So Long Old Friend: Yankee Stadium, 1923-2008


Every member of this organization, past and present, has been calling this place home for 85 years, There’s a lot of tradition, a lot of history and a lot of memories. Now the great thing about memories is you’re able to pass it along from generation to generation. Although things are going to change next year. We’re going to move across the street. There are a few things that New York Yankees that never change. That’s pride, tradition and most of all we have the greatest fans in the world. We want you to take the memories from this stadium, add them to the new memories that come at the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them along from generation to generation. So on behalf of the entire organization, we want to take this moment to salute you, the greatest fans in the world.—Derek Jeter

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  • what’s your guess?…were those words from the heart, or did that mystery pr guy that sox fans hallucinate write the speech for him?…

    dc September 22, 2008, 9:15 am
  • No DC, the night was about Kevin Millar, he wrote the speech.

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 9:47 am
  • I don’t think it would have taken a PR guy to write that, but I do think Jeter gave a lot of thought to what he was going to say, as I would expect him to.

    FenSheaParkway September 22, 2008, 11:16 am
  • That was a really cool night! It was awesome to see all the old Yankees out there, the fans were electric and they won the game. Awesome. I, for one, am psyched about the new stadium and hope that this years failings are a one time thing, as I expect they will be.
    p.s. my fins crushed the patties so it was an all-around great day!

    krueg September 22, 2008, 11:35 am
  • Now the great thing about memories is you’re able to pass it along from generation to generation.
    It’s a dry statement, not exactly poetry, but it had to be Jeter – no competent PR writer would put together this grammatically challenged statement.

    SF September 22, 2008, 12:16 pm
  • I don’t have the time to put up a thread but here is a partial rant on why the night WAS NOT as good as you think.
    1. The public was told that they would be able to access Monument Park from the hours of 1 and 6:00 and up until 4 those visiting MP would be able to walk on the field. Well we got to the stadium at 1:30, got on line. We waited an hour and 15 minutes and then we finally got to enter. As we were about the enter (the pat down phase had just finished) there was an announcement that MP was CLOSED. That’s right closed at 2:45. I asked are you certain it won’t re-open, “No Sir.” So much for the press release on Friday. Lots of unhappy fans. So you were able to go in the stadium at 2:45, but you couldn’t go to MP…Sounds a lot like Opening Day Part 1, when they waited all day to call the game after we paid for parking they sold countless amounts of food in the stadium. They went back on the press release, but they don’t care they got you in the stadium 5 hours before the game and to them that’s what matters. $$$.
    2. So after killing 3 hours and 15 minutes at “The Dugout” we made our way into the stadium. From the minute we walked in it was as if the Yankees were SHOCKED that it was as crazy as it was. The Yankees were very unprepared for this day. There was no food selection, it was like the last day of summer camp and the “chef” was just going to throw together what they had left over. They honestly seemed overwhelmed and underprepared. The Yankees store was wiped out, they were selling mainly Pope merchandise and ASG t-shirts. I have a Sunday package so I went to just about 13 games this season, I don’t need to buy anything but it sure would be nice to have the option. Did Hank really think they wouldn’t need a few extra Chicken Fingers and Hot Dogs on a day like this?
    3. The ceremony had potential, but dressing up random people as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio was pointless. They even had them take bows and so on…really?
    4. Their choices for Yankee legends at each position were questionable at best. Mike Pags? Chuck Knoblauch? Jesse Barfield? It should have been a more select group.
    I know I sound bitter and angry, that’s probably because I am. The day was really not as well run as everyone is reporting. Maybe it seemed that way from the couch, but if you were in the stadium it was just a day full of things that fell short until the very end. Seeing Mo run out and close out the game was amazing. Then when DJ made that speech, it made things better. It was a very cool moment to see them all on the mound, tipping their caps. For me this game was all about the fans. Since ’95 we have had the fortune of having 162+ meaningful games. This was the first season where the games no longer have meaning. The players did not need us to cheer them to victory and support them. This night was about US, the fans. It was about the chance for the fans to celebrate all the years they have been making the journey to the Bronx. That’s why I am upset about the way the night was handled, not because I am an entitled Yankees fan, but because this night was for me/us!

    John - YF September 22, 2008, 12:22 pm
  • I asked this in an earlier thread but nobody answered it there, so I’ll try again here. Why didn’t MLB and the Yankees schedule this to be the very last game of MLB’s regular season?

