Sunday, September 21, 2008

RIP: Yankee Stadium

When the season began, I never thought the Yankees would be closing down Yankee Stadium in September. These are the Yankees. They always find a way to pull it out. I've seen it before so many times; for some reason, the Yankees seemed to be able to make the impossible happen at Yankee Stadium. And as a Mets fan, I knew this. No matter how far out the Yanks were, no matter how big the deficit was; I always thought the Yanks would pull it out.

And what a feeling of dread it was. Could you imagine sitting in front of TV praying to any God who will listen, that whoever was playing the Yankees would pull it out. Most of the time, this never happened. And boy did that infuriate me because boy did I hear it the next day at school. As the lone Mets fan in my school, a Yankee playoff victory was like euphoria for everyone else and torture for me. "Those damn Yankees won again...ughhh." My parents vividly remind me about how I would chuck all Mets shirts down the stairs after the Mets lost each game during the 2000 World Series. True story.

And it happened sooo many times. Between Jeter, Tino, Brosius, Bernie, O'Neill, Aaron Boone, Rivera, Pettitte, Clemens, Posada, Matsui, Jeff Nelson, Stanton, Mussina, and even Chad Curtis; the big moment never seemed far from reality. And as much I as cheer against the Yankees, I will miss that feeling because the Yankees over the past twelve years exemplified the impossible and defined the improbable. They taught me to never turn off the TV because the next Yankee rally was only a pitch away.

So as we close Yankee Stadium tonight, I wonder if the Yankees will still be the Yankees next season. While this might just be wishful thinking on my part, the Yankees are defined to me by Yankee Stadium. Between the facade, Bob Sheppard, Monument Park, the Bleacher Creatures, the grounds crew YMCA, and all of the Yankee Stadium ghosts; Yankee Stadium served as a unique, fun, and intense place to watch a game. I will always appreciate it for that. No new Stadium can provide the lure or aura that this Yankee Stadium was able to provide. While the Yankees might be the main attraction, Yankee Stadium served valiantly as a treasured backdrop for so long.

Yankee Stadium, we have had many tough moments throughout the years. I can honestly say that my childhood was partially defined by the Yankees' greatness. As much as I should want to cheer to watch you go, it will still be tough for me. So enjoy this final night, and for once, I'll let myself say: Go Yankees (FOR TONIGHT ONLY).

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