BRONX, NY – For a franchise that’s been around since 1903, it seems like the NY Yankees have an anniversary to celebrate for every single day. The latest was on April 18th. One hundred years ago on that date the original Yankee Stadium opened up. Yankees slugger Babe Ruth homered and the nickname of The House That Ruth Built, was christened.
I still vividly remember the 1973 season. It’s hard to believe that fifty years have passed since the stadium’s fiftieth anniversary. I remember my heroes, Thurman Munson, Roy White, Bobby Murcer, Felipe & Matty Alou, and Celerino Sanchez proudly wearing a 50th anniversary patch on their left sleeve.
On its century celebration the stadium that should have been labeled a landmark is long gone. It was demolished in 2008 and its grounds have transformed into a community park named Elston Howard Field.
One needs to go plant their feet into the batter’s box where you can see the court building far and beyond over center field. It’s the same batters box where Reggie went yard three times during Game 6 in the 1977 World Series. It’s where Thurman Munson crouched into the catchers position.
The landmark that once stood was turned into bits and pieces for Steiner to auction off. So here was this once great Yankees franchise, which has turned into a greed corporation, celebrating its one hundredth anniversary of a stadium that doesn’t exist anymore.
The folks up in the Bronx who would constantly put together a major pre-game production for events like this sort of dropped the ball on this one. Baseball Royalty was only a tape measure homer away in Linda Ruth Tosetti, the granddaughter of The Babe. She would have easily made the trek to the Bronx from her home in Connecticut to throw out the first pitch. I’m guessing they had their heads up some ANALytic device that they never considered it.
The new stadium, which is right across the street from the old one, just doesn’t have that same old school feel. It looked promising when they won the championship in its inaugural season back in 2009. But since then it seems like the ghosts of the past didn’t feel welcome in the Yankees new home… or maybe they couldn’t afford it.