~Yankee Stadium ~1923-2008: A Farewell to the Cathedral

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by JediANGELA, Apr 1, 2008.

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  1. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    Tonight, marked the beginning of the end for "The House That Ruth Built". To commemorate that, MLB is having the All Star Game there one last time, before it becomes nothing but an echo in the dust.

    The YES Network (Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network) has been airing programs and tidbits throughout Spring Training about the history and legacy of the Stadium and will continue to do so until the very end.

    In this thread I will give a history about the legacy of Yankee Stadium. Feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and any personal history that you have with the Ballpark in the Bronx.


    From Wikipedia:

    Upon its opening, Yankee Stadium soon came to be known as "The House that Ruth Built", a play on the nursery rhyme "The House that Jack Built", and in reference to the Yankees' star player, Babe Ruth. Ruth's power as a drawing card had enabled the Yankees to build their own stadium in the Bronx after their rivals across the Harlem River, the New York Giants, were threatening to evict them. In the first game at Yankee Stadium, April 18, 1923, Ruth hit the first home run at the Stadium, a three-run shot to help defeat his former team, the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. Boston Red Sox first baseman George Burns got the first hit ever in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees also won their first World Series during the Stadium's inaugural season, a rare coincidence that would not occur again until the St. Louis Cardinals did it in 2006.



    It was the Babe's homerun to right field that gave it its nickname, "The House That Ruth Built". It was also Babe's liking to right field that eventually led to a 1937 renovation to occur that created what is known today at the 'short porch in right field'.


    Just a small opening day history for all.
  2. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    So no "Yankees suck" comments, huh? :p

    That damned park will be sorely missed: the history, the dimensions, everything. One-third of the Classic Ballfield Triumvirate will be gone at the end of this season, and that makes this baseball fan very sad.
  3. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    The Yankees are making a damned foolish decision in replacing the stadium, I think. You simply cannot replace the cache of the current Yankee Stadium with the new one to open next season, it's simply impossible.

    2008: The 50th season of L.A. Dodger baseball! :cool:
  4. darth_gersh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2005
    star 6
    I think its the right decision to replace the stadium if it indeed needs to be replaced. I have never been there so I can't say from experience. I have been to wrigley and the history is great, but as far as being a great place to watch and experience a game it sucks.

  5. Eeth-my-Koth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 9
    Same goes for Fenway.
    Great place to check out and stuff.
    But man my back and neck was sore after only a few innings.


    Great start last night to the final season.

    2008 YANKEE GAME HEROES
    1. Melky Cabrera
  6. DarthWormie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2004
    star 4
    For as many positive upgrades and improvements the new ownership has made to Fenway, it's still a dump and really does need to be replaced. I'm tired of listening to media (local and national) romanticize and fawn about how great a place it is to watch a game. These are people who NEVER have to sit in a $50 grandstand seat with either an obstructed seat or one that faces the left field wall instead of home plate.

    I now conclude this rant and return you to the Yankee Stadium thread already in progress.
  7. Eeth-my-Koth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 9
    How about both? :p
  8. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    I really, really hope I am able to make a trip to NY this summer and take in a game at Yankee Stadium. I feel my life as a baseball fan will never be complete if I can't make it to Yankee, Fenway, and Wrigley. And the clock is about to run out on Yankee.
  9. DarthWormie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2004
    star 4
  10. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    Once this season is over, you know which stadium will be the 3rd oldest after Fenway & Wrigley? Dodger Stadium! :D

    2008: The 50th season of L.A. Dodger baseball! :cool:


  11. DarthWormie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2004
    star 4
    Dodger stadium is quite nice. A friend of mine took me to a game there while I was in town for C4 last year. We sat in one of the upper decks behind home plate and the view was amazing.

    The concession area up there is a bit dark and grimy but other than that, I liked the place.
  12. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Fenway and Wrigley should absolutely be left alone. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

    I think Steinbrenner is making a huge mistake by messing with Yankee Stadium, and I wouldn't be surprised if they went a few decades without a Series win, if not more.
  13. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    The Curse of the House the Bambino Built? I could live with that.
  14. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    Heres a little more history about the Stadium and its lasting legacy on other stadiums.


