Monument Park is one of the features that made Yankee Stadium special. No other franchise had so many players to honor. Uploaded by wikipedia.org.
The original Yankee Stadium, of course. It didn’t have the quirky charm of Fenway Park. Or the ivy walls of Wrigley Field. And yet, with that great facade and Monument Park, it hosted winners. Lots and lots and lots of winners. Ruth. Gehrig. DiMaggio. Berra. Mantle. Maris. Ford. Jackson. Jeter. Rivera. And so many others.
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And Yankee Stadium held so many other memories beyond its baseball treasures. Joe Louis knocking out Max Schmeling. Army vs. Notre Dame in football (in 1946, when Army mattered). “The Greatest Game Ever Played” when the Colts beat the Giants in overtime (Yankee Stadium was the Giants’ home for almost two decades). Billy Graham drawing 100,000 people to a crusade. And masses delivered by three different Popes.
They’ve bulldozed it now, having completed a replacement just across the street in the Bronx. Had to have luxury boxes, and more concession stands, and the rest. Time moves on. But there was a line in Field of Dreams: “The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.” I got in one visit, with my parents, in 1964. I remember Mudcat Grant pitched for the Indians, and Roger Maris hit a home run. That’s what Yankee Stadium is now. Memories.
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