    Ron Newman September 22, 2008, 12:34 pm
  • “It’s a dry statement, not exactly poetry, but it had to be Jeter – no competent PR writer would put together this grammatically challenged statement.”
    Wow, whats up with all the hate from SFs regarding this ceremony and the last game? Jeter’s statement was a nice one and about as well said as you can expect from a professional athlete. I wasnt moved to tears but I was glad he said what he did.
    I actually came away from the game less upset then I thought I’d be. I share some of the same criticisms as John above. For me the worst by far being selling out of food and not limiting the number of shirts,etc that people could buy. The food was likely the fault of aramark or whatever vendor the yankees contract for concessions. They shoulder full blame for the rest of the problems but frankly they have never been very good at this type of thing.
    All and all the game was good and the pre-game ceremony was fun to watch. The atmosphere in general at the stadium was a good one. I felt ready to move to the new park when I went out in the fifth inning to use the bathroom and grab a hot dog. The lines were a mess in both places. This shouldnt be an issue next season.
    Ill post a link to photos i upload to flickr when i can get them up.

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 12:41 pm
  • “I asked this in an earlier thread but nobody answered it there, so I’ll try again here. Why didn’t MLB and the Yankees schedule this to be the very last game of MLB’s regular season?”
    Ron- We’ve been trying to figure this one out for over a year now. MLB dropped the ball on it big time. Big surprise.

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 12:43 pm
  • I’m an SF but I’m glad the Yankees won last night. Losing and being eliminated from the playoffs would have been a terrible way to close the Stadium, and I suspect your team would have take it out on our team next weekend.

    Ron Newman September 22, 2008, 12:49 pm
  • SF: “…no competent PR writer would put together this grammatically challenged statement….”
    sam: “…Wow, whats up with all the hate from SFs regarding this ceremony and the last game?…”
    your question must be rhetorical sam…
    jeter can’t do anything right for sox fans…that’s ok, i’d take it as a compliment if i were him; he gets under their skin…i guess they’d prefer a more eloquent speaker like kevin millar…remember his “cowboy up” speeches?…classic…maybe jeter should have mimicked one of papelbon’s underwear dances…really inspire the crowd…

    dc September 22, 2008, 2:31 pm
  • seriously, who dissects the grammar of an improvised speech?
    Ill be sure to start watching interviews with sox and pointing out where they have grammar issues….

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 2:44 pm
  • Funny how all this indignation about SF’s comment occurs without mention that this discussion was started by DC.

    Paul SF September 22, 2008, 2:56 pm
  • Oh for crying out loud, dc and Sam, now you guys are the ones crying wolf. You’re attacking anything that any SF says about the game and ceremony last night. I think SF’s remark was clearly meant in good humor.
    As for myself, I didn’t watch the whole thing, but I did see Pete Abe report that Torre wasn’t acknowledged in any way. Can that possibly be true??

    stuck working September 22, 2008, 3:01 pm
  • If SF was joking, I didn’t get it either, and I have to agree with all those who’ve praised Jeter for a moving, off-the-cuff, just-right good-bye. Clearly he was nervous speaking in front of that huge crowd, you could see from the way he was shifting back and forth, and at an emotional moment, he put together the appropriate words on behalf of the team. It may not have been “luckiest man” great, but it was darn well done.
    For the record, I caught no mentions of Torre or Clemens, and I’m sure SF’s weren’t happy to hear that Mickey Mantle is the holder of baseball’s last triple crown. I guess they forgot about Yaz.

    YF September 22, 2008, 3:12 pm
  • SF is probably just having a bad day seeing his patriots got hammered. Usually he only does stuff like this once in awhile and it’s often followed up with an apology followed by an explanation…
    It was an assinine remark but who cares. Jeter is Jeter, he said what he felt grammar be damned!!! :)

    krueg September 22, 2008, 3:18 pm
  • krueg: congrats on your team beating a career back-up who hasn’t been a starter since high school. I hope it’s the highlight of your season.
    /still unhappy about Brady
    Anyway, for whatever a SF’s opinion is worth, I thought Jeter’s speech was the highlight of the evening. That and Mo coming in. It was a bit weird to see temporary Yankees like Pudge hanging around, though i guess that was unavoidable.

    stuck working September 22, 2008, 3:23 pm
  • “For the record, I caught no mentions of Torre or Clemens”
    They certainly could have mentioned Clemens, he was not included on the montage of greatest Yankee pitchers. Yet El Duque was…Hmmmm. I said some people they chose/left out were odd. As for Torre the only managers the acknowledged were players that became managers or the manager of the ’23 team. Really no lead into a Joe Torre thank you.

