Derek Jeter, of the New York YankeesPerhaps the most important object of baseball history in the United States is Yankee Stadium. Baseball fans, young and old, from all across the country dream of one day standing in Yankee Stadium. I know I did as a kid, and I have stood inside those old walls, among the old seats, with the old ghosts. Perhaps the most defining characteristic of Yankee Stadium is its ability to generate memories, happy memories, for millions of Americans each year.

Myself, I’ve been going to games at Yankee Stadium since for the last 21 years – since my grandfather took my to my first game when I was seven. He bought me my first Yankee cap at that game I have cherised it and worn it ever since. My wife finally convinced me to buy a new Yankee hat in 2001 since the faded gray, sweaty, dirty and smelly pile of threads hardly resembled the crisp blue and white hat my Grandfather bought me so long ago. It was such a hard decision to buy a new hat, to insult the gods of sentimentality, that I wanted to make sure the “replacement hat” had as much meaning as the original. I found that perfect opportunity at the first Yankee home game post-September 11th. It was an emotional game and I wandered into the main gift shop and found a beautiful fitted Yankee hat with a small American flag stitched into the side, just above the left ear. I found my replacement.

Wow, all of that just to lead into the fact that I went to the Yankee Game last night. My employer had 4 tickets to give away and my Creative Director, Paul, and myself snatched them up. Paul invited his wife (neither of which had ever been to a professional baseball game before) and I invited my buddy Jason since my wife’s schedule was kept full with various breastfeeding activities. Now, to say that the tickets we were give were good seats would be an understatement. These seats were incredible. They were in row G. Let’s do the math, shall we? The letter G is the 7th letter of the alphabet (assuming you started with A, as I did). So, we were in the 7th row. Not the 7th row of our section, or our tier. We were in the 7th row from the field. The grass. The dirt. The players. The dugout. First base. We were in the section that offers cute young girls that come around and take your food and drink order. The section that lets you yell things to the first baseman so that he can actually hear you. The section that more people are in suits and ties than 5-year old David Cone Yankee t-shirts (like I was). In my countless games at Yankee Stadium, these were the best seats I’ve ever had. I have sat about 10 rows further back before on the third base line, but those seats didn’t hold a candle to last night.

Being that it was the night that President Bush was in town and giving his speech at the Republican National Convention (only about 95 blocks to our south) security was top notch and visible. The most visible was the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter that buzzed the stadium twice. When I say “buzzed” I mean that it flew low enough to see the pilots aboard. We guessed that they just wanted to see the score. The score, if you are still reading and care, was 9-1 Yankees, over the Cleveland Indians.

It was a beautiful night at the ballpark that I love so dearly. There are talks going on about tearing it down and building a new, modern stadium right next to where the current one stands. That, of course, is a blog for another day.

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