Reflections on the 2009 Yankee Season
November 8, 2009


The New York Yankee 2009 season began with the last home game of the 2008 season.

On that day we watched players scooping up dirt to save as the old Yankee stadium saw its last game

Build in 1923, Yankee stadium was christened that year with a Yankee championship, and so the tradition began..

Old Yankee stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85 year history. Known as "The House That Ruth Built" it is the most famous venue in the United States, having hosted a variety of events and many historic moments during its existence. It hosted the major-league All-Star Game four times: 1939, 1960, 1977, and, as part of its curtain call, 2008. Sixteen World Series have been clinched at Yankee Stadium, nine by the Yankees and seven by opponents. Perhaps the most memorable moment in the venue's history came on July 4, 1939, designated as "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day". Gehrig gave a legendary farewell speech thanking his fans and colleagues for making him "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Maris hit his 61st home run here.
Mantle hit his 500th here.

It was here that Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in 1938.
On December 28, 1958, Yankee Stadium hosted the NFL championship game, frequently called "The Greatest Game Ever Played." the Baltimore Colts won in overtime, 2317, over the New York Giants.

Two Pope's held Mass here.
Many music bands played here.
The Cathedral of Sports was more than a sports venue it was an defining American venue for 85 years.

The old Yankee stadium, the Cathedral of Sports, was being replaced by the new Yankee stadium for 2009.

The transition began.

First, the famous facade, gracing the upper field was removed and installed in the new stadium just across the street.
Home plate was transferred and installed.
Then came Monument Park, the center field monuments to the Yankee legends.

Equipment lockers, transferred over, stadium flags, 39 pennants, 26 world championship banners, came next.
The trophies, newspaper headlines, score cards, plaques, awards, gloves, balls, bats, and uniforms of past and present Yankee ball players took up residence in the new park.

By opening day the physical symbols of the Yankee franchise was in place.

Now came the intangible.

The Pride, Tradition, and Commitment to Excellence.

On Opening Day, probably lured by the smell of hot dogs and the faint roar of the crowd, next door, the first ghost of Yankees arrived, The Babe.
No doubt, as he leaned on his bat, and gazed out on the field, with a smile, he took up residence in right field.
Dickey, Lazzeri, Mize and Rizzuto soon followed.
Martin, DiMaggio, Mantle and Maris arrived and made their presence felt.

When Mariano Rivera recorded his 500th save in 2009, the ghosts of Gomez, Hoyt, Hunter, and Ruffing were there.

Then Derek Jeter eclipsed Lou Gehrig's hit record in mid September.
The last ghost, the Iron Horse, made his reluctant appearance.
Standing next to Derek Jeter at first base, on that fateful night, Henry Louis Gehrig began a new streak, in this new hallowed ground.

The transfer of both the tangible and intangible was almost complete.

All that remained was the one thing that could not be transferred.
A World Championship.

This had to be earned.
This would be a team effort.

And, there were other teams that would want to have a say in preventing this from happening.

The Boston Red Sox tried, but came up short.
The Minnesota Twins were swept away in three straight games.
The California Angels were gone in six games.

And then there was one, the Philadelphia Phillies, world champions in 2008.

After six games, the circle was complete.

The new Yankee stadium, like the old, had it's world championship in its inaugural season.

 
 
 
 
  The tradition continues...