Spanning Time Together

And, if you can’t be with someone that you love, take a second and
think of someone that you love…or a few people for that matter. After
all, you don’t need to have someone in front of you to enjoy the
relationship that you have with them. And, by thinking of them, during
the game, you’ll make them part of the moment. I cannot think of a
better take-away for a Yankees fan from this game.

-Steve Lombardi, Waswatching.com

I’ve been trying to write these last few days about what I think about the end of Yankee Stadium. There are, of course, the countless memories I hold of the Stadium: the games I attended when I was young, the games I attended recently, and all those Stadium games I watched on television or read in papers, the web, or heard about from friends. But I can’t seem to focus on one game, or even a moment. When I think of Yankee Stadium I think of something amorphous, a presence (for lack of a better word) in my life. The end of the stadium marks the passage of time. That is today’s significance to me. And that is why what Steve wrote rings so true.

I was probably six or seven when I went to my first game. My mom’s friend, a librarian named Susan, took me, my brothers and her daughter to a day game. It must have been a Sunday. We rode the A-train from 190th down to the 145th, where we transferred to the D to Yankee Stadium. I should mention that I always root for the D train in the great train battle between innings. The game was sunny. I remember none of the action. The only baseball-related memory I have is the lack of one. I expected someone to steal a base literally. I expected someone named Rickey Henderson to pick up a base from the ground and run off the field with it. When Susan told us that Rickey Henderson stole a base, I remember thinking I had missed the moment.

Susan passed away a few years ago. She was a part of my childhood. She had a great sense of humor. Once she was taking me and my brothers around trick-or-treating on Halloween. We knocked on a door and a naked lady opened it. She was just out of the shower, probably crazy because who opens the door on Halloween fully nude? She apologized, got a towel and wrapped herself in it, and then gave us candy. When she closed the door, Susan broke the silence (We were all of us stunned): "What a Halloween costume!"

The ending of an era, the end of this presence, has brought a lot of memories back to me. I’ve been thinking a lot about the people from my childhood, about the time we spanned together.

28 comments… add one

  • Nice post Nick. I agree with you, Im not really sure what to make of it all. im heading up there tonight so maybe it will help me figure it out. Ill post photos when i get back…

    Sam-YF September 21, 2008, 2:32 pm
  • Great post.

    walein September 21, 2008, 3:01 pm
  • So I get to the stadium at 130, get in line. Get to the front of line at 245 only to find out that monument park has been closed. Everything they reported as far as allowing you in until 4 was completely inaccurate. Lots of unhappy yankees fans here.

    John - YF September 21, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • I’m really excited for the last game..maybe Andy will pitch a decent game for once? It’s all good…my Fins ass-pounded the Pats today so either way I’m happy today!!! Go Yankees in 2009!!!

    krueg September 21, 2008, 5:40 pm
  • That’s a shame John. And to make matters worse, I beat you in the fantasy league playoff round this week!
    Good luck to the Yanks, it’s been a great 8 decades.

    Atheose September 21, 2008, 7:36 pm
  • Bill Moyers on the end of the old Yankee Stadium, and the public financing of the new one:
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09192008/watch3.html

    Hudson September 21, 2008, 9:35 pm
  • Kevin Millar getting booed. That makes me smile — it seems an acknowledgment that for all the hurt inflicted upon the Red Sox in that stadium, the final chapters were not nearly so rosy. Apparently all the positive history paraded before the fans in the hours before the game can’t obscure what Millar helped do just four years ago…

    Paul SF September 21, 2008, 11:27 pm
  • “…all the positive history paraded before the fans in the hours before the game can’t obscure what Millar helped do just four years ago…”
    just as winning 2 ws in 4 years can’t ‘obscure’ the pain, hatred, and jealousy from having to wait 86 years for it to happen…

    dc September 22, 2008, 12:12 am
  • Never said it did, DC. I’ve been pretty clear about that over the years. You grow up despising a team, you don’t just stop because of a recent run of success (though it sure does help). Butthat doesn’t change the fact that a below-average infielder for the Baltimore Orioles was booed in the last game at Yankee Stadium because he had a starting job on a Red Sox team that beat the Yankees in the postseason four years ago… Seems a bit much to me.

