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.

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Comment by Monroe on November 17, 2008 at 5:07pm
My Dad's first job was selling old copies of the Saturday Evening Post outside the newly built Yankee Stadium after a rain for a penny a piece so you wouldn't get your bum wet. He was eight years old.
Comment by Carol Buck on September 24, 2008 at 8:56pm
Well Mark, I don't have as many memories at the stadium as you have. I have been there twice in my life. My first time was on my birthday 2 years ago. What a fantastic birthday present...me and my sister went. And then this year on August 30th. We soaked it all in. Thought of all the players that had walked out on that field, and all the great memories. I was sad watching the final game, it was amazing and Jeter made a great speech. He is right, the best baseball fans are NY Yankee fans. The new stadium will be beautiful, but it won't be the same with all the great memories. I guess your sons will have the best of both worlds and be able to remember the games and players who played in both stadiums and share that with their children someday. It is a sad time for True Yankee fans.
Comment by Wendy Corsi Staub on September 24, 2008 at 2:20pm
Coming from a family of die-hard Yankee fans myself--and having shared many of the above games with you, Mark--including Old Timer's Day, a World Series Game, and an Opening Day (as well as a Bat Day, which happened to be the first game to which we took our firstborn son, then had to guard his fragile little head from all those excited fans armed with wooden baseball bats!), I am also feeling sad about the passing of an era. I'm glad we were able to go to one last game at the stadium this season with the boys, and glad that they won that night so we could hear Frank singing New York, New York as we made our exit for the last time ever.

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