Yankee Stadium Closes... A place I will never forget

By: Jesse Kurtz
By: Jesse Kurtz

My first, and only, visit to Yankee Stadium was memorable and emotional.

Yankee Stadium is baseball's shrine.  A must-see for any fan.  I grew up in a baseball-loving family and for years we talked about going to see a game in the Bronx.  But as time passed, and life got busier, a trip to NYC fell on the list of priorities.  Looked as if my mom, dad and I were going to miss out on the Yankees experience because time was limited.  It was going to be reduced to rubble at the end of the season and after 85 years, the shrine would be gone.

In early July, I was talking to my mother on the phone.  We were chatting about missing our chance to make the journey to Yankee Stadium.  Then out of nowhere, she suggested that we "just do it."  She said we need to make the time before we regret never making good on our dream of seeing a game.  So we did!  I made plane and hotel reservations and bought tickets to Yankees-Red Sox on August 26th!  How's that for a first game at Yankees Stadium?

When we arrived in New York, we heard the Yankees offer tours of the stadium.  Without hesitation, we took the "D" train to the Bronx and stood in line for the tour tickets.  GOT EM!  That afternoon, I got to touch Babe Ruth's monument, sit in Derek Jeter's seat in the dugout and walk on the very same grounds the Reggie Jackson, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle had walked before.  WOW!, could it get any better than this!

The next night, it was game time!  We went prepared.  Yankees hat?  Check!... Yankees shirt?  Check!  We were ready, and the experience did not disappoint.  Yankees fans are passionate.  They cheer the good, and boo the bad.  I witnessed Alex Rodriguez getting booed by 50-thousand fans because he grounded into an inning-ending double play.  Tough crowd.  But that's what made it special.  That's why my mom, dad and I wanted to come.  It is a unique atmosphere to be appreciated and cherished.

In the end, the Yankees lost to the Red Sox, 7-3.  But, win or lose, it was exactly what we had hoped for.  A family trip that will forever be etched in my memory as a son.  When the final out was made, my mom and I got up from our seat and emptied the bag of ashes that had been sitting with us for 9-innings.  Even though he couldn't tell us, I know the game was special for him.  He will forever be a part of Yankee Stadium, even when it is reduced to nothing but a memory.  My dad had passed away in June, but his memory lives on through times shared together around the baseball diamond.

So long Yankee stadium.   Love you dad.  Thank you for the memories.

Jesse

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  • by John Location: Ankeny, Iowa on Dec 22, 2008 at 01:57 PM
    Jesse, What a wonderful story about getting to Yankee stadium with your parents. I'm sure your father enjoyed the game and the whole experience of going to Yankee stadium from above.
  • by Paula Location: Arvada on Oct 18, 2008 at 02:11 PM
    What a wonderful tribute to an incredible man who I think about every day! He inspires me to keep going when the going gets tough~ His spirit will live on and I am so thankful to have known him and to have all of you in our lives. Thank you for sharing this very special memory~
  • by Scott and Lana Location: COS on Oct 5, 2008 at 06:36 PM
    Ahhhh Jesse, awesome memories, awesome article. So glad you went...
  • by Jay Location: Denver on Sep 30, 2008 at 06:00 PM
    Well said my friend. You made me smile and proud.
  • by Belinda Location: Denver on Sep 30, 2008 at 01:58 PM
    Like others who have commented, I had tears too!! What a great resting place for your dad,a man I will never forget. GO YANKEES!
  • by ROB Location: West Hollywood CA on Sep 30, 2008 at 09:54 AM
    That was a great summary of your trip. I thought leaving some of your dad's ashes was very touching. Thanks for sharing.
  • by Pat Location: Arvada on Sep 29, 2008 at 12:27 PM
    Jesse your article was great I forgot how much I miss your dad and how he tried to teach me about golf and other sports GREAT JOB
  • by Barbara Hornbach Location: Wallingford, PA on Sep 29, 2008 at 06:40 AM
    Jesse, Your article was most touching and it brought tears to my eyes. Such great memories for both of you. Such a wise decision to make the trip with your Mom. We all have special things we keep meaning to do and all too often put it off, then one day realize it's too late. Your Dad certainly was there with you both in spirit. Your Mom and I go way back from the Commonwealth days and I had the priviledge of meeting your Dad on more than one occasion. He was a wonderful man and you are in part of result of remarkable parents. I know they're justifiably proud of you.
  • by Randy, Mary, Raquel, Natalie Location: Huntington Beach, CA on Sep 29, 2008 at 12:18 AM
    A beautiful memory of your dad. We know how important baseball was to him, your mom, your brother & grandfather. We miss him so much.
  • by Frank Williams Location: Perth Western Australia on Sep 28, 2008 at 07:13 PM
    Jesse What a nice tribute you paid to your dad. Your family is special to me going back to your grandma who went to school with my mother in Metroplis IL home to Superman. I also catered your parents wedding in 1976. I am sure you haven't forgotten me. Frank Williams PS I think I have a baseball signed by Babe Ruth I am not sure if it is authentic. I will have to check it out someday. It was around 1938 Take care Jessie and tell your mom hello
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