When Detroit's John Hiller got Mike Hegan out to conclude Yankee Stadium's 1973 season (right), he also ended an era. Right after that game, workmen began renovating America's most famous sports edifice. Everything from the graffitied ticket booths to the short right-field line was changed, and last week a plusher, pillarless Stadium opened to a packed house and protests over its immense cost. Is the rebuilt House of Ruth worth it? Beginning on page 39, a lifelong Yankee fan tells why he thinks it isn't.
Lots of tradition crumbled when the original Yankee Stadium was dismantled. The famous facade that rimmed the roof is gone—mainly because there is now no roof. Instead, nostalgia buffs must reflect on a facsimile of the facade perched atop the outfield wall or on souvenirs they hauled away during the scavenging that immediately followed the final game in the old park. Those who were unable to unbolt a set of seats could return later for a sale of memorabilia that included an impromptu poster show of the Yanks' pennant-winning past. Sacrificed along with the facade and wooden seats was the old scoreboard. It has been replaced by a larger one that will show replays—as soon as if is put in working order.
Modernized outside and in, the new Stadium drew 52,613 for the Yankees' home opener.