There are three weeks of baseball left in the regular season. The Yankees start the day in fourth place and we are left hoping for small victories--Mussina winning twenty, Abreu and Rodriguez reaching 100 RBI, Rivera keeping his ERA under 1.50. Since the Yanks are all but out of it there will be plenty of time to get sentimental about the final days of Yankee Stadium.
In the spirit of saying a proper goodbye, I've asked a group of writers and baseball enthusiasts for their take on a lasting Stadium memory. Most entries are short, just a few hundred words, but I've left the length up to their discretion.
I'll be posting one guest post per day for the rest of the season. But I'd also love to hear from you guys as well. So if you've got a favorite memory, a funny scene or incident from the old place, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Don't leave just leave your thoughts in the comments section, cause I'd like to cut-and-paste a group of them in a series of posts, The Banterites Remember Yankee Stadium, or something to that effect.)
Thanks and enjoy.
Lasting Stadium Memory #1
By Anthony McCarron
It's strange, but most everything else about that night is a blur, dissolved into a torrent of deadline writing, scrambling around the clubhouse for quotes and later, in the Stadium press box, for the words to detail the looming Subway Series this time, for real that was coming between the Yankees and Mets.
All that furious effort, I don't remember any of it, not even hitting the computer button that would send my final story to the editors and signal the end of my workday. That the Yankees rallied from a 4-0 deficit, that the Mariners scored three times in the eighth to make it close again and October pariah Alex Rodriguez was incredible for Seattle with four hits, including a homer and two doubles? Forgotten until I looked at the boxscore recently.
But what I'll never forget is what happened after David Justice's Game 6 home run in the seventh inning of the 2000 ALCS against Seattle, the shot that essentially put the Yankees in the World Series yet again.
My God, the press box of the old place was shaking. Swaying. There were 56,598 souls in the stands that night, Oct. 17, 2000, and all of them must have been stomping as Justice rounded the bases, as they begged him to come out of the dugout for a curtain call.
Frankly, it was unsettling and for more than just a single moment. I stopped re-working my running game story the one that has to be to editors as quickly as possible once the outcome is decided and put my hand next to the computer sitting in front of me to feel the vibrations. Yikes.
I was in my first season on the beat. I had worked the 1999 World Series and knew that the Stadium could get raucous, but this was something else, scary and amazing at the same time.
Afterward, Justice, an affable fellow who mostly enjoyed dealing with the press, talked about the indescribable what it's like to hit a huge home run in an important spot with the baseball world watching. "I wish y'all could feel it," he said.
We can't, of course. For a moment, I had my own feeling in its wake, though, just as memorable for me.
I have been at most of the epic events at the Stadium of the last 10 years or so, from dirty chapters of the Yankee-Red Sox saga to late-night, story-busting home runs in the 2001 World Series. But no memory has endured the same way. It is still the first thing I think of when people ask about working so often at Yankee Stadium.
Anthony McCarron is a reporter for the New York Daily News.