The Yankees open their final season in what we’ll be calling the old Yankee Stadium this afternoon with a 1:05 game against Toronto. After 84 years they leave “The House that Ruth Built” for a new 51,000 seat stadium in Macomb’s Dam Park that’s being build adjacent to the north. It will have all the modern luxuries (and you’ll pay for them) and while many are welcoming the new ballpark there are those not quite thrilled. There will be less seats and higher ticket prices and it simply won’t be the same place where the Babe, Joe D, Mickey, Reggie and Derek provided so many magical moments. This final season will include hosting the All-Star game in July and Yankee fans hope it lasts into late October and ends with a 27th World Championship banner. The Yankees everyday lineup is frightening
and if the pitching holds true than they’re as good as anybody.
New York’s other team….the Mets, are also getting ready to move into a new stadium (Citi Field) in 2009 but not too many will miss Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964 and seemed old and outdated just a few years later. But it was where I saw my first major league game and I’ll never forget how much in awe I felt when I first entered the stadium. I didn’t know that grass could be so green and Shea seemed like the biggest place in the world. It certainly hasn’t been the site of nearly as many special moments as Yankee Stadium but the Amazing Mets of 1969 and the final two games of the 1986 World Series are among the best baseball moments in New York history. Plus it was where the Beatles first played in America which in itself is pretty special. This could be a special season in Flushing as the Mets look to erase the bitter memories of last September but they’ll have to get past their new division rivals from Philadelphia. The Mets open in Florida this afternoon.
The Phillies won the NL East last year and with Howard, Rollins & Utley boast a very strong offense. For them it will come down to pitching and if they get enough of it then watch out because they will score plenty of runs.
They’re home to play Washington this afternoon.