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An ode to baseball's cathedral


From the Polo Grounds the Yankees were evictedWith jealously were McGraw's Giants inflicted Kicked from Manhattan Lost as Latin"The fans will forget them," McGraw predicted

So to the Bronx the New York Yankees did goTo a former lumber yard, which was apropos Built in 284 days The Stadium did amazeMajesty and wonder had a new status quo

Ruppert and Huston were the ones who built itTwo and a half million bucks they did commit For that kind of dough (Still paying Pavano?)Today, 12 season tickets is all you can get

Inspiration was the Roman ColosseumA kind of triple-decked modern sports museum Billy Graham, Milt Plum Among those who did comeChristians and Lions, here you could have seen 'em.

Yankee Stadium was famous from Day OneIn '23 the Babe hit its first home run (Short porch in right his own launching site)And wolfed down the first frankfurter on a bun

Gehrig soon was added to the Yankee scriptMore than 2,000 games, none of them skipped Because of a headache The Streak he could partakeAnd so was born what it means to get Pipped.

Five years after Ruth's opening round-tripperEight years until the debut of the Yankee Clipper In a famous speech Rockne did beseechThe Fighting Irish to "Win one for the Gipper."

Gehrig gave his "luckiest" speech 11 years laterMany historians regard it as even greater In '40 and '42 Did movies debutHollywood being mythology's new creator

When Huggins died the Yankees didn't dallyAn on-field monument; the ultimate finale 450 feet from the plate As if in repose stateIt gave a whole new meaning to Death Valley

Four former Cardinals, as known to the wry,Have plaques in Monument Park nearby A trivia question That leaves an impressionMaris and three popes is the blessed reply.

Ruth hit 60, Maris hit 61 (Babe second fiddle?)But there was a bigger hit, goes the riddle Not Babe or Roger Or a Brooklyn DodgerIt happened when Bednarik hit Gifford over the middle

Tape-measure shots were Mantle's expertiseIn '63 he hit the famed roof in right with ease (Not a façade Though it sounds odd)The picture-perfect shot was worth saying, "Frieze!"

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Renovation in '76, the frieze we did missWith the new stadium something was amiss No more overhang But its own big bangThe first year opened with the homer by Chambliss

George called Winfield Mr. May, remember?Reggie was Mr. October, the charter member. Jeter hit one so late (Clutch was his trait)Derek came to be known as Mr. November

At The Stadium, pitchers, too, earned their respectIt's where Larson, Cone and Wells all interconnect Such are its powers (and not afterhours)That someone like Wells could be considered perfect

Not everyone in pinstripes was the BambinoHorace Clarke, helmeted afield, lacked machismo Peterson and Kekich Did the big switchAnd oh, no: Kosco, Tepedino and Celerino

Three errors on one play, caught on televisionTommy John was the source of some derision. The patient of Jobe Cramp in frontal lobeWith the leather, lacked any surgical precision.

Mostly, the place brought out the best of a playerGhosts would come out, said Jeter the soothsayer Tino, Scott and Boone All were opportuneFor help from above, though, it was Jeffrey Maier.

Empty now sits The Stadium, forlorn and bleakForgotten like an abandoned old maid, so to speak The end of a story With no more gloryNo more nights left to see Aura and Mystique

Go ahead if you like: blame it on SchillingThe effect of the Bloody Sock game was chilling The magic ended A-Rod offendedAs if the baseball gods were double-billing.

Who knows? Maybe the ghosts moved across the streetRan off to the martini bar as a place to meet (The Babe, astray, Ordering chardonnay?)More likely, the billion-dollar place is incomplete.

The soul of The Stadium is non-transferable.History of its hallowed ground is incomparable (The new place is youth Without footprints of Ruth)So to watch it die slowly is unbearable.

The neglect of dying Tiger Stadium was a shameLike watching disease overcome a grand old dame Less than two years Is all it appearsDividing up the stadium loot is the last game

To the new HD videoboard we'll crane our necksEntertainment, not just baseball, the fan expects Beautiful and rich, A starlet's nicheShe smartly winks at our consumer's complex

Be sure to give the old stadium one last lookThere they wrote many chapters of the record book Seeing Joe D. streak Hearing Casey speakO'Neill scoring in '96 felt how the ground shook

A sporting cathedral in its fading twilightAfter 84 seasons of baseball on its site As Thomas was crying For his father dyingDo not go gentle into that good night