|As we approach the 2013 All-Star game, it would be fitting to look back at the last All-Star game held in NYC at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008. The following post, written by one of my Baseball and Statistics students, recounts her experience at the 2008 All-Star weekend.
Out of every baseball game I have attended I would have to say my favorite memories are from the old Yankee Stadium during the 2008 All-Star game weekend. The weekend started out Friday Night and I got to go through a “make-shift hall of fame” that they set up in one of the corridors of the stadium. I am still amazed at how big World Series rings are in real life! After that I was able to walk through “old-timers” day that is essentially a raffle/auction with pieces of the old stadium and various signed memorabilia. There also were many past MLB players that were there signing balls! All though I didn’t know any of the past players, my dad did and it was awesome seeing how excited he was to meet them. I would compare it to the excitement I would feel meeting Derek Jeter today. I finished off Friday night being able to watch the Celebrity Softball game. I sat in the first row right behind the Yankees dugout. Some of the celebrities that played were Bobby Flay, Chris Rock, Whoopie Goldberg, Maria Menounos, and Billy Crystal.
Day two at the stadium was the homerun derby! Considering the Yankees had no contenders, I decided to cheer on Josh Hamilton, only because my dad said he had the potential to win it and I always had to pick the winners. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like the homerun derby. It was crazy! I still don’t know how Hamilton hit 35 home runs in the course of the night. Although he won the overall # of home runs, Hamilton was beat out in the final round by Justin Morneau. The last day of All-star weekend was of course the All-Star game! Even though the game didn’t start until 8 o’clock at night, I couldn’t get the stadium soon enough. The stadium was filled with venders and games all day. It was like a baseball themed carnival. There were free giveaways and different prizes around every corner you went. They started off the game with the ceremonial first pitches. George Steinbrenner delivered the first hand-off and the ceremonial pitch was made by 4 Yankee Hall of Famers, Reggie Jackson threw to Rodriguez, Yogi Berra to Joe Girardi, Whitey Ford to Jeter and Goose Gossage to Rivera. Looking back now, that may have been the most special part of that day. It is rare that you get to see some of the best past and present Yankees together on the one stage they share in common.
The All-Star game itself was the longest in history and lasted for 15 innings! You would think everyone would have been tired at that point, but it was like no one wanted the game to end! It finally ended with the American League on top after almost 6 hours of playing. It was a game like this that brought everyone together, regardless of which team was your home team. The All-Star game itself was the first time I have ever witnessed a Yankee fan and a Red Sox fan cheering together. This was my final weekend in the old Yankee Stadium. My dad and I have a picture of us outside the stadium from that day, with a newspaper clipping under it that reads…
“It was a Midsummer Classic — in every sense of the phrase — taking place in a building best known for its immaculate stage.
It was the House that Ruth Built, where Lou Gehrig proclaimed himself the luckiest man, where Joe DiMaggio jolted and where Mickey Mantle became an idol to millions. It was where Don Larsen was perfect, where Roger Maris toppled the Babe and where Reggie Jackson forever acquired October with just three swings.“
Being part of one of the last monumental events at the old stadium is something I will never forget.