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.