So It Goes Out Like This

The Yankees will play their last game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday (without a miraculous collapse by the Red Sox and a miraculous home stretch by the Yankees…sigh).

At the beginning of the season I mentioned how bummed I was about this sad fact, and now that its here I’m still just as bummed, perhaps more.  I didn’t want to see the place go out like this.  Its like the building equivalent of a sad, fat, drunken Orson Welles.  After so much good history, it goes out on an overpaid, undertalented note.  Its sad, so I figured I’d tell one story of how this place brings generations together, and how it won’t happen again.

My grandfather had Parkinson’s disease and diagnosed when I was fairly young.  So over the course of my life I bore witness to the sad downward spiral of his once booming personality.  Luckily, one memory I have of him being himself was at Yankee Stadium.

My grandfather, dad, brother and myself all trecked to the game from suburban new jersey.  This was probably one of the first dozen or so games I had ever been too.  Apparently, my grandfather hadn’t been on the subway since something like 1950.  But somehow, my dad convinced him to ride the subway to the game, which was a thrill for me. (I’d always loved the idea of the subway…not so much anymore)  We got to the stadium and he took me aside and told me how right there, in that building, on that field, he’d watched Babe Ruth play.  I knew that Babe Ruth had played there, but it was amazing for me to hear it from my grandfather.  I mean, my GRANDPA saw BABE FREAKIN RUTH play baseball at YANKEE STADIUM!

The whole game he kept feeding me nuggets like that. What he had seen, what had happened there during his lifetime, who had been there.  I was amazed. I don’t even know who they played that day, but i remember those stories.  I always thought if I had kids I would be able to take them to Yankee Stadium and tell them that their great grandfather watched babe ruth play on that very field, in that very building, decades earlier. Maybe I could take my dad and he could tell them how he saw Mickey Mantle.  I’d one day be able to say I saw the Yankees play in the World Series in that very spot.  Now I guess I won’t have that, I’ll be taking them to a new stadium with new memories, but it just won’t be the same.  So it goes.

Well, Yankee Stadium, I bid you adue.  You’ve given me many more good memories than bad ones, and I thank you for that.

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