Monday, September 22, 2008

Yankee Stadium: April 18, 1923, to September 21, 2008

33 years after this picture was taken back in April of '23, I saw my first Yankee game. May 10, 1956. A day after my birthday, as a gift from the old man. Too little to see over the standing and cheering tall men and figure out why they were all so excited, I was told by the old man that this kid named Mantle had just hit a home run off of a pitcher named, of all things, Lemon. I thought that was so funny. A man named Lemon.

He and his old man had make the trek to be at the opening of the new ballpark in the Bronx, but got stuck in traffic and were turned away, along with thousands of others, so they never got to be in the pictures like this one here. In their day you could stand on the field if you were polite enough not to interfere with the ballplayers, and who in their right mind would ever even think of such a thing.

The Yankees won a lot of regular season games, and about every third year or so on average would win the World Series too, so the ballpark became a famous place. They played their last game there last night, and will be moving across 161st Street to a new park next season. It isn't bigger, holds a few thousand less people actually, but its modern and has lots more places to sell beer and hotdogs and has a gazillion luxury boxes where corporations and rich people can go to sit in air conditioning and make believe they're watching baseball in person.

Sucks, but not really. The Yankee owners are far from the richest in baseball but spend the most money so they deserve to make a better return on such an investment. I just wish they could have figured out a way to do so without tearing the old place down.

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