Sunday, July 20, 2008

We Say Our Final Goodbye to Yankee Stadium

This is the story of the final sojourn to Yankee Stadium. We kept changing the time of departure for our final New York Yankee Stadium trip. We spoke of leaving at 3 PM. We changed it to 12:30 PM. We not only wanted to have plenty of time to take pictures outside the stadium but also in Monument Park (Pictured above on the right.)

We also wanted a photo of Ben and I near the huge Yankee bat outside the stadium. (Picture on the left.) We took a photo there when Ben was very young (with Heather and James, BTW). That photo is currently lost, but we thought it might be neat to have the new pic in case the old one did ever turn up.

We left my home at shortly after 1 PM. We planned to get the hotel by 3 PM and the stadium by 5:30PM. Things don’t always go according to plan. We were at the hotel on time and Maria used her points to get us great adjoining rooms, that was more like a suite. I had brought cocktails, of course. Ben was driving so he just had a beer. Bierne and I did Smirnoff and Maria did Smirnoff Pomegranate Martinis.

We forgot to take into account that we were going into New York at Friday rush hour. The forty-five minute trip took two hours. I immediately had an attitude adjustment. We would not wind up having time for those two pictures. The important thing was that we were together for one last game at Yankee Stadium. And we got two great shots of us at our seats, which were four rows from the field, just behind first base.

Here are those photos: (Top: Ben, Bud and Bierne):

(Bottom) Ben and Maria.

I took some pictures of some of the players. I sorta suck with cameras. But here are Derek Jeter and Milky Cabrera as they passed by us and I am actually the photographer. Boy, does that seldom happen! Here are those two shots: (Melky Cabrera is on the top, Derek Jeter is on the bottom.)

We got to the seats about 6:30 PM. So while those pictures I had hoped for didn’t get done, we were in plenty of time for the game. Oakland scored in the top of the first and it appeared Mike “Moose” Mussina was looking at a long night. As in, "Holy Moly, this is gonna be ugly..." But, while he did cough up a run that effectively gave the run right back to the A's. But he settled down. Moose did indeed limited the damage. Mussina (below, left) lasted six innings and did not give up another run.

The other highlights:

Robinson Canoe hit a three run homer (right):

Richie Sexon who just joined the team (he was released from Seattle) started at first base. His first at bat was a RBI single. The Yanks went on to win 7-1 for their third straight home win. Since they won both Saturday and Sunday, the streak is at five.

A-Rod homered (left).

Relief pitchers after Mussina? David Robinson struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh. Edwar Ramirez retired his three batters 1-2-3 as did LaTroy Hawkins in the ninth.

We had a blast, We had a waiter at our seats, the ride back to the hotel went quickly and we watched the highlights of the game we had come back from and highlights throughout MLB on ESPN. So while I would like to have had those pix, it was a fantastic day. Fathers and sons (plus a fabulous daughter-in-law) watching a ballgame in the Bronx at the original Yankee Stadium. When I began this plan, I thought it should be perfect. And for one glorious night in July, during the summer of ’08, it was. One last time at The House That Ruth Built. Perfect, it was. Baseball and fathers and sons. If you don't understand it, I cannot explain it.