The final event in the history of baseball’s most revered stadium could be … a hockey game.
What? You have got to be kidding me.
A report surfaced Monday that discussions are underway for the NHL’s New York Rangers to play a game at the Stadium some time during the 2008-2009 season.
I know the outdoor game the Buffalo Sabres hosted on New Year’s Day was an incredible success, and that the NHL wants to build on that. But, closing Yankee Stadium, home of the most successful baseball franchise in the history of the sport with a hockey game, is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Yankee Stadium is a baseball stadium. Home to 26 World Champions (hopefully 27 by the time it closes). It’s the House that Ruth Built, home to Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and countless other Yankee greats. It is home to some of the greatest games and greatest moments in sports history.
It can’t go to its grave as host of a hockey game. A hockey game? What an awful idea.
Peter Abraham put it this way in his LoHud Yankees Blog.
The last game of any kind at Yankee Stadium needs to be a baseball game. Win or lose, walk-off homer or grounder to second base, it needs to be a baseball game.
The last fan who walks out of the House That Ruth Built should be a baseball fan and the last story filed by a reporter should be a column by Dave Anderson, who was the last writer out of Ebbets Field.
Hockey is a terrific sport. But what sort of legacy is that for Yankee Stadium?
I have to agree. If the Yankees are able to win the World Series this year, the final memory of the Stadium should be an on-field celebration of the 27th championship in franchise history. If not, the Stadium should still close with the final out of its final baseball game.
Outdoor hockey is a tremendous event. Let the Rangers go ahead and play an outdoor game next season. But, do it at Shea Stadium. Or, over in the Meadowlands at Giants Stadium.
Don’t let the final memory of Yankee Stadium be as a place where a gimmick hockey game was held. That just doesn’t seem right.