Last Visit To The Stadium

As I said during my MLB preview post, get ready to hear all year about the end of Yankee Stadium. Be ready to hear broadcasters and former players wax poetic about the grand ole ballpark and how many memories are there, etc. And you can just add me to the mix, I guess, because I’ll be talking about it a little bit this year, too, but mainly because it’s the ballpark I’ve been to the most in my life.

The fun thing is that Yankee Stadium – and the replacement of it – stirs up major emotions in people that seem sort of… misplaced. Like, how important is this stuff? They’ve been in there since 1923…or have they? There are those who argue that this current Yankee Stadium isn’t even the same building as the one Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle played in. It was renovated in 1974-75 (the Yankees played their home games over in Shea for those two seasons), and by renovated, I mean “practically leveled.”

They gutted the place, taking down steel columns, pulling out all the seats, even plundering the field itself to improve how it was laid out, drainage, etc.

And so there are those who feel that this isn’t even Yankee Stadium anymore. I can see both sides of this, actually. While it looks completely different from the original, it was still kept on the same site and the structure and framework and address were kept as the basis for the new version. So it’s more or less the same place. Mickey Mantle did in fact patrol those exact same coordinates on the blue marble we call Earth.

Anyway, this Friday night I’ll be attending probably my last game at Yankee Stadium, as it currently exists. And since this has been Yankee Stadium for my entire life (the first opening day I was alive for was the day Yankee Stadium was “re-opened” in the spring of 1976), it definitely holds something special for me.

I know many of our readers hate the Yankees, and that’s fine. But think about a team you really love and think about them having an historic place to play and imagine that going away. You’d be sentimental about it, too. Even those stone-hearted among you, which is, like, most of our readers, I imagine.

Anyway, I’ll be there this Friday. And through the baseball months, when there’s not much Purdue to write about, I’ll be regaling you with stories of my visits there. Games I’ve actually been at… not just random-ass, overblown stories about how Reggie Jackson was so strong he could lift up the bleachers and crap like that. Just overblown stories from me. So if you come for the Terry Hutchens hatred, stay for the Yankee Stadium folklore.

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