House That Ruth Built Closes Print E-mail
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Monday, 22 September 2008

The fondest memories of so many members of the 500 Home Run Club were established at the old Yankee Stadium, which saw its final game last weekend.

Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle…they all called Yankee Stadium home while wearing Yankee pinstripes.

As the Yankees prevailed 7-3 over the Baltimore Orioles, fans soaked in the majestic scenery one last time. Yankee players collected dirt off the mound as a souvenir.

Yankee shortstop and captain Derek Jeter addressed the crowd afterwards.

"For us out here, it's a huge honor to put this uniform on and come out every day to play," Jeter said. "We have the greatest fans in the world. We're relying on you to take the memories from this stadium, take them to the new stadium, and pass them on from generation to generation."

Mantle’s son, David, donned a Yankees uniform during the nationally-televised pre-game ceremony. He jogged out to centerfield, looking like a young Mickey in his prime.

"It was a great pleasure and a real honor," Mantle later told reporters. "It was the pride and tradition, playing 18 years for the Yankees was just what Dad always dreamed of. It's too bad that he's not here to represent instead."

Julia Ruth Stevens, the 92-year-old daughter of the Babe, threw out the ceremonial first pitch as she was accompanied by her son, Tom Stevens.

Ruth Stevens cherishes her memories of her famous father, who died in 1948.

"I am very sad that Yankee Stadium is not going to be in existence any longer," she said. "I wish it could have remained as a New York landmark, but I guess, like all things, it has come to its final days and it has to go. But I'll always have the memories of my father hitting those home runs out into the bleachers. And I have a lot of his pictures, and I'll just remember those, and the glory days of the old Yankee Stadium. And I hope the new Yankee Stadium brings good luck to the Yankees."

My most cherished memories of Yankee Stadium include the 1961 season when Roger Maris hit 61 home runs to break Ruth’s one-season mark.!Technorati!Newsvine!Blogmarks!Yahoo!
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