161 v. 1,300,000,000.One of these numbers represent the past, the other, the future.
161 postseason games held at Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built.”
$1.3 billion is how much money went into the new Yankee Stadium that the Yankees will begin playing in next season, the house that George “The Boss” Steinbrenner built.
It is a stadium that will be the most expensive of its kind.
Nothing will hold a candle to it besides the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium.
Most fans rejoice over a new stadium for their beloved team, but it is not that way at all for Yankee fans.
Yankee fans have based their loyalty on one thing that most other fans will never have, tradition.
26 World Series Titles.
Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, Maris, Rizzuto, Gehrig, Mattingly, Randolph, Munson.
That is, er.WAS the New York Yankees.
The Yankees played their final game at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 22. 85 years since Babe Ruth and the “Boys in Pinstripes” opened up the stadium in 1923.
There has never been a time when I have experienced sadness for Yankee fans until now.
I nearly shed a few tears just by reading multiple fan reactions to their final visit to those hallowed grounds.
Many diehard fans stayed well after the final Mariano Rivera strikeout until security or police had to usher them out.
Some fans even attempted to bring in screwdrivers hoping to take their seat home with them.
Yankee Stadium was a magical place where you could stand in the exact same place that Joe DiMaggio stood. It felt like a history museum, a place not just where great ballplayers played, but where legends walked and breathed.
The new stadium is just across the street from the original, and will bear the same “Yankee Stadium” name.
But, can ghosts cross the street?
For the first time in 85 years, a Yankee home game will be played on a field where there is no history, no legends, and no ghosts.
As I watched the Yankees this year, I couldn’t help but wonder what if more than the stadium is coming to an end?
For the first time in 13 years, the Yankees will not be making a postseason appearance.
More than $90 million of players salary are expiring during the off season, and the Yankees will head into their new stadium with players whose beards are beginning to show gray in Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada.
So far, the new generation of Yankees that will be breaking the champagne bottle on the new stadium, is a generation that is a disappointment to Yankee fans.
Steinbrenner and the front office have failed to draft well and grow their farm players for years, and it finally seems to be catching up with them.
Young teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays, who clinched their first playoff sport in the franchise’s history, are teams that don’t just throw around money to aging free agents like the Yankees do.
They draft smart and aim to cultivate the young players that they have in their system, something the Yankees haven’t done in years.
As the Yankees turn a new page in the franchise’s history, many fans are beginning to fear if the closing of the original Yankee Stadium was not a celebration, bur rather a funeral.