Friday, September 19, 2008
Saying Goodbye To The House That Ruth Built
Above you'll see opening day at Yankee Stadium. April 18, 1923. This weekend she closes her doors for the final time. It's terrible.
I am not a Yankees fan. Not by any stretch. However, Yankee Stadium is a sports cathedral. Living history. That the Steinbrenner's are tearing her down is shameful. For a few more luxury boxes. That's what history and tradition is worth. They really are going to knock the joint down. Sickening.
Earlier in the season I made sure I took the 4 train up to the Stadium one last time. The ticket stub was carefully taped into one of the Mead Composition Notebooks I obsessively carry around with me. So I'll always have it.
Long before humans had a real understanding of how important historical buildings would be, the Romans had enough sense not to knock down The Colosseum. She was built between 70 and 80 AD and had fallen into ruin by the 16th Century. Pope Sixtus V proposed in the 1580's to knock down The Colosseum and turn the grounds into a wool factory in the hopes of getting the cities prostitutes off the street. Luckily Pope Sixtus died before that could happen. In 1749 The Colosseum was declared a sacred site by Pope Benedict XIV. And thus protected from ruin. It's a shame that the Yankee organization doesn't have similar respect for a modern day coliseum.
Yes, the feats in those arenas were quite different. However in historical context they are equal. Both stadiums showed what was, at the time, heroes of sport.
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? Across the street to a new ballpark with luxury boxes for Wall Street yuppies? To a stadium devoid of charm and character? Sadly, yes.
Gone will be the stomping grounds of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle and Jeter. Gone will be that amazing smell as you walk through her gates. Gone will be baseball history. American history.
Fortunately what will survive is the memories of millions.
The Babe hits his 60th home run. Fueled by hot dogs and beer, not steroids.
The grace and power of Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.
How do you not love The Mick?
A Farewell to Babe Ruth
The immortal Lou Gehrig says goodbye.
So do we...