The Final Season


The Polo Grounds.  Ebbets Field.  Comiskey Park.  Tiger Stadium.  Forbes Field.  All of these venerable stadiums are relics from the past.  They are all part of baseball history, where great games have been played, championships have been won, and traditions have been created.


All of them are now gone.


There are only three left.


At the end of the season, the list will dwindle to two.


This is the final season that baseball will be played at Yankee Stadium.  Built in 1923, it has hosted 37 World Series.  The Yankees won their first championship during the Stadium’s inaugural season.  Three All-Star games have been played there.  This year, its final season, it will host the All Star game.


Ruth. Gehrig.  DiMaggio.  Mantle.  Maris.  Where does it start, and where does it end?


I’m definitely in denial, because it still hasn’t hit me that this is the final season.  I’ve been to Yankee Stadium three times, and each time was special.  The first was in August of 1966, when my Father took me and Danny Hollywood, who was my best friend at the time.  We sat behind the first base dugout, and saw the Yankees play the Detroit Tigers.  Al Downing pitched against Earl Wilson, and Mickey Mantle hit a massive home run.  I was 7 years old, and it was the first time I had ever seen a professional baseball game.  There were 14,856 spectators, and the Yankees won 6-5.  This occasion was truly the most special and memorable for me.


The 2nd occasion was 10 years later, in 1976.  I sat behind home plate with my Father and cousin, and watched the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins.  It isn’t as memorable, because I don’t remember who pitched, but I do remember that we had fantastic seats.


The third and final occasion was in June of 1982.  I had just graduated from college, and three friends and I drove all the way to New York City from Atlanta, Ga.  We sat in the upper deck in right field and watched the Yankees play the Orioles.  The game went 15 innings and took 4 ½ hours to play.  The Yankees won 4-3. 


There are so many baseball fans that have similar memories of Yankee Stadium.    Change is inevitable, but for kids who grew up in New York City, it didn’t get any better than being taken to Yankee Stadium by your Father.


I guarantee you that something will be missing in 2009.  They plan on turning Yankee Stadium into a parkland.  I think that it’s a big mistake.  Yankee Stadium is THE CATHEDRAL for baseball.  It should not be torn down, and we will one day regret it.  There is too much history, and centuries from now, historians will only be able to point and say, “That is where the House that Ruth Built stood”.


I really hope that Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, the two other remaining baseball relics, continue to stay open and operate long into the future.



Start a Conversation