We'd come down the stairs to the big metal bat, cross into the stadium and walk up the ramp to the greenest, most beautiful stretch of grass you'd ever want to see. The interlocking NY right behind home plate, the arched facade in the outfield and beautiful blue sky overhead.We'd attended a number of 'Old Timers' games over the years and very early in our lives they would always introduce Mrs. Lou Gehrig and Mrs. Babe Ruth. I rarely ever got a good luck at these ladies because they didn't come down to the field. They sat up in the owner's box and received the ovation their husbands would have. Last night, God bless her, Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe Ruth's 92 year old daughter threw out the ceremonial first pitch!Norm and I celebrated two very important events at Yankee Stadium. We were at a game in the summer of 1991 and after we got to our seats I got up to go the stadium store. I had something to buy. I came back and handed Norman the bag and a card. He opened the bag and found a little Yankee's onesie. He looked a little puzzled then opened the card that had a lion on the front and the sentiment inside said "Shhhh! you don't want to wake the baby!" I had chosen Yankee stadium to tell Norm that we were pregnant.
Fast forward six years. We had arrived back from China barely a month earlier, 40 days to be precise and we were back at Yankee Stadium with Alexa and my brother and sister-in-law and nephew. I managed to get this welcome request in...
It was a surprise more for Norman than Alexa. As you can see she was a little young at the time to know exactly what was going on!In the top shot she's being held by Maggie with Norman right in front and in the shot directly above she's sitting on favorite uncle Brion's lap wondering what cousin Joe and aunt Maggie have. She wasn't hugely impressed! We did manage to take Alexa to several more games over the years and even though she won't admit now, she did have a favorite player in the mid 90's - Paul O'Neill! She even flirted with an interest in Jason Giambi, but she'd deny it vehemently now.
So last night we sat there and watched the Old Guard, Yogi, Whitey, Larsen, the middle guard, Reggie, Willie Randolph, Chambliss, Nettles, Winfield, Mattingly, O'Neill, Williams and young guard, Pettite, Posada, Mariano and Jeter say goodbye to the House that Ruth built and that we have all come to think of as our home away from home. I wasn't sad until Jeter gave his thank you to the fans. I teared up a little during that. Norman, he cried through the whole thing. The pre-game honors and the post game celebration. Like Jeter said, we will carry our memories across the street next year and the fans will still do the roll call, ask for a curtain call and buy another hot dog and toast to the memories of old and the beginning of new ones.