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Yankee Stadium Memory #20
2008-09-27 07:39
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

By Will Carroll

I am not sad to see it go. I really have no connection to Yankee Stadium and have only been to a handful of games there. I went once, back in the 80s when the team was just a shell of it's previous self and New York seemed much more like what "The Warriors" made it out to be than it really is. Yankee Stadium and Times Square were similar in that they were places everyone said you had to go, but once you were there, you really didn't want to stay. Kodak moment and move on before something bad happened. Like Steve Balboni.

The Stadium has two things going for it - history and the entrance. While it's nice on the outside, somehow it doesn't have the same flavor as walking up to Wrigley or Fenway; it's more like old Comiskey where you went to a game, then got back on the train and got out of there. Once inside though, once you make it through the crush of the crowd and come out those narrow tunnels and pow, you see the green grass, those arches, you see YANKEE STADIUM in all it's game day glory and you get it for a second.

When I covered a game there, I walked out of the dugout and it was nearly the same, just a different angle. I wondered if Jason Giambi gasped like I did when he walked out on the field. I watched Joe Torre and wondered if that's where Billy Martin sat and answered questions. But it's a different bench. The grass is not the same that Babe Ruth walked on and isn't the same as what David Cone walked on. Time marches, right?

Time can also stand still. I have a tendency to wander at ballparks, rather than staying in the tight little area where press is expected. While the beat guys did their job on that May afternoon, I walked out to the monuments. I looked where the old fence line used to be. I touched the plaque of my father's hero, Mickey Mantle, and realized that I remembered Mantle for the stories of skirtchasing, drinking, and his numbers while my father got to see him play.

The Stadium is like its players, more than just concrete, more than just numbers, more than dates in a book, more than grass and dirt. It's a box of memories, open at the top so that the best float up.

Will Carroll writes about baseball injuries for Baseball Prospectus.

Comments
2008-09-27 08:11:15
1.   Fleckman
Wow, thanks for the amazing memories. Like everyone at baseball prospectus you suck all the life out of the game. Sometimes I think the people over at baseball prospectus would have more fun simulating a season 10,000 times than attending game 7 of the world series.
2008-09-27 09:14:20
2.   Shaun P
1 What are you talking about? Have you even read anything in a Baseball Prospectus book, or at their web site?

Thanks for sharing, Will.

2008-09-27 10:10:57
3.   williamnyy23
I wont go so far as 1 , but this was not a very interesting installment, which seems to becoming a trend with these pieces. While I fully appreciate that a lot of non-Yankee fans don't have compelling memories, I do question why those recollections have even been presented. I know I'd much rather read the memories of some Bronx Banter regulars than the ones that Will, Marcham and Scott Raab provided, to name a few. Again, that's not a knock on the authors as they can't manufacture memories.

Hopefully, the remaining installments will be more like Ed Randall's and Phil Pepe's. There are so many great Stadium memories out there that it seems a shame to waste so many installments on those who don't have any.

2008-09-27 10:49:49
4.   Shaun P
3 But I think that's the whole point - the Stadium is all sorts of things to all sorts of people, and deserves to be remembered for all those things. Not just the awesome and awe-inspiring moments of people with deep connections.
2008-09-27 11:42:00
5.   Chyll Will
Hey, I liked what Will said. It's honest. I'd been racking my brain trying to figure out what I would say that I haven't already related, but honestly I'm almost in the same boat.

I've only been to the Stadium less than a dozen times in my life and I've lived in the Bronx for ten years. I couldn't afford to go on my own except once or twice. For me, the magic's not so much in the building itself, but the people in it. When I was there, I felt like magic, good or bad.

I imagine it will be the same if I'm ever lucky enough to go to the new stadium. I deeply resent the desire and philandering that created this new stadium, especially at the expense of the people who live around there, but if I can afford a decent seat one day, I hope I can separate that from being part of the magic the fans bring to the joint.

2008-09-27 16:26:56
6.   Raf
I thought "While it's nice on the outside, somehow it doesn't have the same flavor as walking up to Wrigley or Fenway; it's more like old Comiskey where you went to a game, then got back on the train and got out of there. Once inside though, once you make it through the crush of the crowd and come out those narrow tunnels and pow, you see the green grass, those arches, you see YANKEE STADIUM in all it's game day glory and you get it for a second" was a nice bit
2008-09-27 22:33:21
7.   Schteeve
I'm not sure why I'm supposed to care.
2008-09-28 09:23:29
8.   Max
I really appreciate these installments and thank Alex and Cliff for presenting them to us...I don't think every contribution has to be dripping with awe and Angell-like prose.

With that said, I prefer contributions where there is some special spark to the piece that provides evidence that Yankee Stadium really did touch the author enough to feel compelled to lift his/her writing or thoughts to another level...whether they're a Yankee fan or not.

This piece, however sincere, felt mailed in and perfunctory to me.

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