LADY AT THE BAT: The Closing Of The Cathedral: Memories & Observations

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Closing Of The Cathedral: Memories & Observations

The House That Ruth Built closed its doors last night after the Yankees beat the Orioles 7-4. I wasn't there but I wish I had been, especially after a friend took the above picture with her cell phone camera and sent it over to me. However, I didn't mind at all that I had to relax in bed while watching all the events unfold on TV. As I watched, I thought about my personal memories of The Big Ballpark In The Bronx:
  • Earliest Memory: My first game. It was on August 4, 1979, two days after the tragic death of Thurman Munson. As in last night's game, the oponent was the Orioles. I sat in the left field bleachers with my aunt and my two cousins, and vividly remember Jim Kaat acknowledging me after I waved at him wildly. The Yankees won the game, though I don't remember the score.

  • Biggest Memory: That took place on July 4, 1983. It was the Dave Righetti No-Hitter. I went to the game by myself and sat in the upper deck, down the left-field line. My Summer hadn't been going well so far and this day really lifted my spirits. I remember coming home and that night, watching the Macy's Fireworks from the roof of my apartment building. That game and the spectacle over the East River later that night made that July 4th one that I'll never forget.

  • Last Memory: Leaving The Stadium at the end of Opening Night this season. It was late in the evening and I was tired. As I walked down the ramp with my friend I saw a guy with what I thought was a Mets tee-shirt on. I began teasing him about it and wouldn't let up, until I noticed that the shirt, though it was blue and orange, did not say "Mets." It said "Mess." Ooops, my bad, I thought.

Some observations about last night:

  • Bob Sheppard. He wasn't there, never made it to The Stadium at all in this final season, but, what a pleasant surprise it was to hear his recorded remarks and his announcement of the Yankee lineup. (Someone should have told Johnny Damon they were going to be doing this!)

  • Willie Randolph's slide into second. Once more, for all time's sake, huh, Willie? Good stuff!

  • Bern Baby Bern!The fans finally got a chance to say goodbye to #51, Bernie Williams. It was goodbye but, it wasn't enough. He's got to come back again. Bernie Williams Day had better be in the plans for 2009.

  • Bye, George? The fact that George Steinbrenner was not in attendance last night speaks volumes to me. I can only conclude that he wasn't well enough to attend. Sad. I was kind of looking forward to seeing him.

  • No Hanky Panky. Hank Steinbrenner wasn't there last night (at least, I didn't see him) and I could not have been happier. If that doesn't spell out that this guy isn't as involved with the team as he wants you to believe, then I don't know what does.

  • Molina's House. Jose Molina hit the last home-run. Muy bien, Borinquen.

  • Got Melky? No, not last night. This year was not a good one for Melky Cabrera. That being said, he's given fans some great thrills over the past couple of years, and for that, he should have been given the chance to make an appearance during the game last night. The Bleacher Creatures seemed to agree: they chanted his name late in the game. Good job Section 39. [Corection: My friend called to tell me that Melky did get into the game, in the 9th inning. That's why the Bleacher Creatures were chanting his name. Thanks for not mentioning it, ESPN!]

  • Who pulled the lever? They made such a big deal about that Met Life countdown lever all year, but they never said who pulled it the last time. What kind of crazy crap is that?

  • Derek Jeter. What can you say? Nothing but class, all the way to the end.

So, it's over. The Baseball Cathedral has closed its doors. I'm a very emotional woman but, I didn't shed single tear last night. I suppose that, if the Yankees were leaving New York, or even leaving the Bronx, I would have been sobbing uncontrollably. That was, after all, my biggiest fear. For years, the prevailing thought was that, if the Yankees got a new stadium, it would be on the West Side of Manhattan or in New Jersey. But, they're staying right here in the borough I call home. For that, I am truly grateful. Thank you, New York Yankees.

(aka, The Lady)


Ross said...

Michael Kay pulled the lever. Way to go out with a whimper on THAT one.

Bernadette Pasley said...

Sounds like they had a last minute cancellation, lol!