Farwell, Old Friend
On Saturday afternoon, I, along with Mrs. Bartender, Isaac, Jr., and the latest addition to the Bartender family, went to see the Yankees and Red Sox do battle at the Stadium in the Bronx. The game was a terrific one, with the Yankees prevailing 2-1. Mussina pitched perhaps his best game of the year (6 shut-out innings), and the great Rivera came in in the 9th, promptly gave up a run and loaded the bases with none out, and proceeded to work his way of the self-created jam. Good times.
And yet as the game ended, I was left with a touch of sadness. I have been attending Yankee games at the Stadium since I was 5; in that time, I have seen hundreds of games there including 12 playoff and 4 World Series affairs. I have a lot of terrific memories of attending some classics including Chambliss homering to put the Yanks into the '76 Series, Brett homering 3 times in '78 only to have Munson win it in the 10th, Reggie sticking his hip out in '78, Mel Hall hitting a 3-run walk off homer to beat the Sox in '91, Donnie Baseball and his first postseason game in '95, Chad Curtis beating the Braves in Game 3 in '99, and Paul O'Neill working a walk and tying the game off perenial choke artist Armando Benitez in Game 1 of the '00 Subway Series. Since moving to DC, I have only attended a handful of games in NY, and in all likelihood this was my last one at the Stadium I grew up going to, attending games with my father who grew up 6 blocks from the Stadium. Now I have taken my sons, and while they won't remember it, at least they will get to know they were at this legendary ballpark.
I understand why the new stadium is going up, and I am thrilled it will be next door to the current one and called not Addidas Field but Yankee Stadium. It may not be the House that Ruth Built, but at least it will be close. Yet with a fond adieu, I think the old Stadium for so many memories.