    "Yankee Stadium was the first three-tiered sports facility in the United States and one of the first baseball parks to be given the lasting title of stadium. Baseball teams typically played in a park or a field. The word stadium deliberately evoked ancient Greece, where a stadium was unit of measure--the length of a footrace; the buildings that housed footraces were called stadiums. Yankee Stadium was one of the first to be deliberately designed as a multi-purpose facility. The field was initially surrounded by a (misshapen) quarter-mile running track, which effectively also served as a warning track for outfielders, a feature now standard on all major league fields. The left and right field bleacher sections were laid out at right angles to each other, and to the third base stands, to be properly positioned for both track-and-field events and football. The large electronic scoreboard in right-center field, featuring both teams' lineups and scores of other baseball games, was the first of its kind."
  15. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I think I read that it was in fact the first to be called "stadium".


    Anyway, thought I'd share some of my fondest memories:

    - My first game there was the 76 or 77 Old Timer's Day. My next door neighbor had an extra ticket. Ron Guidry pitched. I think they lost. (I saw 3-4 games when the Yankees were at Shea during the renovations -- I grew up in Flushing).

    - The a big gap, my Dad was never in the mood to drive up to the Bronx. A good friend was a big Yankee fan, and we started going to games together during summers in college (late 80s), 2-3 per summer). I had a wild streak of 10-15 game sin a row that went to where Mattingly hit a home run, and I actually had a knack for calling them. The streak included a game at the Old Comisky in Chicago. The streak actually ended there, at Andy Hawkins No-Hit loss, in 1990 (I have the score card at my parents house).

    - I was a masochist and kept going in the early 90s, when they weren't even contending anymore. The Mel Hall years. Ugh.

    - My first playoff game ever was also Don Mattingly's. 1995 ALDS Game 1 vs. the Mariners. Great game, lots of back and forth, and Donnie Baseball game up big more than once.

    - After Buck Showalter was fired, I vowed I would never go to a Yankee game again. So a big giant gap for me in 1996. I forgave quickly, though, when Torre had them playing better than ever.

    - 1997 and 1998 were lean years, too, since I was still in DC worked over the summer.

    -1999 was awesome, though, some friends and I got a 15 game package, that included the right to one game per playoff round. That meant Game 4 of the WS, Clemens vs. Smoltz. Awesome game.

    - The prices on tickets skyrocketed after that, so no more ticket package, but i still went to 5-10 games through 2002, including ALCS games in 2000 and 2001 The clincher vs. the Mariners both years). The 2001 game was probably even better than the 1999 WS game, coming in the aftermath of 9/11. The bald eagle flew in after the national anthem, and the Irish tenor guy sang God Bless America in the 7th inning stretch. I still get goosebumps. When Justice hit the clinching HR off the upper deck facade, I serious got scared the upper deck was going to colapse, it was rocking so dramatically.

    Sadly, I haven't been to a game since 2002, as I moved to Europe in 2003, and haven#t been home during baseball season since, and it doesn#t look like I'll be back this year, either.

    Angela, a great choice for the title of the thread, a baseball cathedral is precisely what it is. I look forward to the new stadium, but I'll always miss the place that holds so many great memories for me.
  16. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    Instead of giving a history today, I decided to share a personal story.

    I must have 3 or 4 at the time, and my grandparents had the whole family over for a bbq. It just happened to be a Yankees/Red Sox game that day. I was outside playing with my older cousins when we heard yelling from inside. We ran back to see an argument on the field. The camera kept panning around to show the fans screaming along with the players (I forgot even what it was over it was almost 20 years ago or so). That was the first time I remember seeing Yankee Stadium either on TV or real life. I'm sure I must have seen it before, but thats my first real memory of it.
  17. Eeth-my-Koth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 9

    2008 YANKEE GAME HEROES
    1. Melky Cabrera
    2. Bobby Abreu
  18. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    More history for you tonight!


