The beginning of the end

The Governor's Cup will have to wait another day
Sitting in for Bob

The Interlocking NY

In ten days, it will be all be over. Eight-five years of memories along with countless photos will be all that remains of Yankee Stadium.

Over the next week and a half, we’ll hear more than we ever wanted to about the final days of the Stadium. We’ll see old Yankees return to say their final good byes. We’ll see fans making the exodus up the House that Ruth Built one more time. We’ll see countless pieces β€” such as Sweeney Murti’s excellent read of his Top 25 Yankee Stadium Moments β€” laud the stadium’s place in both baseball history and New York City lore.

Right now, though, before the ten-game homestand to end all homestands, the Yankees aren’t inspiring much confidence in their fan base. Yankee fans have given up on the season, and everyone and their uncles have suggestions on how to “fix” the Yankees. Before we get to that point in our discussions though, the Yankees have to wrap up what they started in 1923.

It’s not easy for a team of veterans who expected to make the playoffs to maintain to play in the face of disappointment. I’ve played enough sports in my life to know the drain of a long season and the weight of impossible expectations. I know what it’s like to watch another team win when that trophy was supposed to belong to you. I can only begin to guess what it’s like, after 146 games, to push through to the end when there’s nothing left for which to play.

But for the fans, for the history and for the stadium, the Yankees should and will find a way to bring some semblance of respect to the last 10 games at the stadium. They’re facing tough teams; two of their three opponents this week will probably play well past the end of September. But I have to believe the Yanks have one last hurrah in them. The ghosts of Yankee past that haunt the stadium will see to it that we won’t be disappointed as their prepare to tear down the Cathedral in the Bronx.

The Governor's Cup will have to wait another day
Sitting in for Bob
  • Jen

    In regards to the season I’ve been in apathy mode for a while now. I guess coming of age during the Mel Hall Era will do that to a person. But I’ll still be at the Stadium tomorrow (tonight? What time is it?) watching Ponson & crew try to salvage some dignity in what’s left of the season.

    That being said, if anyone wants to take in Friday’s game in the bleachers I have 1 extra ticket at face value ($14).

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I’d take the ticket, but I’m out of town for the weekend… do you have any tickets for any of the White Sox or Orioles games? I’m interested…

      And it’s interesting that you call it the “Mel Hall Era”… I always think of it as the “Roberto Kelly Era” or the “Kevin Maas Era” myself.

      • Jen

        I may have one for next Friday. I’ll know middle of next week.

        Mel Hall, Roberto Kelly, Kevin Maas… they’re interchangeable. (I think I lifted Mel Hall Era from Bronx Banter actually.)

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Alvaro Espinoza?

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            Steve Kemp? Dave Collins? Omar Moreno?

  • BigBlueAL

    I would be more looking forward to these final 10 games at the Stadium if Ponson and Pavano werent scheduled to pitch 4 of the games….

  • pitt1913

    Its not 85 years … I hate to take away from the glory of the stadium but the stadium as we know it today was built in ’74-’75. This stadium has almost no relation to the “old” Yankee stadium. If the stadium was unchanged or even resembled the original built in ’23 than this would be a huge deal and something that should be savored …

    • Yank Crank 20

      I really don’t know why people keep saying that. Yes, it underwent a renovation. Yes, it looks different than it did before 1976. But that was a facelift to the look of the stadium. It didn’t get up and move, it’s the same infield that Gherig and Scooter played on and the same outfield that Ruth and Mantle played on. I don’t care how different it looks, it’s still the stadium where all of the greats played. The look may have changed but the history never did.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        And by that same token, if you don’t feel that the discontinuity caused by the two year renovation (where we played at the godforsaken hellhole known as Shea Stadium) broke the continuous legacy of “The House That Ruth Built”, is it that hard to link the legacy of those two incantations of Yankee Stadium to the one across the street? After all, the new stadium:

        A) is still called Yankee Stadium
        B) is still in the same neighborhood, at the same train stop, by the same bars, abutting the same elevated platform, etc. etc.
        C) is intentionally designed and built to mimic the look and feel of the original Yankee Stadium from 1923, down to the eagle medallions atop the main entrance
        D) will retain the same field dimensions as the current Yankee Stadium
        E) will still have the same fans as the current Yankee Stadium…

        Yes, it’s not the same blades of grass that the ghosts of the past walked on, sure… but it’s not like the team moved to Lodi, NJ and built the Fremulon Insurance Dome or something. It’s still the House that Ruth built, because the Yankee legacy of financial success that enabled this stadium to be built still traces back to the Babe, and they’re still the Bronx Bombers, and Dunkin Donuts will still have Subway Races between the B, D, and 4 trains.

