Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Up Down

The old Yankee Stadium, the "House that Ruth built," is being demolished after the Yankees built a brand new stadium right next door (with some controversy of course). A web site has been recording the demolition in photos, and shedding tears.

The old stadium was built in 1923 and was dear to the hearts of generations of fans and Bronx residents. A friend of mine born and raised and living within a few blocks of the old and the new said, philosophically, that with the demolition almost complete, the sun is now shining on several streets which had stood in the Yanks' shadow since the 1920s...

I went to a game once in 1999, with friends. We stayed for several raucous innings, then left, somewhat drunk. Since then. my encounters with the stadium and the Yankees have been restricted to walking past the old and now, new stadia, on my many visits to the Bronx... and also -- on game days, when you are waiting on the D or 4 trains and expect to get on a relatively empty and quiet train, you realize "the Yankees played a home game..." when the train pulls in jammed to the doors with red-cheeked (that is, tipsy) white people.

Something else to add: a spine-tingling acoustic experience. Several times I was walking near the stadium during a game, and something happened which caused the crowd to react at once, and that odd, hollow, unamplified sound of tens of thousands of humans yelling "OOOOH!" or "YESSSSSSSS!" made me jump and shiver in ecstasy. I felt I could almost see the sound.

And finally... if you are interested, this Wikipedia table, below, compares old stadium with new, and that's quite enough sports/baseball for another year, folks.