The New York Yankees: History, Nostalgia, America’s Team

Yankee Stadium

Anyone who ever visited the original Yankee Stadium understood the history and the memories that can never be replaced.  Having said that, the new stadium standing across the street from a park where the old stadium once stood, is an impressive tribute to that icon stadium.  So many memories were made there and yet the new stadium carries much of the old feeling, so one doesn’t feel nostalgic.  It’s a wonderful combination of old and new.  I have been fortunate enough to have attended some of the most memorable games of my generation, most notably, game four of the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  While smoke still billowed from Ground Zero, Tino Martinez tied the game in the ninth inning and the “Captain” Derek Jeter won it in the 10th with a two out home run to right field.  There will never again be a sporting event that matched the excitement and jubilation of everyone in that stadium.  Following the worst act of terrorism in our history, it was as if all of the fear, anger, anguish and sorrow, was released with one swing of the bat.  The stadium was vibrating and swaying with more than 55,000 human beings collectively jumping up and down, none of us wanting to leave.  The excitement and drama of that early morning home run will never be repeated.  I am happy to say the joyous memory of that game, has long since replaced the memory of the first plane striking the World Trade Center.  One other notable fact about that game; it was the first time in history that baseball was played in November.  The game started on October 31st  and ended on November 1st.  As incredible as the team’s 27 World Championships, is the fact that no other team in history, in any sport, has had the quantity of star players; a who’s who of baseball greats; Ruth, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, Maris, Nettles, Ford, Guidry, Gossage, Rivera.  The list would go on and on.  But even more important than great players and great memories, and one of the least understood and most important parts of baseball, is the tradition of father and son, father and daughter, watching the Yankees or any major league team for that matter. The passing down of America’s pastime is an American tradition.  So last night, as we have done many times, my youngest son and I, went to see the Yankees.  And although they lost, once again they have a competitive team that will only improve.  That’s far more than can be said about the team from Queens.  Hopefully Jeter is back before long as his presence is missed both on and off the field. Last night’s game was slow and uneventful as baseball can often be, so the highlight for my son and everyone around us, was rapper Jay-Z, who was sitting two rows in front of us. As I was sitting there, people taking pictures of him and whispering, I thought, that sums up the Yankees; even when losing, as they did last night, they still manage to stay in the spotlight. The New York Yankees are Americas team!

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