Yankee Stadium (New York)

A mural painted outside of old Yankee Stadium. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

A mural painted outside of old Yankee Stadium. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

The house that Ruth built. The cathedral of baseball.

New York was the home to one of baseball’s greatest parks – old Yankee Stadium. Located in the Bronx, Yankee Stadium has played house to many great moments in baseball history. 

From Babe Ruth’s home run on April 18, 1923 – the first in the park’s history – to Mariano Rivera pitching the final pitch in its history. In between, New York hosted four all-star games (1939, 1960, 1977, 2008), built an honourarium for the victims of 9/11 and saw its team win 26 World Series while playing at old Yankee Stadium.

Firefighter Bill Forbes standing next to the monument tribute to 9/11 victims in Memorial Park. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

Firefighter Bill Forbes standing next to the monument tribute to 9/11 victims in Monument Park. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

But the history that existed in each wall of that park can’t simply be explained.

I never had the chance to catch a game in those seats. I didn’t get to watch Jeter or Posada, Rivera or Bernie take the field.

I did, however, have a chance to walk the field myself. I stood in the same clubhouse as Yankees of old and present players. I walked the tunnel to the field – where a plaque of Joe DiMaggio’s famous speech leads players onto the battle grounds.

Joe DiMaggio's famous quote in the tunnel to old Yankee Stadium's field. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

Joe DiMaggio’s famous quote in the tunnel to old Yankee Stadium’s field. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

In the clubhouse sits an empty locker – where Thurman Munson once sat. The locker has remained empty since the former Yankee captain’s death in 1979.

There was no feeling like walking into the dugout where the Yankees sat and climbing the stairs onto the green grass their cleats stepped on.

The Forbes boys in the Yankee dugout at old Yankee Stadium.

The Forbes boys in the Yankee dugout at old Yankee Stadium.

We walked the warning track and – bending over to grab some of the gravel below my feet – made our way to Monument Park. The monuments honouring former players is a sight in itself worth seeing.

Entrance to Monument Park at old Yankee Stadium. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

Entrance to Monument Park at old Yankee Stadium. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

Player plaques in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

Player plaques in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

If you missed your chance to visit this historic park – it’s truly unfortunate. You can still go and see New York’s pin-stripped Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium. But being within the walls of their former home the year it was closing probably doesn’t feel the same.

Goodbye to the history within each brick. Because even if Munson’s locker or the monuments in Monument Park were moved to the new park, the history remains in its ruins.

A view from on the field and behind the plate at old Yankee Stadium. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

A view from on the field and behind the plate at old Yankee Stadium. // Photo by Andrew Forbes

Former Location: East 161st Street and River Avenue, South Bronx, New York City, New York, 10451
Opened: April 18, 1923 (re-opening April 15, 1976)
Closed: September 21, 2008 (renovations September 30, 1973)
Capacity: 56,937
Tenants: New York Yankees (MLB: 1923-1973, 1976-2008); New York Yankees (AFL I: 1926); New York Yankees (NFL – 1927-1928); New York Yankees (AFL II: 1936-1937); New York Yankees (AFL III: 1940); New York Americans (AFL III: 1941); New York Yankees (AAFC: 1946-1949); New York Yanks (NFL: 1950-1951); New York Giants (NFL: 1956-1973); New York Generals (USA/NASL: 1967-1968); New York Cosmos (NASL: 1971, 1976); Army Black Knights (Football: selected games 1925-1969)

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