Who thought the last game played in Yankees Stadium would be played in September? I certainly wouldn’t have bet on it. Of course, five years ago I doubt most people would have guessed that Johnny Damon would hit a home run as a Yankee the last time the Yankees played in Yankee Stadium.
I’m very glad that ESPN televised the last Yankee Stadium game in HD so I could enjoy the final game. I also appreciated the extras they included in their broadcast. They scrolled stats through the years of Yankee Stadium on the bottom line and mentioned many interesting facts throughout the show. ESPN also had a lot of special guests Yogi Berra is always a fan favorite, but I like that they included as many of the Yankee greats as possible in their broadcast. There are a lot of things ESPN does (like barely covering hockey) of which I’m not fond. However, I must give them credit for doing a wonderful job with the final game in Yankee Stadium. They even mentioned the New York Cosmos (the soccer team that called Yankee Stadium home). I remember going to Cosmos games when I was little and it’s nice that the Cosmos were mentioned.
The first home run in Yankee Stadium (as most Yankees fans know) was hit by Babe Ruth. The last was hit by Jose Molina. Sure, if it had scripted by someone in Hollywood the final home run would have probably been hit by Derek Jeter (when he had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th, probably). It’s great that Jose Molina was back in the lineup and able to have such a special moment on the last night the Yankees played in Yankee Stadium. Derek Jeter was playing injured today and you can’t perfectly plan real life. Although I’m sure Jeter is bummed that he went 0-5 in the last game at Yankee Stadium, I’m also positive he’s glad he played in the game, even though he was injured. How could anyone who told his parents he was going to be a Yankee as when he was young miss playing in the last game in Yankee Stadium when he has that chance? Jeter did get a standing ovation by the crowd when he took the final Yankee at bat in the final game at Yankee Stadium. I’m sure this night wasn’t as he pictured it, but Derek Jeter batting the final at bat by a Yankee in the game and the Yankees winning definitely fit perfectly.
It’s perfect that Andy Pettitte started the final game in Yankee Stadium (he was also credited with the last win) and Mariano Rivera ended it. I’m glad Girardi paid attention to the importance of the final game in the house that Ruth built and made sure the two pitchers who came up through the Yankee farm system pitched in the final game. Frank Sinatra’s version of New York, New York has played for the last time in the original Yankee Stadium and the Yankees wandering around the field waving to their fans as it played a few times was the perfect way to say goodbye to the home of the Yankees. I wish I could have been there for this final game, but I’m glad I got to visit the stadium one last time before it closes the last time I was in the city.
I’m sorry that Jorge Posada couldn’t play in tonight’s game at Yankee Stadium. He’s one of the remaining 4 players on the Yankees who won the 4 World Series in 5 years (ending with the Subway Series in 2000). The other 3 are Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte. It’s good that Posada was there to share in the memories, but I’m sure he would have preferred to be playing in the game.
It’s also too bad that Joe Torre couldn’t be there to share in the last game in Yankee Stadium. His current team, the Dodgers, look like they will be making it into the playoffs this year. I wish he could have been there for the last game in Yankee Stadium, but I’m glad he’s doing well with his new team.
The last time the Yankees missed the playoffs, it was 1994. So much has happened since 1994. I, personally, had two weddings (and the associated divorces), graduated from Penn State, and moved (more times than I care to count now, but three states and 7 cities were involved). It’s amazing what can happen in 14 years. The price of gas in 1994 was around a dollar and California experienced the horrible Northridge earthquake. Hopefully, it will be another 14 years before the Yankees miss the playoffs again and the new stadium opening next year will be a new start for the Yankees in this millennium.