|Saying Goodbye to Something Old|
Written by Jessika Rosen (Contact & Archive) on January 26, 2009
Sitting directly behind home plate, I am watching my team win its last home game of the season. Excuse me. I am watching our team, the team of thousands of screaming, overly emotional fans, both famous and ordinary, win its last home game of the season.
It was a picture-perfect way to spend my last moments at a place that I call my playground, where all the stress in my life doesn’t exist, and the positive anxiety builds, and my emotions pour out with every swing of a bat, meeting at the mound, win or loss.
For 23 years, I bled an organization that has always brought out this excitement in my life. The reality was prolonged hours after the game as fans like myself lingered, absorbing the happiness that was traveling up from the diamond as we watched the players and their loved ones enjoy the last moments in pinstripes on that field.
What was reality?
“That’s it!” Mike, my favorite usher, exclaimed. “Say good-bye and take what you can.”
As much as I was aware that I would never sit in the blue chairs in the same stadium again, I hid the task of saying goodbye, or having some type of closure, even though having the opportunity to be at the last game should have been enough closure for anyone, I still couldn’t do it.
The almighty month of October proved to be a great distraction from reality thanks to the intense battles that occurred for the title. November brought intense football competition and Hot Stove reports to keep you psyched for the 2009 baseball season.
Still there was no room for acceptance of what was to come for the Bombers. Good old December brought holiday gifts of gear and accessories to get me ready for the new season. A new year always brings changes, but never in 23 years has something so consistent and traditional and unbreakable have had to occur. It wasn’t until now, while purchasing spring training tickets, picturing coming home from Tampa, having Opening Day jitters, realizing the truth about saying good-bye.
In my car, I’m blasting tunes, getting pumped for game time. I got my best mates with me, all geared up for some classic ball playing.
My adrenaline is pumping as I exit the Grand Central and hop onto the Major Deegan. Oh, how I love the congestion as soon as you get on, because you can snoop into other windows to see the excitement inside other cars, as you pass fellow fans.
I get off at exit 4 and I stay to the left. It’s always nice to see that NYPD officer at the top of the ramp. I stay underneath the overpass and I come to my car’s respected home -- Lot 16! The best $17 I could spend on my day. If you’re lucky enough and early enough you can play catch in the open dirt lot with your friends before the volume increases.
Finally, after a few cold ones, some good laughs, and random high fives, it’s time to walk! Whether you decide to take the stairs, or you do the walk around the gas station past all the friendly local vendors (whom I hope will be around for seasons to come), it’s that walk that sits in your stomach, filling it with excitement in the form of potential energy getting ready to kinetically burst out as you see the street sign of East 157th & River Ave.
And it’s there in my memories that give me the strength to stand up and say that I don’t have to say good-bye to the old stadium. The old stadium is made up of memories that, if kept, will never leave my heart. I will keep the memories to remind me of the later years of the house that Ruth built, while welcoming brand new times to create even more memories.
So as reality has set in, it is true to say that goodbye is not a worthy word to use when thinking about the old Yankee Stadium. Rather, remember can describe how I will look back on the last 23 years in pinstripes.
What stories do you have to share about the old Yankee Stadium? Tell them below in our comments section.