    John - YF September 22, 2008, 3:38 pm
  • “I hope it’s the highlight of your season.”
    Sure is!!! Injuries are no excuse for losing to the lowly Fins!!! ;)
    Is anyone else excited about the new stadium? Looking for a bright side to all this and I, for one, am really excited to see it!

    krueg September 22, 2008, 3:45 pm
  • P.S. Seems it would be kinda weird to talk about a guy managing another team in a playoff race, no? It’s not like they just didn’t invite him…

    krueg September 22, 2008, 3:47 pm
  • krueg: i dunno, really, that‘s why they didn’t mention Torre, because he’s managing in a playoff race? Count me skeptical. I wasn’t watching that carefully, but did they mention Mattingly at any point? He’s also with the Dodgers now, so if they did not mention him, then your explanation would seem plausible. But if they did…
    Look, I’m no YF, so it’s hardly my place to get indignant about this. I thought it was a little weird, but if YFs don’t, you’re probably in a better position to judge than i am.

    stuck working September 22, 2008, 3:56 pm
  • SW, they only showed video of Mattingly. They showed a video for every position, that’s how they celebrated everyone. There was no Managers video.

    John - YF September 22, 2008, 3:59 pm
  • “…this discussion was started by DC…”
    you’re correct paul…i’m guilty, and proud of it…i did post the first comment…an intentional dig to those of you who mercilessly critique everything the guy [jeter] says and does…he can’t win…if his statements are too polished, he’s a robot reading a prepared statement…if he clearly speaks less formally, he’s sniped at for the bad grammar…he can’t win with some of you…for the record, i knew the answer to my own question…his words of course were from the heart, somewhat unrehearsed, unpolished, awkward, perhaps, but sincere and humble…it’s the message that matters, not the delivery…i appreciated his sentiment and reach-out to the fans…
    i’ll give sf the benefit of the doubt for those of you who think he was joking, but i’ll take this opportunity to admonish him for forgetting the smiley face…he should know the rules!

    dc September 22, 2008, 4:27 pm
  • dc: personally, i’d rather be misunderstood than use a stupid smiley. ;)

    stuck working September 22, 2008, 4:32 pm
  • Jeez, let me get back in here so that there’s some context:
    I was responding to dc’s original post.
    Also, I made a faulty assumption (based on dc’s comment) that this was an issued statement, not a speech. I didn’t watch the game or hear the speeches, so that’s the fact. My bad, sorry if I offended anyone, jeez.

    SF September 22, 2008, 4:34 pm
  • In other words, had I known this was a speech, I simply never would have made my comment.

    SF September 22, 2008, 4:39 pm
  • It actually was a Spalding Greyesque monologue. Jeter went on for two hours in excruciating , albeit hilarious, detail about his visit to the eye doctor. The excerpted part was the low point of the night. The grammatical flaw was intentional.

    Nick-YF September 22, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • “…it had to be Jeter – no competent PR writer would put together this grammatically challenged statement…”
    “…Also, I made a faulty assumption (based on dc’s comment) that this was an issued statement, not a speech….”
    jeez sf, now i’m confused…were you trying to insult me because you thought i misled you [i did refer to it as a ‘speech’ in my original comment by the way], jeter’s grammar, or someone you thought was an incompetent PR writer, or all of us?…clearly i was being sarcastic in my comment, because i wanted to make a point…but alas, i forgot the smiley…no additional context necessary really…your original comment was loud and clear…but, i did think you were just poking back at me, which is fair…

    dc September 22, 2008, 4:56 pm
  • “…In other words, had I known this was a speech, I simply never would have made my comment….”
    sure, blame me ;)
    honest mistake really, even though i did refer to it as a “speech”, if you didn’t actually see it, you may have thought he was reading a prepared statements that someone else authored…

    dc September 22, 2008, 5:02 pm
  • I have always admired the fact that Jeter has such an understanding of language that he can make it bend to his ferocious will.
    On that grand night when Fenway says goodbye, I will have tears in my eyes as Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Bill Buckner, Johnny Damon and all of the other great Red Sox that have been treated with such respect by the wonderful Red Sox organization and its fans listen to the classy, dignified speech given by Curt Schilling. Maybe even Julian Tavarez will be there to talk about the joy of playing in front of such a diverse fan base.
    You will not see my tears because there will be a big beam in front of me, but they will be there.

