I’ve had a lot of addresses. Not recently as we have lived in our house for almost 13 years, but before that. What always made me feel at home in each place? The Yankee game, especially those games at home at Yankee Stadium. I’d put on Channel 11, SportsChannel, or MSG, see the pinstripes and know that everything was as it was supposed to be.
I first went to Yankee Stadium forty years ago in May of 1968. I saw Mickey Mantle in his last year, playing first base and striking out. The next year I got to see my new favorite player, Bobby Murcer, and the year after that Thurman Munson. I got to see great players like Gator, Winfield, Reggie, Rickey, Sparky, Goose, Donny, Bernie, Andy, Alex, Rocket, Derek and Mariano as well as players who were not as great or even remembered, like Jake Gibbs, Frank Fernandez, Jim Lyttle. I went to many Old Timer’s Day, Bat Days, and opening days, including the final one this year-always felt great to be home and be with Yankee fans after the winter, a long spring training, or a successful Mets season. I went to playoff games, World Series games and games against the Red Sox.
I went to Yankee Stadium as a boy with my father and mother, my brother and sister. My grandfather and my uncles. As a teenager, I went with my family, friends and my summer day camp kids. Later I would meet my friend’s girlfriend there who would come to be my children’s aunt. I would go to Yankee Stadium with old friends, new friends, friends of friends, girlfriends-one who would become my wife, my future brother and sister-in-law, work colleagues, clients, my father in-law, neighbors and their kids. I was lucky enough to go to Yankee Stadium with my own boys.
No matter how much criticizing there is from talk radio, the newspapers and everywhere, they don’t understand that for us it’s not about how the Yankee’s market their brand, their events and their economics. I don’t care how much money the Yankee’s make or how they choose to spend it. It about how this beautiful place with great baseball and memories and my connection to all the old players, to my family and friends is gone. I will miss this place and am saddened that my own remarkable personal history that was a part of Yankee Stadium has to end.