    Paul SF September 22, 2008, 1:02 am
  • Millar has also killed the yankees as an Oriole. Its not just his roll as a Red Sox that earns him boos at yankee stadium.
    The feeling at the game was to make it as much of a regular game as possible. Part of this is to boo former sox and other players not well liked by the yankee faithful.

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 1:09 am
  • “Apparently all the positive history paraded before the fans in the hours before the game can’t obscure what Millar helped do just four years ago…”
    Should the yankees or any other team re-enact the negatives of their history in such an occasion? I think its a bit much to ask for that. It was a celebration of the ballpark, obviously they were gonna show the greatest moments…

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 1:10 am
  • “…Seems a bit much to me….”
    you’re way too sensitive paul, another sox fan trait…look, like sam said, this was a celebration…yankee fans were there to have fun…if that including poking fun at [and booing] a former sox hero, what’s the big deal?…the indignation of sox fans about yankee fans booing always brings a smile to my face…funny, i’ve never heard any booing at fenway…too classy i guess…hahaha…
    by the way, your referring to millar as a “below-average infielder” says a lot about the makeup of that ’04 team [thanks, for a very interesting, and possibly useful observation for down the road]… ;)

    dc September 22, 2008, 4:49 am
  • Ya, that happened to me a few weeks back, missed Monument Park twice. Ah well.

    Lar September 22, 2008, 5:46 am
  • DC, your post made no sense. Calling me sensitive because Yankee fans booed an Oriole? Talking about “poking fun at” a player when nothing of the sort happened? Describing my “indignation” about booing, something I never expressed? Cryptic references to my description of Millar as a below-average infielder (which he is)?
    Based on the timestamp, I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and say you need some more sleep. Except that you alsways play these tired old cards, and I’m just about tired of responding to them…

    Paul SF September 22, 2008, 10:55 am
  • Why would this thread turn into a discussion about a mediocre ex-Red Sox player?
    For me, the picture that YF posted will be what Yankee Stadium meant to me. Seeing the field for the first time when walking to your seat always gave me chills. I never had that experience at any other stadium, though some of them were definitely “nicer” places to watch the game.
    If banks ever start giving loans again and I can afford to go to the new stadium, I doubt the feeling will be the same.

    DR September 22, 2008, 11:41 am
  • i don’t make sense?…uh, well…let me explain…
    YOU said that yankee fans booed an ex-red sox player who “…had a starting job on a Red Sox team that beat the Yankees”… YOU later said they booed an oriole player…he just happens to play for the orioles now…so, were they booing the sox-millar or the oriole-millar, or both as sam suggests?…you’re conveniently switching gears here to make it look like yankee fans were excessive…
    just possible yank fans were booing for the fun of it, having fun with millar…or, maybe they really do “despise” [to use a derivative of YOUR sentiment toward the yankees] “below-average infielders” …in any event, my point was that last night was supposed to be about having fun in an otherwise disappointing season…what’s wrong with that even if it involves booing opposing players…i’m just surprised that you found it “a bit much”…
    YOUR comment that it “…Seems a bit much to me….” seems a bit much to ME…this isn’t the first time a sox fan has protested the enthusiastic booing at yankee stadium…usually the complaint is about booing our own players, so this one’s a twist…
    my reference to YOUR comment that millar is a “below-average infielder” is not as subtle as you think…seems like your whole ’04 infield could be candidates for an ’05 episode of “where are they now?”…makes the win all the more remarkable…
    “…I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and say you need some more sleep. Except that you alsways play these tired old cards, and I’m just about tired of responding to them…”
    typical…whenever you’re called out you hurl an insult, then refuse to engage…fine
    “Why would this thread turn into a discussion about a mediocre ex-Red Sox player?”
    well DR…go back through the thread…i let hudson and paul take a couple of cheap shots before i jumped in…unfortunately what should have been a thoughtful, reflective thread about memories turned petty…i guess when one ‘despises’ something, it doesn’t allow them to have any objectivity on the subject…

