As I write this post, my beloved Red Sox are traveling to NYC to battle the New York Yankees for one last time in the famous “House that Ruth Built”. Yankee Stadium will be no more after this season. I find it sad, actually that the historic stadium will be reduced to dirt. So sad, that I am writing this post on the NEW YORK YANKEES!!
Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the newly designed modernized ball parks. Camden Yards, Safeco Field, Miller Park (how fun is that slide?)and the list of fresh fields goes on. However– there is something to be said for the “hallowed grounds” of the ball park. The same grass and dirt that the baseball gods played on. A bit of my memories will be destoyed with the wrecking ball. Monument park will not feel the same…
There is an awesome feeling in the air as you approach Yankee Stadium– even as a Red Sox fan you can get caught up in the aura that is there. I remember the first time I went to the stadium; it was in the late 70’s which was an awful time for us Red Sox fans. But still, I was so excited to be going to the fabled Yankee Stadium. Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter,Ron Guidry & Sweet Lou and unfortunately the list of greats can go on. To see the greats of that day play– it is a memory I will cherish. Remember how crazy Billy Martin was? Boy he was fun to watch! How about that Reggie Bar? I did go again not too long ago– a bus trip to see the Yankees and Red Sox play on a hot summer Saturday afternoon. We had nosebleed seats– these seats were so high up, I was dizzy! The immenseness of the stadium is tremendous compared to that of Fenway. Of course in NYC you cannot and would not wear your Red Sox Red or run the risk of physical harm! It never failed, as you leave the stadium the fans would be screaming, ” Red Sox &%$#@! ” That would be the last time I would sit in Yankee Stadium. I know the new stadium will be nicer with the bells and whistles but will it feel the same?
This last series made me reflect on what the rivalry has meant to me. The neighborhood wiffle ball games, my brother and I would always be the Red Sox and the roof of the house would be the Green Monster. Our best friends of course were rabid Yankee fans and when they were up to bat, the roof was the upper deck– triple decker of Yankee Stadium. Or the horror of actually being assigned to the YANKEE team for Little League– I cannot look at those pictures and not shudder. Yes, a Yankee hat donned my head for one miserable summer– my only solace was that I was better than most of the boys on the team 🙂 Girl Power– POW!!
In closing I would like to say that Fenway is above and beyond the greatest ball park in America and the fact that the owners are renovating and keeping the history there is even greater. There is no experience like going down Yawkey way and seeing the big FENWAY sign– entering the park to see the lush green field with the Green Monster and Pesky Pole. AND my greatest of memory of Yankee Stadium will always be the 2004 series when Red Sox celebrated their triumphant game 7. So sweet……
Just for fun here is some Yankee Stadium Trivia:*
- Left-center field monuments and plaques:
- Yankee Stadium (I): monuments in fair territory: Lou Gehrig on the left, Miller Huggins in the middle, Babe Ruth on the right.
- Yankee Stadium (II): monuments beyond the fence same as Yankee Stadium I, plus the addition of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Plaques beyond the fence of Ed Barrow, Jacob Ruppert, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy, Pope Paul VI, Thurman Munson, Pope John Paul II, Billy Martin, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez, Roger Maris, Allie Reynolds, Elston Howard, Phil Rizzuto, Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson and Don Mattingly.
- A ball hitting the foul pole in the 1930s was in play, not a homer.
- “Death Valley” in left-center.
- Hosted the 2008,1977, 1960 (II) and 1939 All-Star games.
- Bleachers in right-center often called Ruthville and Gehrigvill
- “Bloody Angle” between bleachers and right-field foul line in 1923 season was very asymmetrical and caused crazy bounces. Eliminating this in 1924 caused the plate to be moved 13 feet and the deepest left-center corner to change from 500 to 490 feet.
- On September 25, 1966, only 413 people, the smallest crowd in Yankee Stadium history, watched the White Sox beat the Yankees 4-1.
- Original street address was 800 Ruppert Place.
*Information was found and used from http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/american/yankee.htm
Could this be the first time since 1993 the New York Yankees are not in the playoffs? Could it be an early Christmas? Yes Virginia THERE is a Santa Claus….
Here are some books to get you through your misery…….(ha ha)
(of course I may be eating crow in October if they should rise above the ashes….)
Babe Ruth by Jim Reisler 796.357 1920 was the year Babe Ruth became bigger than life and changed baseball forever. This book charts Ruth’s trade to the Yankees, the beginning of the “Curse of the Bambino”, to his record breaking 54 home run year.
Home Run Edited by George Plimpton 796.357 Best writing about Baseball’s most exciting moments
61* DVD DRAMA 61 The Billy Crystal film on the summer of 1961 in which Maris and Mantle took on Babe Ruth’s home run record.
Dynasty. New York Yankees 1949-1964 by Peter Golenbock 796.357 Gol. Read a year by year account interspersed with personal interviews with players, coaches and executives.
Dawn of Dynasty by Frank Strauss 796.357 STR. The incredible and improbable story of the 1947 NY Yankees. Join us at the OWL on September 18th at 7pm as Frank Strauss will take a nostalgic look back at a memorable season at the legendary ballpark.
New York Yankees Seasons of Glory by William Hageman and Warren Wilbert 796.357 HAG Do I really have to tell you what this book is about? The OWL also has Yankees Century by Glenn Stout 796.357 STO 100 years of New York Yankee Baseball.
AND just because I need some balance here:
and once again: Curse Reversed by Sporting News 796.357 CUR