Opening Day at Yankee Stadium

It’s a trifle unusual to find a huge baseball fan in the UK but I have to confess. I first discovered the sport in 1986 when Channel 4 decided to show the World Series. In 1994 I made the first of a number of trips to New York to take in a game – only to find that my flight out coincided with the beginning of a players’ strike which wrecked the remainder of the season. Anyway, having arrived in New York I still made the journey to the Stadium and a very pleasant member of the NYPD went way beyond his remit by giving me a guided tour. I fell in love with the architecture and ambience of the place (even when empty) and decided then and there that it would be the first of many trips.
Since then I’ve attended over 40 games at Yankee Stadium and as they begin a new season to day I approach it with a rare feeling. Not only is today opening day for the New York Yankees, it is the last opening day which will ever take place at the old stadium. The stadium which opened in 1923 is being replaced. Like Wembley Stadium here in London, time moves on and new venues are demanded but there is a sense of history lost which can never be transferred or replaced. Add to this that as my diary and wallet currently stand my chances of visiting the old stadium one last time are nil and I feel very strange about all this. New York feels a bit like a second home but I guess beyond 2008, it will never be quite the same.

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