Tonight the Yankees played what will most likely be the last game ever to be played in the old Yankee stadium, "The House That Ruth Built", the Cathedral of baseball. Home to 6,581 Yankees home games, 161 play-off games (more than any 3 stadiums combined), 85 years of tradition, 37 American League Pennant titles, 26 World Series Championships, 20 classic boxing match-ups, 3 Papal visits, and one legendary baseball team.
While Yankee stadium will always be known as the home of the Bronx Bombers, it also hosted many many historic boxing matches. Including an aging Jack Dempsey's come from behind win over Jack Sharkey, the historical knock out of the German Schmeling by Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali defending his title against Kevin Norton. Yankee stadium also hosted a myriad of football games. The Notre Dame-Army game, where coach Knute Rockne was said to give his "win one for the gipper speech at half-time" at half time. The NFL championship game between the Colts and the Giants in 1958, a nail-biter that is hailed as the single game that elevated American Football into the national spotlight.
Aside from sports the stadium served as a meeting place for Mass during Papal visits, a concert venue for U2, Pink Floyd and Billy Joel, and a memorial service for those who suffered during 9/11. The stadium also held a wedding, between blind Yankee sportswriter Ed Lucas and his fiancee Alison Pfieffle.
But of course when people think of Yankee stadium they will always think of the Yankees. They will think of pinstripes, and they will think of the prestige. Those who have attended games will recall the Hammond Organ playing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch, the deafening clamor of the New York fans, and the white frieze running atop the stadium. Players who were lucky enough to play there will always remember that moment that they got to share the same space that baseball legends such as Ruth and DiMaggio once occupied.
I feel our society does not hold onto tradition as much as we should. We're too quick to tear down our history, and being such a young country we have so little to begin with. The Yankee stadium is history. It's our coliseum, it's our pyramid. It's one of the most storied buildings in New York city, and without a doubt the greatest stadium in baseball history.
In the words of Bob Sheppard, voice of the Yankees, during the seventh inning stretch of the last game:
Farewell old Yankee Stadium, farewell
What a wonderful story you can tell
DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig and Ruth
A baseball cathedral in truth