    dc September 22, 2008, 2:14 pm
  • Sorry Paul but I have to agree with dc on this. You basically baited YFs with your posts and act like dc is being unreasonable for pointing it out.
    YFs dont have much to enjoy this year and your main points about the ceremony here was that “it was a but much” booing former Red Sox player and then refer to the “all the positive history paraded before the fans in the hours before the game” in clearly negative terms. No wonder it wasnt taken kindly by the few YFs who bother to show up here any more…

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 2:30 pm
  • Not sure how “positive history” can be portrayed in “negative terms.” If there were mutually exclusive, contradictory phrases, those are them.
    I don’t begrudge the Yankees parading the positive history. There’s a ton of it. In fact, there’s very little negative history associated with the essentially two stadia that occupied that site. One of those rare negative moments occurred in 2004, at the hands of the Red Sox. Kevin Millar was on that team, but he’s a member of the Orioles now — not a particularly good member of the Orioles — and his memorable contribution in ’04 (.250 BA, 2 RBI against the Yankees) was basically drawing a walk in extra innings so he could be pinch-run for by Dave Roberts. And THAT happened at Fenway Park.
    Hey, if it’s Curt Schilling or David Ortiz, you won’t hear anything from me. Booing’s gonna happen to players like that. But Kevin Millar? On a night meant to comemorate Yankee Stadia and all the successes there, it seemed off for fans to willingly dredge up the negative. Which is where DC is so far off base here. Why would I mind the fact that Yankee fans there still couldn’t put aside 2004? Even at an event that was as non-Sox-centric as you could get, Yankee fans were booing former (not even current! not even good anymore!) members of the Red Sox.
    If there’s more of a Millar-Yankee history there than his time in Boston, I could see that. He does have a very good career line against New York. But Nick Markakis does, too, and I didn’t hear any boos for him.

    Paul SF September 22, 2008, 2:53 pm
  • “…On a night meant to comemorate Yankee Stadia and all the successes there, it seemed off for fans to willingly dredge up the negative. Which is where DC is so far off base here. Why would I mind the fact that Yankee fans there still couldn’t put aside 2004?….”
    but, i’m not off base paul, and that’s the point…you still insist that booing last night was inappropriate because it “dredges up the negative” in an otherwise positive event…that’s a rather dramatic characterization isn’t it?…it’s a damn baseball game for crying out loud…booing is part of the game, especially at the stadium, which has been pointed out tirelessly by sf’s on this site…it’s not like the fans booed a wedding, another positive event enjoyed by happy people having fun…booing at a wedding would be inappropriate…yankee fans always boo millar…last night wasn’t special in that regard, and they shouldn’t have to refrain just because of the celebration…and, he’s not the only opposing player that gets booed…funny, you ask why you would mind the fact that yankee fans still can’t get over ’04, yet you do seem to care enough to bring it up and rub it in…why bother commenting at all if it doesn’t matter to you?…i don’t agree that it should be treated differently because of the occasion…millar was booed precisely because of his former affiliation with the yankees #1 rival…so what?…he may not have been the star of the team, but next to schilling, he had the biggest mouth…funny thing is, i actually like the guy…don’t think i’d boo him unless i got caught up in the whole lemming mentality…for the record, i don’t boo markakis, but i do boo brian roberts…he reminds me of another annoying pipsqueak 2nd baseman, not named cano… ;)
    nice dig about the “stadia” too…not unnoticed…technically it’s the original stadium and grounds with a substantial renovation in the mid-70’s…i guess that somehow takes away some of the mistique for some of you…not me…by the way, how many construction iterations has fenway undergone anyway?…put them all together and you have a new stadium too…”lego park”

