Here’s your chance: What does this place mean to you? I’ll leave this post atop the blog for a while with the idea being that this is the place for your memories, best stories or just an opinion about the Stadium.
As for me, I first came here in 1986 when two friends and I blew off classes for a day at UMass and drove down for a game against Cleveland. But not until 1999, when I started working in New York, that the Stadium really meant something to me.
I was a backup baseball writer then, filling in to cover the Mets and Yankees when the regular beat writers were getting a day off. I had covered a lot of important events to that point in my career including the Final Four a bunch of times, the 1996 Olympics and a few NFL playoff games. But it wasn’t until I sat down in the press box at Yankee Stadium that I felt like I really had accomplished something.
This was New York. This was baseball. These were the Yankees and there spread out in front of me was Yankee Stadium. What could be better for somebody in my profession? To this day, I feel the same way every time I sit down in the press box.
I wrote my first story for a newspaper when I was 17, it was a high school soccer game between Westport High School and Diman Vocational High School and my father drove me to the game, which was played in a steady drizzle. I called my dad from the Yankee Stadium press box that morning and said, “Guess where I am?” and we both celebrated a little. To this day, I think he gets as big a kick out of this as I do.
I’ve covered games of all sorts in 39 states and eight countries since I was 16. The single best place I have ever come to work is Yankee Stadium. This is the big leagues in every way.
I’ve been inside the new Stadium and it’s amazing. Everything will be more comfortable and accommodating. But I’ll never sit there and feel the same way I do here.
UPDATE, 11:36 a.m.: We have some good writers in the crowd based on the responses so far. I’d encourage you to read them. Lots of emotion flowing through those words.
UPDATE, 2:21 p.m.: Thanks to everybody who is contributing to this post. This is really some great stuff. I’ll be back in a bit with the lineups. At the moment, lots of people walking the warning track here, some in tears. It’s very touching.