You might dislike the Yankees. You might be jealous of all those World Championships. Maybe you blame them for financial disparity in all of baseball. Perhaps you think of them as the willing host body upon which the leech Scott Boras feasts. Maybe you’d like to accidentally push Alex Rodriguez down three flights of stairs. You may even want to go back in time to the 1996 ALCS and tackle the then-twelve-year-old Jeffrey Maier down to the ground and beat him to a pulp just so he wouldn’t be able to reach over the wall and grab Derek Jeter’s “homerun” ball (if you do want to, you just ain’t right – he’s twelve for god’s sakes! Why would you even think of doing such a thing you bastard???).

yankee-stadium.jpgBut if you’re a baseball fan, you have to respect Yankee Stadium. It may not look like much now, but too many things happened there and too many legends crossed those foul lines onto the playing field for anyone to say “good riddance” to the stadium once the Yankees vacate it after this season. It deserves to be remembered in baseball lore – not only as the House That Ruth Built,  but also as one of the most meaningful cathedrals built on American soil.

And a place like that needs to go out with a bang. It merits a fitting tribute. It demands an event so powerful and lasting that will remain forever linked with the Stadium itself.

Instead, it looks like we’ll get a New York Rangers game. That’s right. Hockey. That’s what baseball fans around the world want as the last event at hallowed Yankee Stadium. A Canadian sport.  Hazzah.

It’s not even the case that I dislike hockey. I do like it. In fact, as a kid my brother and I had a poster of Pat Verbeek, Kirk Muller, Ken Daneyko, John MacLean, Aaron Broten and Sean Burke hanging from our bedroom wall (we’re Devils fans if you couldn’t tell).

monument-park.jpgBut Yankee Stadium is and forever will be known as a baseball stadium. Sure, it’s seen other memorable sporting events in its time such as Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, Pele and the NY Cosmos, Notre Dame vs. Army, NY Football Giants vs. Johnny Unitas and the Indianapolis Colts in the 1958 Championship game.  Despite this, I imagine that very few people will say that these other events are what they will remember most about the shrine on River Avenue. They’ll remember the Babe, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Reggie and Jeter. They’ll remember the sound of Bob Sheppard’s voice. They’ll sit in bars and talk about which grounds keeper was the best at dancing to “YMCA”. And they’ll knock back a drink in salute to Cotton Eyed Joey and his lethal moves in the broadcast booth.

Alright, fine. I’m terrible at waxing poetic. But you’d think that a proud organization like the Yankees would want the average fan’s final sight of Yankee Stadium to be… Yankee-ish or at least something related to America’s pastime. Instead, we’ll get Henrik Lundqvist. Now that just ain’t American.

11 Responses to “Putting Yankee Stadium On Ice”

  1. I met Gabe Kapler once at a fundraiser, he’s bigger than he looks in a picture. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lisa’s boyfried isn’t hiding under a rock or for that matter buried under one. Seriously, Gabe Kapler could probably kill someone with one punch. Though otherwise, yes, Lisa Kapler is damn hot.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Ben, you mean “otherwise” as in, “Otherwise, if I weren’t afraid of Gabe Kapler finding me where I sleep, yes, I would say Lisa Kapler is hot”?

  3. Sarah, I have no skills in grammar. That sentence is probably grammatically incorrect. Ironic considering what I do for a living.

    Though you are correct.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    That’s just wrong. I can say without feeling traitorous to my Boston roots at all that the last game played at Yankee Stadium should be Red-Sox Yankees. It should go to extra innings after Derek Jeter makes a run-saving catch by diving into the stands in the bottom of the ninth. Mariano Rivera should then plunk David Ortiz in the butt in the 10th, precipitating a bench-clearing brawl in which A-Rod mashes his glove into Jason Varitek’s face. Finally, in the bottom of the 19th inning, with New York suddenly down three runs, Jorge Posada should hit a grand slam off of Jonathan Papelbon. Clearly, that is the way to say good bye to Yankee Stadium. Nothing less will do.

  5. Tom Hoffman says:

    I learned to love baseball sitting in Yankee Stadium with my grandfather, watching Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. It’s hard to understand the decision to tear the place down. But now, as a Red Sox fan, I find myself wondering if, possibly, the simple act of trading Ruth to the Yankees earned the Red Sox such a long period of time in baseball purgatory, then what curse might fall on the Yankees after the monumentally stupid act of destroying the house that Ruth built? Maybe they will NEVER WIN ANOTHER WORLD SERIES!

  6. I’ve heard so many stories of people who learned to love baseball at Yankee Stadium. Maybe I should go up there and watch the Rangers game so that I can learn to love hockey.

  7. Tom Hoffman says:

    The baseball/architecture theme has a lot of depth. Personally, I gave up on the Red Sox when they traded Cecil Cooper, and did not return to the fold until Lucchino announced that there was nothing wrong with Fenway Park (except the need for a few revisions) and that the Red Sox would stay there. Notice how everything started going well for the Red Sox after that. Can anyone now imagine the Red Sox playing anywhere else? Remember how the old gang were constantly bleating for a new stadium? This thing the Yankees are doing is dangerous and foolhardy and I believe they will regret it.

  8. Honestly, it isn’t that terrible of an idea. The NHL will have ability to put a game in the most famous stadium in America. Also, it’ll involve two original 6 teams. I understand some people don’t like hockey because of what they’ve seen on tv. I bet you that however that 9 out of 10 people will grow to enjoy the game once they see it live for the first time. Also, what does it matter when the “House that Ruth built” is going to become a parking lot?

  9. Paul Moro says:

    Justin, it makes perfect sense from the Rangers/NHL perspective. For a struggling league whose games have been relegated to the VS network, it’s a positive step towards getting their audience back after the lockout. Again, I like hockey. But it’s just completely out of place in Yankee Stadium.

  10. Sarah Green says:

    Justin, I actually do like hockey. It is super-exciting to watch live! Even at the rather soulless TD Banknorth Garden (aka the FleetCenter). But….this is YANKEE STADIUM. Would Wrigley Field be sent off with a football game? Should the Celtics get the final l’envoi at Fenway? It’s just sacrilege.

  11. Fantasy Baseball Dugout has a great list of Hot Baseball Wives if you click on the web site link above.

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