Goodbye to Yankee Stadium, and a Tribute to the Greatest Yankee of All, Lou Gehrig
Tonight, as the final baseball game is being played in “The House That Ruth Built”, I want to pay tribute to the hallowed grounds that is baseball’s equivalent of Soldier Field or Lambeau Field in the NFL, or the Boston Garden in the NBA. Yankee Stadium. Where, since it’s opening game in April of 1923, the Yankees have won 26 World Series, hosted 4 All-Star Games including this year’s game.
Though most of the stadium was renovated in the mid-seventies, and many considered it to be, for all intents and purposes a new stadium at that time, it still sits on the same site where Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Ford, Maris, and Jackson worked their magic and became legends.
Of course during the seventh inning stretch of the final game, Ronan Tynan delivered a stunning rendition of “God Bless America.”
Further, I would like to pay tribute to the man who many consider to be the greatest Yankee of them all: Lou Gehrig, who from 1925-1939 played in 2,130 Yankees games in a row. He never missed a day. He never called in sick. Lou Gehrig, who stood in front of a packed house on July 4, 1939 to say goodbye, knowing he would one day be disabled by and die from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the disorder that had begun to attack his body the previous year.
Not much of Gehrig’s farewell speech survives on film, but what remains is a testament to a universal truth in life, no matter what your disability is:
“I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.”