Sports Outside the Beltway

‘Old’ Yankee Stadium to host 2008 All-Star Game

Assuming this report is true, I’m excited. The last All-Star game at the Stadium was in 1977, so this is the first time in my life that the Bronx will host the Summer Classic. It will be a great send-off for ‘The House that Ruth Built.’ That brings me to the ‘new’ Yankee Stadium.

I for one am looking forward to the new park. A lot of people are against it for nostalgic reasons, and I completely understand that. But I disagree because Yankee Stadium is not the same Yankee Stadium as it was from 1923-1973. Then it was truly the ‘Cathedral of Baseball.’ The renovations took down the beautiful facade, pushed fans farther from the field, and gave it a more ‘modern’ feel, and influenced by the ’60s era of cement, cookie-cutter parks, it lost some charm and character.

However, there are some aspects that cannot be replaced. The first HR ever hit at the Stadium was by the greatest player ever, Babe Ruth, in a win over Boston. The Yanks also won the Series the year it opened. Lou Gehrig made his ‘Luckiest Man’ speech there, Roger Maris hit his 61st HR in the final game of the ’61 season, Reggie Jackson hit 3 HRs in one World Series game, Derek Jeter became Mr. November, and Aaron Boone launched a series-clinching knuckler into the LF seats.

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived almost my whole life in NYC, or I attend 5-15 games a year, or because I wasn’t alive for most of those moments, but I don’t think of those things every time I’m there. I did 15 or so years ago when I first began attending games, so maybe that nostalgia and awe have worn off since then.

The pros outweigh the cons: better parking, better bathrooms, better food, better seats, more space, the return of the facade, and a gorgeous exterior. The memories will still exist, and the fans will have a better experience. The only thing I wish they were adding to the new stadium is a retractable roof. I had to leave 2-3 games last year because of rain outs/delays.

Check out (video) the beauty (images).

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