Sunday, September 21, 2008

End of Days

Robinson Cano singled to snap a scoreless tie in the bottom of the ninth and the Yankees won for the seventh time in nine games, 1-0. Mariano Rivera picked up the win after entering, dare we say it, a tie game. Disturbing isn't the word for it, but the Yankees celebrated like they had just won the pennant. More disturbing was the ninth inning pitch Derek Jeter took off his left hand/wrist, the same area that Daniel Cabrera plunked back in May. X-Rays were negative and you can bet your ass he'll be in the lineup tonight though.

But enough about that.

This is it, the final day of the Stadium. In case you haven't realized it by now, it's perfectly acceptable to refer to Yankee Stadium as merely "the Stadium". Every Yankee fan knows what you mean. It's like saying "the Garden" for Madison Square Garden.

It's an emotional day for many. It's a place where so many of us spent our youth. Where so many great moments took place. Among those we witnessed in person - Game 2 of the 1981 World Series, David Cone's 20th win in 1998, Bobby Murcer's opening day grand slam in 1981, the first Sunday game in the renovated Stadium in 1976, Derek Jeter tying Lou Gehrig's home hit record last Sunday, El Duque's return to Pinstripes, Phil Rizzuto Day, combined with Tom Seaver's 300th win in 1985, Bobby Murcer Day in 1983. Countless home runs by Reggie Jackson and Bobby Murcer, the return to glory in '76-'78', and again from '96-'01.

Our first game on August 30, 1970, a 5-2 win over the Twins. Seeing Mickey Mantle, Joe D., Tommy Henrich, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Casey Stengel, and more on Old Timers Day in the early '70s. Being at the Old Timer's Day when number 8 was retired for the two Hall of Fame catchers, Berra and Dickey. Bat Day, 1971, and getting our Bobby Murcer bat. And so many more. We have countless programs and yearbooks from those days, some of them with autographs. On and on it goes, so many memories, remembered with joy much more than with tears.

As watch today's coverage on ESPN and ESPN Classic (we've seen Boomer's perfecto, Coney's perfecto, and now Game 5 of the 2001 Series), and YES, and listen to the local ESPN radio, here's some more great stuff to read about the Stadium.

Reggie reflects on the 2001 World Series.

"Writer" George Steinbrenner talks about the finale.

Steve Serby does a Q & A with Bob Sheppard. The Daily News with a profile as well.

Rudy Guiliani reflects on the '96 WS.

Mike Vaccaro's 100 classic Stadium moments.

About the, gulp, dismantling of the HTRB.

Pettitte reflects on his final start
. Another take here.

Kevin Kernan talks to some of the real veterans, the vendors.

A look from Boston's Bob Ryan.

Steve Politi looks at the House the Fans Built.

Retired beat writer Moss Klein (this is the guy we grew up reading) looks back.

Stadium magic bridges generations.

Peter Abraham's fondest memories. And he takes a look back.
"Writer" Billy Crystal looks back.

Henry Kissinger, yes, Henry Kissinger looks back.

Tyler Kepner looks back.

A very cool virtual tour of the Stadium from Newsday.

You can even take a vintage subway to today's game.

You can go home again when home is the Stadium.

Buster Olney gets opponents views.

Bob Klapisch looks back.

Goodbye old friend.

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