Monday, March 31, 2008

the cathedral of baseball's last hurrah

The 85th and final year of the fabled Yankee Stadium - "The House that Ruth Built" - was scheduled to start this afternoon, but due to rain the Yankees' home opener was canceled. It's supposed to rain tomorrow too, so we'll just have to wait and see if the countdown for the final year of this historic ballpark will begin tomorrow.

After a break, I've been trying to keep tabs on the progress of the Yankees' next generation ballpark. I snapped the following photographs on Saturday.

Though I wasn't aware of it when I photographed these, it so happened that earlier that day two eagle medallions which are reminiscent of the original ones from the famous 1923 facade, were placed on the main gate of the new stadium.

Next week, I plan to start talking with a couple of my friends about purchasing tickets for this final season.

Sunday's NYT had a wonderful section devoted almost entirely to the Yankees though not forgetting the Mets, who will also find themselves in a new home come 2009.

Looking Out My Window Into the Past and the Future is wonderful, especially to me and I'm sure other neighborhood Bronxites who can relate to a great deal in this essay. I live just about 3 blocks from Yankee Stadium. I know all about the famous Bronx cheer that Rhoden describes. For instance, one of the peculiarities of living so close to the Stadium is that if something big like a home run is hit by the Yankees, I can hear the crowd's roar through my apartment window and because there's a time delay on both TV and radio broadcasts, I'll know by the spirited roar that something momentous has happened seconds before I see it played out on the television screen or described by the radio announcer.

Though the photograph above isn't the clearest, the view shown is undoubtedly a great one. It's a perspective that I had never seen until seeing this photograph. I live just behind Yankee Stadium (on the right) in its shadows. The long elevated structure that leads your eye to the center of the photograph is the beautiful 155th Street Viaduct, which connects Harlem to the Macombs Dam Bridge (a favorite photographic subject of mine) via 155th Street, across the Harlem River, into the Bronx where both the present and future stadiums are located. The Polo Grounds, the former home of the Yankees (before moving to the Bronx in 1923), Giants, and Mets, is located on the Harlem side of the viaduct. There's a lot of baseball history and no doubt a bit of Americana found right in that photo!

How I would love to get a chance to take a similar photograph from Mr. Rhoden's apartment window!

Deep Inside the Big Ballyard in the Bronx

Ballparks Come, Ballparks Go, the Memories Are Forever

You Can't Just Blow Up History

Showing Power, but Weakening a Neighborhood

Shea in '64: The Planes Above, the Mets Below


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