The Stadium’s Final Act
They ringed the Stadium’s streets today in the thousands, spilling out onto 161st Street as the gates prepared to rise for the first time. The yelling of those looking for tickets, those trying to sell, hawk souvenirs. This looked like a playoff game in September. Everybody has cameras, pointing them toward the past, then toward the future across the way. It’s a strange feeling here. Everything seems to be moving a little quicker than most would like.
I tried to reflect today on some of my favorite memories of this building that we’re about to say goodbye to for the final time. My earliest, I suppose, is wanting to come here and see my first game, just to see Don Mattingly play back in the 1980s. It never came to pass that way, but I finally made it here years later and it really was as special as I thought it would be.
One of the first games I saw here in person was the game where Roger Clemens hit Mike Piazza in the head in 2000 — I’ve never seen a ballpark hush that quickly since. Years later, I saw many more memorable moments and can remember thinking how great it was to be a member of the credentialed media in this great place, where so many of the game’s events have transpired — and would continue to. Something about it made it feel different than all of the other stadiums.
Even over the last two years, as this place has become a regular part of my daily life, there are moments that I’ve stopped and looked around, thinking about what these thick concrete walls have seen over the last 85 years. Yankee Stadium means a lot to baseball, a lot to this city, a lot to the history of this country. It deserves the grand sendoff it’s about to receive.