    As Yankee Stadium owed its creation largely to Ruth, its design partially accommodated the game's left-handed-hitting slugger. Initially the fence was 295 feet from home plate down the right-field line and 350 feet to near right field, compared with 490 feet to the deepest part of center field, nicknamed Death Valley. Because bleacher fans in left-center field were considerably farther away from home plate (460 feet) compared with the right-field bleachers, those who sat in the former were considered "out in left field", another phrase that originated at Yankee Stadium. The right-field bleachers were appropriately nicknamed Ruthville.
  19. Eeth-my-Koth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 9

    2008 YANKEE GAME HEROES
    1. Melky Cabrera
    2. Bobby Abreu
    3. Chien-Ming Wang
  20. Eeth-my-Koth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 9
    2008 YANKEE GAME HEROES
    1. Melky Cabrera
    2. Bobby Abreu
    3. Chien-Ming Wang
    4. Mike Mussina
  21. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    Ive been neglecting this over the weekend. Here is some more history.

    Through the 2007 season, Yankee Stadium has hosted 37 World Series, far more than any other baseball stadium. The Stadium has also hosted the major-league All-Star Game three times: 1939, 1960, and 1977. As part of its curtain call, Yankee Stadium is scheduled to host the 2008 All-Star Game.

    Yankee Stadium underwent major renovations from 1936 through 1938. The wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete bleachers, shrinking the "death valley" area of left and center substantially, although the area was still much deeper than in most ballparks; and the second and third decks were extended to short right center. Gradually, all of the outfield bench seats were replaced with chair seats in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1966-67 offseason, the stadium's green exterior was painted white, and the interior was also repainted.
  22. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I believe that's when it went from 490 to 460.
  23. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    About the renovation:

    By the late 1960s, Yankee Stadium's condition had badly deteriorated, and the surrounding neighborhood had gone downhill as well. In 1971, CBS, which owned the Yankees at the time, proposed extensive renovations to Yankee Stadium. However, this would require the Yankees to play their home games at Shea Stadium in Queens, the regular home of the New York Mets. The Mets, as Shea's primary tenants, refused to sign off on letting the Yankees play there as well--effectively delaying the renovations. CBS then gave serious thought to building a stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands before selling the Yankees to George Steinbrenner in 1972.

    Finally, in mid-1972, Mayor John Lindsay stepped in and announced the city would buy Yankee Stadium for $24 million (by comparison, it cost $2.4 million to build in 1923, not adjusting for inflation) and lease it back to the Yankees. Since the city owned Shea Stadium as well, the Mets had little choice but to agree. Yankee Stadium closed on September 30, 1973 for the two-year facelift; the Yankees played the 1974 and 1975 seasons in Shea Stadium.
  24. Jarik Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2000
    star 4
    1996...Game 6. I was like 15 rows behind home plate on field level. I was 11 years old. I've been to a bunch of games since then of course....and I was at a few games before that....but that is by far the best obviously. Man as soon as Hayes caught that ball there was confetti all stuck in that net above me and everyone was going crazy.


    I'm sure as hell gonna try to get out to a couple of games this year before the stadium's all done.
  25. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I was in a box seat section at the very final game before it closed in 1973. Somebody in the same area sneakily took out a screwdriver and unscrewed one of the little metal plates that identified the section and slipped the plate in his pocket. The screwdriver made the rounds during the game and eventually got to me. I still have the plate somewhere in my apartment!

    As the game ended, some of the people in other sections went a bit nuts and started tearing the seats out. The ushers tried to stop them but eventually gave up. I didn't tear a seat out but I did take one already done. (It was amazing how many seats I saw on the subway back to Grand Central Station!) I had the seat at my parents' house but when they moved they junked it as they had forgotten what it was.

    I also attended the 'rummage sale' they had. I didn't get anything major but I still have a menu from the private club that has a nice picture of the old stadium on it.
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