Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is It




Well, this is not IT...it's not the piece I've been writing; however, it IS the last home game at The House That Ruth Built. Tonight, we say good-bye, amidst legends, fan fare, abundant camera flash, and Jorge, poignantly snapping pictures of the plaques in Monument Park. Derek Jeter has officially hit more runs in Yankee Stadium than any other Yankee in history. Bernie returned home to say good-bye. Yogi saw his last Yankee game in this park tonight. David Cone looks younger, if that's possible. David Wells looks good. Jorge threw the first pitch to Babe Ruth's daughter. Bob Sheppard, who is too ill to attend the game, pre-corded the introduction for Derek Jeter. Andy Pettite started. Who doesn't love Andy?

Some of you are saying "It's just a ball park." Well, you can feel that way; you're entitled. If you are not a Yankee fan, there is no way that you can appreciate this moment in history, and Yankee history may be more significant than that of any other baseball team. If that doesn't mean anything to you, than I have to tell you this.

I never meant to watch baseball. I never meant to care. Then I met a Yankee fan, from a long line of Yankee fans. I started watching baseball in the spring of 1996, when the Yankees had just begun their return to eminence. It was an exciting season to be a part of baseball as the Yankees won their first World Series in many years. I learned to watch baseball, and like it. I made my first trip to Yankee Stadium in 2000. I forged a relationship that included baseball. I watched the World Series with my then ex-boyfriend and current husband. When your apartment building burned, and we moved in with John and Kathy for a month, we watched the World Series while we got our life back in order. My commitment to the Yankees made it into my wedding vows. Several family members and friends got married in several Octobers, and we frantically checked post-season scores while enjoying the nuptials. In the fall of 2005, we bought a tiny little Yankee outfit for the tiny baby I carried inside me. We sat those pinstripes in front of the TV for luck during that post-season (though it didn't really bring any). I blearily pretended to watch baseball while nursing an infant and reluctantly (sort of) gave up baseball for a time because I was (am) just too tired to pay attention. We took that little boy to Yankee Stadium, where he exclaimed "WOW! Yankees." He watches a game on TV and asks "Derek Jeter, Daddy?" Often, when we leave the house, Duncan says "I need my Yankee hat."

Now, do you understand? Just indulge me. Good-bye Yankee Stadium; thanks for being there.
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