Last weekend (June 12th) my dad brought me to Yankee Stadium to see a ballgame in the new park. It was an AWESOME day. I was spoiled rotten. In the process of exploring the new stadium, I started thinking about the history of the old stadium, (a place where so much great history took place—if you’re a baseball lover like me) and I thought it’d be fun to share some facts with you starting with its date of construction and demolition.
On February 6, 1921 the Yankees announced the purchase of 10 acres of property in the west Bronx. The land was purchased from the estate of William Waldorf Astor for $675,000. It sat directly across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, where the Yankees’ had played since 1913. On April 18, 1923 the Yankees played their first game in their new stadium. From September 30, 1973 to April 15, 1976 Yankee Stadium was closed while major renovation work was completed. The last game ever played at the stadium was on September 21, 2008.
Now some interesting facts that I’ve come across in my research:
- The Stadium was almost built at the site of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum at Amsterdam Avenue between 136th and 138th Streets in Manhattan.
- Thomas Edison started a cement company in 1899, and the extra-durable cement he developed was used for the original walls.
- “New York, New York” is played over the stadium loudspeakers at the end of every game. The tradition used to be that the Frank Sinatra version was played if they won and the Liza Minnelli version was played if they lost. In 2001, she told them to play her version after a win, or not play it at all. The Yankees now play the Sinatra version after every game.
- Old Yankee Stadium was the first three-tiered sports facility in the States. The electronic scoreboard was the first of its kind.
- Yankee Stadium was the first ballpark to be called a stadium due to its enormous size.
- The original dimensions at Yankee Stadium were 295 ft. (right), 490 ft. (center), and 281 ft. (left). Centerfield became known as “Death Valley” because of its distance from homeplate.
So, share with me—Are you a baseball fan? What team has your loyal support? Can you share any interesting facts about them?
PS: Yes, I live in Boston. No, I am not a Red Sox fan. Yes, I was born and raised a NY Yankee fan. Yes, both my mom’s and dad’s families are from New York and New Jersey.