Today is a day that I thought would never come. Like the last day of summer vacation as a kid, I knew it would happen eventually but didn’t want to believe it. But now it’s here, the last game at Yankee Stadium, and I can best describe the feeling as sad, joyful and nostalgic.
I’ve spent many days in The House That Ruth Built, more than I care to count. Whether I was a kid annoying my father for more cotton candy, or cutting class in high school to catch a day game from the far reaches of Tier Reserved, or a yuppie deciding which dugout I wanted to sit behind, the one thing that never changed was the proud Stadium. Walking out of the tunnel to see the greenest grass I’ve ever seen and hear Ed Alstrom on the organ for the first time has always been one of my favorite memories of the Stadium.
We’ve bitched and moaned about the team on the field all season long, but I don’t even care about that anymore. Today is about celebrating a long-standing New York tradition, soaking in the best Yankee Stadium has to offer. As Doug Mientkiewicz perfectly put it: God did create heaven on Earth … it’s called Yankee Stadium.
Yankee Stadium will live on forever in our hearts and memories, but as Jane Heller reminds us: The memories — the magic — were never really about the building. Truer words have never been spoken.
The baseball gods took care of the Yanks today like they have so many times before, granting just a perfect day for baseball. Enjoy the game, enjoy the pre- and post-game festivities, enjoy being a Yankees’ fan.
1. Johnny Damon, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Jason Giambi, 1B
6. Xavier Nady, LF
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Hideki Matsui, DH
9. Jose Molina, C
And on the mound, a man who has won 94 of the 169 games he’s pitched in Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte.