Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Legends’

I Still Can’t Believe They Tore Down Old Yankee Stadium

October 18th, 2011

Old Yankee Stadium was the home of the New York Yankees (formerly the Baltimore Orioles) from 1923 to 2008.

Old Yankee Stadium

It was located at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx, across 161st Street from the new Yankee Stadium.

Old Yankee Stadium Gate 4 Waiting to Enter

The stadium was renovated extensively during the late 1970s.  Gate 2, however, was one of the few sections to retain much of its original appearance.  In 2010 an effort was underway to save Gate 2 from demolition.  Unfortunately, that effort failed and Gate 2, along with the rest of the stadium, met the wrecking ball.

Old Yankee Stadium Gate 2

Arriving at old Yankee Stadium via the 161st Street Subway station provided fans a terrific panoramic view of the back of the stadium.

Old Yankee Stadium as seen from the Outbound 161st Subway Station

The inside of old Yankee Stadium seemed cavernous, especially the view from the upper deck.

Batting Practice at Old Yankee Stadium as seen from Right Field Upper Deck

The color scheme of old Yankee  Stadium was blue, blue, and more blue.

Yankee Blue at Old Yankee Stadium

Monument Park, located on what once  was the expansive back portion of old Yankee Stadium’s center field, was moved to new Yankee Stadium.

Monument Park and Yankees Bullpen at Old Yankee Stadium

The Yankees bullpen was located in left-center field to the left of a portion of the old center-field bleachers known as “the black.”  The bleachers had been painted black to facilitate the “batter’s eye,” helping batters at home plate pick up the pitch being thrown at them.

Old Yankee Stadium Home Team Bullpen

The visiting team bullpen was located beyond left field, to the left of monument park.

Old Yankee Stadium Visitor's Bullpen - Orioles' Steve Trachsel Pitching Under Watchful Eye of Pitching Coach Leo Mazzone

The foul poles were covered in layers of yellow paint.

Old Yankee Stadium Right Field and Left Field Foul Poles

Passengers riding the train past the 161st Street station had a quick view  inside  the stadium – at no charge other than the cost of a subway token.

A Second's Worth of Free Baseball from the Train at Old Yankee Stadium

The seating  bowl rose high above the playing field, requiring that those sitting at the top of the stadium have both good eyesight and a strong stomach.

A Sense of Vertigo Old Yankee Stadium Style

The light stanchions of old Yankee Stadium were located flush along the top of the roof.

Old Yankee Stadium Lights Above Left Field

The white plastic tarp placed during rain delays at old Yankee Stadium sat in contrast to the blue, blue seats of the upper and lower seating bowl.

Rain Delay at Old Yankee Stadium

As proof that nothing is sacred and nothing lasts forever, in 2006, the Yankees broke ground on a new Yankee Stadium to be located across the street from old Yankee Stadium.

New Yankee Stadium Under Construction as seen from Behind Left Field Grandstand Circa 2007

During the 2008 season, new Yankee Stadium could be seen from inside old Yankee Stadium by fans sitting in right field.

Old Yankee Stadium with New Yankee Stadium Under Construction Circa April 2008

Old Yankee Stadium Center Field with New Yankee Stadium in Background Circa July 2008

The original frieze of old Yankee Stadium was replicated in new Yankee Stadium.

Post-1978 old Yankee Stadium Frieze with New Yankee Stadium Frieze in Background

The site  of old Yankee Stadium is now a public park known as “Heritage Field.”

Old Yankee Stadium Site at Heritage Field

For baseball fans  accustomed to watching Yankees games either in person or on television, the Bronx County Courthouse is a familiar site, having once loomed over right center field at old Yankee Stadium.

Old Yankee Stadium Site with Bronx County Courthouse in Background

The Giant 138 foot Louisville Slugger Bat (which serves as an exhaust pipe for the subway) remains in its original location outside the former site of old Yankee Stadium.

The Giant Louisville Slugger Bat from Old Yankee Stadium Remains

The playing field at old Yankee Stadium has been recreated with the infield in its original spot.   Heritage Field includes a total of three ball fields.  In what was once center field is a section of the frieze from old Yankee Stadium.

View of Old Yankee Stadium Site from Behind Home Plate with Section of Frieze in Background

The sidewalk surrounding Heritage Field includes markers recognizing significant moments in the history of old Yankee Stadium.

Marker Honoring One of the Significant Moments at Old Yankee Stadium

The old Yankee Stadium site is visible from within new Yankee Stadium from the escalator above the Hall of Legends.

Old Yankee Stadium Site as seen from New Yankee Stadium Hall of Legends

The site of home plate is visible  between the Hall of Legends columns.

Site of Old Yankee Stadium Home Plate as seen from Hall of Legends

The giant Louisville Slugger bat is visible  as well.

Old Yankee Stadium Bat as seen from Hall of Legends

At the top of the stadium along the first base line, the old Yankee Stadium site and Heritage Field are visible behind the last row of seats.

Old Yankee Stadium Site as seen through New Yankee Stadium Upper Deck

Having now visited the old Yankee Stadium site and seen a game in the new stadium, I still can’t believe they tore down old Yankee Stadium.  Sure, future generations of fans will be able to stand where the stadium once stood and perhaps throw around a baseball.  This certainly is better than having turned the site  into a parking lot.  But, it is little solace for those of us who wished the city and the team  had found a way to build new Yankee Stadium in place of the old, keeping the playing field the same.  In the end, old Yankee Stadium is now just another lost ballpark and the “House that Ruth Built” is now nothing more than a memory.

Old Yankee Stadium Site as seen from Top of New Yankee Stadium First Base Side


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