    dc September 22, 2008, 3:37 pm
  • Yankee Stadium reminds me of the guy who claims to own George Washington’s boyhood axe — three new handles and four new axeheads later. Maybe not so extreme, but hey.
    Look, the fans can boo whomever they want to boo. As John said in another thread, last night was for the fans. I didn’t find it inappropriate. I thought it was “a bit much,” or over the top, unnecessary. It made me smile a little that they couldn’t put ’04 behind them despite being reminded/confronted with eight decades of world championships and Hall of Fame greats. Despite all that, they had to boo. I find it more amusing than anything…

    Paul SF September 22, 2008, 3:49 pm
  • and that’s exactly why i wasn’t surprised…just like your team’s recent success, which clearly trumps the yanks’ performance over the same time period, doesn’t temper your dislike for the yankees…you may not be one of the boo-ers, but there are plenty of them out there who felt it was appropriate to chant “yankees suck” at the last patriot super bowl victory celebration, just as an example…yet, that made me smile for the same reason as you…we’re still under your skin…celebrating the positive is one thing, but we fans have the ability to turn on a dime and equally “salute” the stuff we don’t like…it’s a fan’s right, minus the profanity, of course…

    dc September 22, 2008, 4:11 pm
  • “It made me smile a little that they couldn’t put ’04 behind them despite being reminded/confronted with eight decades of world championships and Hall of Fame greats. Despite all that, they had to boo. I find it more amusing than anything…”
    We are the biggest rivals in all of sports. It can’t come as a surprise to you that the one link to that rivalry (in last night’s game) was booed. This is really nothing new though…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR-5tf8rU60. How does that song go “You were always on my mind…You were alwaaaayyyyys on my mind.”

    John - YF September 22, 2008, 4:32 pm
  • “If banks ever start giving loans again and I can afford to go to the new stadium, I doubt the feeling will be the same.”
    I laughed

    Nick-YF September 22, 2008, 4:48 pm
  • all and all i enjoyed last nites broadcast. the inning with yogi and whitey in the booth had me smiling the whole time. espn showed alot of footage from outside the stadium which has been a rarity over the years. i love the walk/don’t walk street sign with light up pinstriped player. the photo’s of the stadium from across the river where ones i had never seen before.
    i found it odd that the tone was more of a funeral than a celebration. i took heat from some yf friends i was watching the game with. this was a very sensitive event for them. some other topics that were off limits were…. where’s clemens? and, how about one more cottoneyed joe for old times sake.
    goodnight to yankee stadium and a big peice of our shared storied rivalry. it’ll be a sad day when fiscal necessity closes the doors on fenway. they just don’t make hollowed halls like they used to.

    sf rod September 22, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • it did feel a bit like a funeral rod…with some celebration and laughter tossed in…an odd mix of emotions really…but, i know you understand the odd mood when you admit that it’ll be a sad day when/if they shut down fenway…last night was sad for me, because i have fond memories of attending games with friends and family…my most recent visits have been with my son, who inherited my love for live baseball and the yankees…honestly, we had a great time win or lose…most of the time we didn’t care about winning that particular game [if you can believe it]…sure winning made it a little sweeter, but just being together, watching future hof-ers from any team, and having some laughs are the highlights of our trips…the good news is that i know we can get the same good experience at the new stadium [assuming we can afford it], but still it’ll be just a little different…

    dc September 22, 2008, 5:29 pm
  • Rod
    There was one last cotton eyed Joe. Here’s to hoping they ditch that in the stadium…

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 5:34 pm
  • What about YMCA, Sam?

    SF September 22, 2008, 5:41 pm
  • Id love to see YMCA go but not as much as id love to see God Bless America and Cotton Eyed Joe go

    Sam-YF September 22, 2008, 5:50 pm

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