Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yankee Stadium

This will be a more personal entry from me, about Yankee Stadium.

This past Tuesday was the last Mid Summer Classic at Yankee Stadium. One which the American League won 4-3 in 15 innings, a game that ended close to 2 AM. Throughout the All Star festivities, on television the memories of the Stadium have been played. Babe Ruth calling his shot on a homerun, Roger Maris breaking the record, Aaron Boone, etc.

Watching these clips is nostalgic, because of the history that the Stadium holds. so many historic events have happened here, whether baseball related or not. As far as baseball, its the home of the 26 time World Champions. We have seen record breaking home runs here, we have seen milestone homeruns, November World Series walk off home runs. Yankee Stadium has seen it all, and after this season she is gone.

I have been to Yankee Stadium about 15 times. I still vaguely remember the first time I attended a game there, it was July 4, 1996. The Yankees played the Milwaukee Brewers that day and there was a fireworks show after the game. I was too young to understand the significance of this hallowed ground at the time, but as I got older I started to understand. I've seen Pedro Martinez pitch at the Stadium, I've seen Andy Pettite pitch numerous times, I've seen Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez etc. I've had the pleasure to see many great games at the Stadium, and many great players.

I will miss the Stadium. I will miss watching playoff baseball on television and feeling the intensity from my desk chair. I will always remember Aaron Boone homering off of Tim Wakefield to win thye 2003 ALCS and screaming into my pillow because I didn't want to wake anyone. I will always remember Derek Jeter homering off of Byung Hyung Kim in Game 5 of the World Series and the phrase 'Mr November' being coined since the clock had just struck midnight, November 1, 2001. I will remember getting the chills after Tino Martinez hit a game tying 2 run homerun off of Kim in Game 4 to tie the game, and remember being speechless after Brosius did the same thing a night later.

I will remember the Tino Martinez grand slam in game 1 of the 1998 World Series (though he was struck out on the previous pitch). I will remember Derek Jeter 'flying' into the stands against the Red Sox bloodying his face. I will remember all those times Bernie Williams saved the day with clutch hits. I will remember Charlie Hayes catching that fly ball to end Game 6 of the 96 World Series to end the Yankees 19 year World Series drought. I'll never forget Jeffrey Maier taking the ball away from Tony Tarasco in right field, aiding a game tying Derek Jeter homerun in the 96 ALCS. I will remember riding to the Stadium on the 4 train, getting there an hour or two early and just taking in the Stadium in all its glory.

All the memories in my short life, makes Yankee Stadium a sentimental favorite for me. Hopefully I can take in the Stadium a few more times before its farewell. I will miss it, and I hope the Yankees deliver a World Series to close it out. It would be the perfect ending for Ole Yankee Stadium. It deserves to go out on top.

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