        • Pete

          >> and built the Fremulon Insurance Dome or something >>


        • ceciguante

          i hear you, and that’s why we’ll all still go and learn to love the new place, i hope.

          but: different bricks, different field.

  • http://2009 Haggs

    I know it’s being beaten to death a bit, but the Yankees front office has really botched this whole last season at the Stadium deal.

    They have 10 games left to do the right thing here.

    One simple idea:

    10 years ago, arguably the best team that has ever played at The Stadium, or any stadium for that matter, went 125-50 (looking at that record never gets old, and I doubt another team will come along anytime soon and get within sniffing distance of it).

    It’s the 10th anniversary of (arguably) the best team that ever played. Bring them all back for one last lap around the field they played a perfect (or as close as you can get in MLB) season on.

    Stuff like this should have been happening all season. Instead we get Joey from Met Life pulling the countdown lever. What a bunch of bullshit.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I’m on board with that idea…

    • Pete

      >> Stuff like this should have been happening all season. Instead we get Joey from Met Life pulling the countdown lever. What a bunch of bullshit. >>

      Because why? Because Joey’s company probably put up some nice money for Joey to be able to do that…

      If we’re bringing in “Yankees legends” to perform the same act, the Yankees *lose* money on the deal. See how that works?

      • ceciguante

        so you’re suggesting this organization has to grab every last dollar, they have to sell every single one of these final home games to the highest bidder? and that selling a chance to pull the lever is a significant source of revenue for them?

        spare me.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Okay, EVERY SINGLE GAME doesn’t have to be a Yankee Legend pulling the damn lever. I honestly don’t give a shit about the lever.

        But, bringing back the ’98 champs for the last game at the old house should be done. Hell, Sunday the 21st should be a huge, day-long fan fest like the All-Star Game was… invite everyone living Yankee back, open up Monument Park and junk, everything. The only reason I can think of on why that’s not happening is that it’s a bit morbid and sad to reinforce the ending of the stadium, especially with us not making the playoffs, but…

        Perhaps doing a big to-do for the home opener in 2009 will suffice…

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          I want to run the bases.

          • Jen

            I want beer back in the bleachers for one night.

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              Be able to sit in the black seats.

              • Ben K.

                Thing is: There are no seats in the black. The seats have long been removed. It’s just a concrete structure painted black.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  Okay… I want to sit on the black concrete.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  And FIX THAT SHITTY GRAMMAR, BEN!!!

  • rbizzler

    Phew! Thanks Ben, for posting this as I didn’t want to get scolded for posting off-topic. I will be one of those folks making a final pilgrimage to the old yard this weekend and was looking for a little info on where to get a pregame libation or two before Saturday’s game. I believe I have been to one drinking establishment that was pretty much a dive right around the stadium. Most of the games I have attended were either before I was ‘of-age’ or were games that required making the drive down from CT. Also, I feel like I have heard about a bowling alley in the past where people gather, but I cannot recall if this is true.

    Thanks for the any help on this.

    • Jen

      Stan’s and Billy’s are right across the street on River Ave. Those places tend to get packed though. There’s also the Yankee Tavern which is up 161st. Never been there but I can only assume that gets packed as well.

      The past few times I’ve actually ducked into a bar pre-game I’ve gone to the Dugout, which is up River, across from the new Stadium. The front bar tends to get crowded but they have a large room in the back too. I kind of liked the crowd there better than Stan’s or Billy’s. It had less of a frat boy vibe to it.

      • rbizzler

        Much appreciated. Except for th crack against frat boys, which I found offensive. Just kidding with you as I loathe most things frat-tastic.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    “I know what it’s like to watch another team win when that trophy was supposed to belong to you.”

    Still bummed about losing to Peyton and Eli in the DSRL MilkBowl championship game, eh, Ben? Dude, you’ve gotta move on… you caught a piece of cookie in your throat, it was a freak injury… coulda happened to anyone.

    You’ll get ’em next year, buddy…

  • yankeefan91

    i kant believe it almost gone at least i went twice this summer againt the royals and against the jays

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I have tickets this weekend and next. Very bittersweet but I plan to be there next Sunday night to say goodbye and thanks for the most awesome memories.