    DR September 22, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • I read the original post, I assumed it was a statement and not a speech, then I didn’t pick up your reference to “speech”, dc, just the “PR” reference. Bad reading comp on my part, no doubt.
    But that’s the context, that I thought this was an issued statement, hence my comment. Honest mistake. I hope it’s understandable. I don’t think this was worth the vitriol thrown my way, for whatever that’s worth, but I do understand the touchy subject at hand.

    SF September 22, 2008, 5:35 pm
  • I am not interested in a flame war, but I am trying to figure out how the Sox wronged any of the players listed above, the best I can do is that they weren’t “respectful” of Pedro or Johnny Damon or Clemens (he of the illegal contract with Toronto), which is of course a pretty big stretch. Especially Buckner – how did the Sox as an organization wrong him? Buckner was always mad at Sox fans, and even that might have been misplaced: most Sox fans blamed Bob Stanley or Rich Gedman or John McNamara (or all three) and felt Buckner was a scapegoat. It was fans outside of Boston, for the most part, who bought into blaming Buckner based on the ball through the legs, a nice visual for those looking for someone to hold accountable. Smart Sox fans knew/know way better.

    SF September 22, 2008, 5:40 pm
  • since you didn’t see the speech sf, i can fully understand now why you may have thought it was an issued statement and not a verbal presentation…i don’t always absorb every comment verbatim either, so no harm…i saw your explanation that you wouldn’t have made a negative comment had you realized that these were his own spoken words…that’s cool….
    uh, i’m not going to touch the 2nd topic: sox treatment of former players…i’ve tried tackling that one before and there’s no way to avoid the inevitable flame war…i’ll just read with interest should anyone [DR] bite on your invitation to engage…

    dc September 22, 2008, 6:00 pm
  • Bill Buckner has now received three — three — standing ovations over the past 20 years from Red Sox fans.
    Pedro Martinez received a standing ovation for essentially two straight days upon his return.
    Johnny Damon expressed little to no animosity upon signing with New York, though he was booed, and took out a full-page ad thanking the Boston fans when he left.
    Mo Vaughn, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs all tested the free-agent market and all left under a different ownership group and different general managers — and all cited no reasons for their discontent other than that ownership group and GM wouldn’t pay them enough money.
    Kinda shortens that list a bit…

    Paul SF September 22, 2008, 6:01 pm
  • i really don’t think that this is so much about the fans treatment of these players [except maybe nomar, but who knows what he’s thinking]…i guess the only way to be sure would be to ask all of those players DR mentioned if there are any hard feelings, and with whom…technically paul, i think every one of those players left because they felt management disrespected them [transl=they wanted more money than management felt they were worth], except nomar and buckner, although nomar didn’t feel respected, i just don’t think he mentioned money…while manny was technically traded, it was about respect, i mean money…i know you like to point out the different ownership groups, to separate the good guys from the bad guys, but i suspect that might not matter to the particular player, who might be invited to the “farewell fenway” festivities suggested by DR…it only matters for assigning blame…
    also, i think clemens and boggs were booed in addition to damon, but that’s more about their defection to a hated rival, than a lack of appreciation for their days as sox heroes…i wouldn’t be surprised to see manny and nomar booed…but i do think generally, while tired of his shenanigans, sox fans appreciate manny’s contribution to the ws wins…
    it’s funny, for all the complaining about the treatment of bernie when he left the yankees, management had enough class to let him be introduced last [still thought it should have been yogi] at last night’s celebration, so the fans could show their appreciation, and i’ll be darned if he didn’t get the loudest ovation…he was clearly moved by the moment…and seeing yogi again reminded me of how close we came to never seeing him at the stadium again…i’m sure everyone remembers that for years yogi didn’t attend events at the stadium because he was offended about the way george fired him as yankee manager…something george admitted to handling poorly…suzyn waldman, of all people, who i know you all [heart] was credited for brokering the reconciliation that got yogi coming back to the stadium on a regular basis…God bless suzyn waldman [i didn’t check the spelling of her name, but you all know who i mean]…

    dc September 22, 2008, 6:38 pm
  • “…uh, i’m not going to touch the 2nd topic…”
    oops…couldn’t help myself…just musings though, shouldn’t be anything controversial…

    dc September 22, 2008, 6:46 pm