the Steinbrenners wanted to move into this $1.5 billion dollar park.

But it’s the Bronx Zoo, so it goes.

I can tell you from first-hand experience, the new stadium is unbelievable in many areas. Complete with twelve restaurants, 1200 HD screens, and a locker room that is so equipped, it puts the US war room to shame.

The new stadium is not lacking in finesse.

Current junior at Byram Hills High School, Josh Mendel, said of the stadium, “They made it so nice and modern, which is what the old Yankee stadium was lacking. Everything from the stalls to the cup holders are nicer, cleaner, classier.”

So yeah, basing one’s judgment strictly on the physical merits of the new stadium, it’s definitely an upgrade.  I’m sure the players aren’t complaining when they are sitting in massage chairs, surfing the Internet on their complimentary Mac laptops, which come with each new locker.

But, the new stadium lacks the history of the original. The dominating aura, which is Yankee baseball encased the old stadium, constantly reminds each fan that the Yankees always had a good chance of winning.

Don Mattingly, Greg Nettles, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera—and hey, that’s only our generation.

With each preceding decade, the names of the heroes and stars become even more legendary and prestigious. Each made their mark on the old stadium, and each reinforced the reasons why the New York Yankees is one of the most beloved and successful franchises on the planet.

So, yeah, I might be a little late with my farewell address. But, it’s similar to when a good friend moves away. You know it’s coming, but you keep putting it off because you don’t want to accept it.

But I can’t put it off any longer.

To the old stadium, I bid you farewell, and I thank you for all of the history and amazing moments you provided to adoring fans for 86 years.

To the new stadium, I welcome you with tentative but open arms.  I know new legends and moments will be made, as another part of baseball history begins to write itself.

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