Thursday, March 27, 2008


By Barry Spencer

Along with the Yankees, we are about to embark on an historical season, never before seen, and never to be seen again. By us anyway.I am talking about the realization of a season of "lasts" in the Cathedral. The first of which is upcoming in a few days.

The last opening day in "The House That Ruth Built".At this particular time, it would be prudent for us to sit back, and breathe in this thought.

A reflection if you will. And I'm not sure I can do it justice.While on the outskirts of this historic phenomenon, I will still feel the gravity of it. But I want you to know, it is those of you who are regulars, and semi-regulars, and past regulars, and past semi-regulars, that will encompass most of my thoughts as the season wears on. It is something many will find difficult to put into words. And that's probably as it should be. It will be a "you had to be there" kind a thing.

Guys like Skinny, that used to vendor at the stadium, and now laments the idea of how money has taken much of the family joy away from a game that was built for it.

Guys like Asbury, who will connect with fellow board members on train platforms on the way back home from games.Guys like Jimbue. Who's memories at the stadium are frequently expressed and welcomed on this board. (I won't say how far back it dates. Not sure they had calendars back then. Sun dials or somethin'.)

Guys like Phil, who I figure is well connected at the stadium.

And Lefty, who can probably tell you the pitch count on the batter when Jackie Robinson stole home.It's a forgone conclusion the reunion will be something special. An effort should be made to contact Zbi maybe. Certainly not my call. But all you reunion regulars should make special plans for this year. It will be a reunion of joy and sadness together. As it should be when special friends get together for an occaision that will never be equaled. Kudo's to Brian for having the foresight to realize the difficulty in group ticket sales this year, and getting that job done with expediency.

And lastly, and maybe most importanly, our own scribe Dan McCourt, aka Knuckles. A man I once knew Yankinit to call the "best Yankee fan I've ever known".

I know he's a man of deep emotion, and strong passions. This will be a tumultuous and emotional year for him as every time he walks out of box 622, he knows it will be the last time on that date forever. He will be in my thoughts the most. Politically, he's pretty whacked , but I can't argue with Yankinit's assessment.

And my thoughts will also be on the great George Steinbrenner. The memories he must carry I can't even fathom. And in the twilight of his great career, it won't be easy.

I also know there are many more of you that go to the games at the stadium, and only mention it in passing from time to time. JohnM comes to mind here.

My apologies for those I've missed or don't know about. It is my hope you will share memories from your visits, both good and bad, as the season wears on. This will be the year for it. It will indeed be a season of lasts. Each and every day. Each and every game, will be a last of some kind, if not only the date itself.

But it will not be just us that will be saying goodbye to a tradition that dates almost an entire century. It will also be a country saying goodbye. It will be the globe saying goodbye. Because I don't care where you go, what language you speak, what color of your skin, or what corner of the globe you call home. Every ball fan knows the New York Yankees. And they know they play in Yankee Stadium. The thought almost takes my breath away.And then there's the players. What emotions they will feel. Derek's last game winning hit. (Somebody get me that ball, will ya?) The Yankees last shutout. The Yankees last loss, their last win, the last home run, the last extra inning game, the last stolen base, the last strikeout, the last walk, and on and on and on. Much of this will happen without anyone realizing it, but it will be etched in timeless baseball lore as all great things are in this, the greatest game of all.

There will be books written about it. Videos made of it. Millions made from it. And all these things are as it should be. Anything less would be a pox on the game, the team and the structure that is Yankee Stadium.We already have a team and a stadium for the ages.

It is my fervent desire this year, above all other years I have rooted my beloved team, they make this a season for the ages too.Their motivation is nothing short of historic.


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