Yankee Stadium End Game

Last Saturday afternoon (9/20), J. and I went to the penultimate game in Yankee Stadium. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon with a sell-out crowd. There was a palpable atmosphere of festiveness.

Security was especially tight. The sidewalks along River Avenue had been barricaded, keeping the streams of fans off the street and on the sidewalk. Stay with the herd. There were uniform cops everywhere, and a NYPD helicopter circled the perimeter of the stadium throughout the game. J. was especially intrigued by this.

At various points during the game, there were announcements about respecting the historic significance of this weekend, and not doing anything that might damper the wonder of the moment. Specifically, we were advised, theft of any Yankee Stadium property would be considered a crime and result in prosecution. I had heard about this earlier. That there were four times the usual amount of security personnel (both uniformed and under cover) in the stadium for the final weekend. I had heard news reports of fans trying to take a piece of Yankee Stadium home as a souvenir. Some people were reportedly trying to steal toilet seats. Honestly, I can’t imagine a possession I’d desire less.

The game itself lived up to the greatness of the day. The Yanks took a scoreless tie into the bottom of the ninth. With bases loaded and two out, Robinson Cano singled up the middle for the victory. A classic.

Before filing out of the Big Ballpark In The Bronx for the last time, I reached below my seat, and pried up a few pebbles from where the concrete had been cracked. I wanted to make sure I left with my little piece of history. Before heading into the tunnel under the stands, I turned around and took one last look at that gorgeous expanse of green. I waved the field goodbye, and thanked it for 30 years of great memories. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little misty-eyed at the moment.

Change is inevitable (though it’s maddening when it’s not really necessary and at taxpayer expense).The Yanks will be in the new stadium next year, and I’ll be there, too, but there will always be a special place in my heart for The House That Ruth Built.

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