If any sports structure deserves its own thread I say this is it. I’ll come back to list some favorite moments of my own, but as the pregame ceremony goes on and on I wanted to get this ball rolling.
The Pre-Game was great and from over in the September baseball thread, here are some things I listed that were historic moments and yet not baseball.
I am willing to admit, I have already teared up tonight and I expect to weep before it is over. I don’t remember going to the pre-renovation Yankee Stadium. The first Yankee Game I saw was at the not so wonderful Shea Stadium in 1974. I understand I may have been to the old stadium when I was too young to remember, but I am not sure. I love Yankee Stadium and when the 40-50 Yankees of the past show up to say good bye it will be a remarkable moment.
Besides all the pure baseball moments, the Stadium was home to the Greatest Football Game ever played (Colts beat Giants for the Championship in the first Over-Time game). The Game where Knute Rockne gave his “and win just one for the Gipper.” speech was at Yankee Stadium when they were facing Army there for their Annual Game in 1928.
The very famous boxing match where Joe Lewis defeated Max Schmeling that according to legend discredited the Nazi doctrine of “Aryan superiority.”
Then of course, there is the most famous speech in Sports History, Lou Gehrig’s farewell, “Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth” given by the dying Gehrig on July 4th, 1939.
I hope that D_Odds and some others are there tonight and will eventually report back.
Fuck Steinbrenner. Period.
The greatest structure in baseball history and it gets thrown away like a piece of garbage. He never should have made the alterations he did in 1974-1975, he should have spent the money on revamping the facilities instead of changing the appearance and altering the field and dimensions to the point that a lot of fans didn’t consider it to be the same stadium. The monuments belonged in center field. The right field fence was supposed to be 296 feet. Dead center was supposed to be 461. Every thing that made the place great was fucked with, all due to the ego of the big douche from Cleveland. Yankee Stadium should be around next year just like Wrigley and Fenway, but there is nothing like unbridled ego to fuck it up. They should call the new stadium Steinbrenner Stadium, because there’s no history there except for what the big scumbag allows there to be.
You don’t tear down St. Peter’s, you don’t defile Arlington National Cemetery, and you don’t tear down Yankee Stadium. Unless you’re Steinbrenner. Fuck Steinbrenner. Lou, Miller, The Babe, Mickey, Joe, Thurman and all the rest are dying a second time. I’m a Yankee hater, and I’m dying a little bit right now. You do not tear down Yankee Stadium. You just don’t.
Airman: you don’t seem to understand something: baseball was NOT a prosperous business in 1973. George Steinbrenner paid something like ten million for the Yankees, and they looked overpriced at that. The stadium was a dump, located in a bad part of town, and the Yankees didn’t draw flies in those days. The Mets owned New York in 1973.
Almost any other owner would have moved the Yankees to New Jersey, which is what everyone expected Steinbrenner to do. Give the man a little credit for keeping the team where it was, why don’t you? Give him a little credit for seeing the team’s potential, at a time when nobody else saw it.
My top memories of being at the Stadium.
Regular Season: Jason Giambi hits a Grand-slam walk-off in the 14th innings to win the game when the Yanks were down by three to the Twins and as the crack of the bat was heard around the stadium, the sky opened up like a movie scene. The ball itself sailed right over my head. If I was actually capable of a 3’ jump, I would have caught it. I found the Game recap itself on ESPN
I was there with my oldest friend. When we got there it was sunny and warm so despite bring a rain poncho he ignored me telling him the rain would start around the seventh inning and left the poncho in my car. I always check the weather before going. I had a green jacket on that was water resistant and my Yankee Cap so I was fine. He was soaked. Around the 6th inning he joked the game would end up going 14th inning. I am serious about that, he really said 14 innings. It was an incredible night and incredible moment.
Not in the Recap, Bernie’s homer to tie the game in the nine was assisted into the stands off of Jacque Jones’ glove.
Post Season: This is tough, I was there for game 1 of the 2000 subway series but I was also there for the night that Bush threw out the opening pitch in 2001. The Third option was a game against Oakland where Jeter went into the stands but this incredible play has been forgotten as later in the series in game 3, Jeter made his famous flip in Oakland.
I’ll go with the 2000 subway series. Growing up a Yankee fan that was immersed in Yankee lore and baseball history, I always hoped for a Subway series like my Father got to see every year in the 50s.
It was an exciting well pitched game where the Yanks tied it in the 9th and they won in the 12th.
In the 9th, Paul O’Neil had a 10 pitch walk that was as exciting as a homer. He went to 3rd on a pair of short singles and scored on a Sacrifice Fly by Chuck Knoblauch. It was Armando Benitez of course that blew it for the Mets.
In the 12th, with bases loaded and 2 outs, the 25th man Jose Vizcaino got a single to win it.
**Old Timers Game: 1978 ** Mickey, Joe D, Mrs. Gehrig and as they are announcing all the greats, they announce Billy Martin will return as manager in 1980. The stadium erupts in cheers like you could not believe.
Yes! 3 run homer for Johnny Damon!
I had a feeling Damon was going to hit one tonight.
I like to describe New Yorkers as fatalistic, and I think that was pretty much my response to the idea of the new stadium. Even in my lifetime, the threat of the move to New Jersey has popped up once or twice, although it wasn’t given any real credibility. It’s a very sad thing but I guess it’s no surprise that it was going to happen one day. Hard to imagine it ever happening, but here it is.
I will never understand youse guys.
And now a just-barely homer for Jose Molina! Homers or no I hope they can build on this.
Reggie looks good. Yogi looks good.
And Whitey Ford was pretty funny. He had a nice banter going with Yogi.
Whitey and Yogi have always been good for sitting down and spinning stories out. The are just really friendly nice guys. I respect the hell out of them.
Yogi is legitimately a national treasure and Whitey has always been great.
Bases loaded for Jeter, this would be time for a groove pitch if there was ever going to be a grooved pitch.
It would be a shame if the last Stadium homer were by Jose “Which Brother is That?” Molina.
He is 3 for 3 tonight at least. It would be a hellava trivia question.
On a physical level, Molina resembles Ruth more closely than any of the other Yankee players.
Shame Jeter struck out there. I hope he gets another turn at bat.
Here comes Chamberlain. I assume they’re planning on having him get five outs.
I will always remember that the Cleveland Indians won the last postseason game played at Yankee Stadium.
On the other hand, as much as it would be nice to see Jeter hit the final Homer, I would prefer to see Mo get a save with the final pitch. Maybe Jeter could just hit a Solo in the 8th instead.
That’s OK, we’ll know the Yankees have a winning record at Jacob’s Field. (Now Progressive Field).
It’s too bad player and celebrity interviews can’t be restricted to events like these, because these chats with Reggie Jackson and Yogi and Whitey have been fun and informative, and they fit the occasion. And that was a very nice play by Jeter on the chopper up the middle.
Very cool of ESPN to pull Michael Kay into the booth.
You can tell Rodriguez is dying to hit one out here, but when that happens, he usually doesn’t.