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.


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