Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hope and Change


Some American monuments to the great democracy of our land stand out in the mind as pinnacles of a grandness in Humanity's long struggle for freedom, and they bear no match. I see the Statue of Liberty, the Alamo, and Yankee Stadium.

The original Yankee Stadiumis a stadium located in The Bronx in New York City, New York. It served as the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees from 1923 through 2008. Located at East 161st Street and River Avenue, the stadium has a capacity of 57,545 and hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York Giants football team, as well as the host of twenty of boxing's most famous fights and three Papal masses. The stadium's nickname, "The House That Ruth Built" comes from the iconic Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the beginning of the Yankees' winning history.

Yankee Stadium is one of the most famous sports venues in United States, having hosted a variety of events and many historic moments during its existence. Its primary occupants, the Yankees, have won far more World Series championships (26) than any other major league club and Yankee Stadium has hosted 37 World Series, far more than any other baseball stadium. The Stadium also hosted the major-league All-Star Game four times: 1939, 1960, 1977, and, as part of its curtain call, 2008.

In 2006, the Yankees began construction on a new $1.8 billion stadium in public parkland adjacent to the original Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are expecting to open their new home in 2009. Once the new stadium opens, most of the old stadium, including the above-ground structure, is to be demolished to become parkland.[1]

The first game at the stadium was held on April 18, 1923, with the Yankees beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1. The final game at the stadium was held on September 21, 2008, with the Yankees beating the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.


Some change is good. Some good change is like death of a loved-one. So long, Babe.



truepeers said...

Vancouver's Empire Stadium can't compare for history. But it was home to at least one great historical event: the first competitive sub-4 minute mile race.

Growing up it was one of my hangouts, for football and especially for the old Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL, the place where I saw Pele and lesser stars.

Lots of memories of those cool moist Vancouver nights, full of cigarette smoke and the old, rougher, school kind of cheering and heckling...

Now it's been demolished and turned to parkland. I go through that park every now and then and feel the old lady is around: something is there, for those who can remember. It's really only those who will never have known who will have really lost.

Charles Henry said...

It might be "the house that Ruth built", but it was for the team that Joe McCarthy built.

When he coached the Yankees in the 30s and 40s, he taught them much about how intangible things like team spirit and good sportsmanship can be the spark that triggers first talent then victory. Also, what "team spirit" and "good" sportsmanship meant, in the first place.

"Get the little things right and the big things take care of themselves", I think he put it.

And he focused on so many little things... one example: he always had his Yankees dress up when they weren't playing, so that they could "feel" like champions often enough it made it easier to become champions. It's because of him that there was a certain 'cache' in being a Yankee... none of the other old teams really have the same degree of intangible value to their team name. By inspiration and perspiration he made the players come to believe that "New York Yankee" was synonimous with "champion".

His career is an amazing example of the power of positive thinking; there's a reason that one of his greatest players, Lou Gherig, delivered the kind of farewell speech that he did.

The stadium where boys like DiMaggio were built into men may be gone, but the lessons that went into their building are still around, if a bit dusty from lack of recent scrutiny.

Dag said...

"It ain't over till it's over." But it's the end of an era nevertheless. That's what's so difficult for me. But everything has to pass away. It is the memories that sweeten, if that's possible for man who ca n recall being a boy nearly catching a ball in the stands at Yankee Stadium.

It is a good life, and one to pass on to the young-- if only they want it. In time they'll have there own old memories of great things and doings.

To grow up wanting to be a New York Yankees pitcher. To hit like Babe Ruth. To be the class act of the great city.

For fun, here are some philosophical gems from Yogi Bera:

* "Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting."
* "You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
* "I didn't really say everything I said."
* "I made a wrong mistake."
* "Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical."
* "I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question."
* "You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."
* "This is like deja vu all over again."
* "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."