Wish Mets And Yanks Well In Their Parks' Last Season
Every Opening Day is special, but Opening Day 2008 is exceptional. After the 2008 baseball season ends, both Shea Stadium, home of the National League Mets and the eponymous Yankee Stadium, home of the venerable American League team, will be torn down and replaced by two new fields.
Next year, the Bronx Bombers will move into a $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium, under construction just across 161st Street. The Mets will call Citi Field home; it will rise on what is now the Shea Stadium parking lot. The $800 million ballpark will be environmentally as well as fan friendly through a variety of design, construction, and operational principles, ensuring that Citi Field meets or exceeds high environmental standards.
The Yankees are due to open their last season in the House that Babe Ruth Built- so named after Ruth hit a home run before 74,200 fans on opening day in 1923- in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. What would have been the only Yanks' home opener ever played in March was rained out Monday afternoon. It was postponed until Tuesday night; it had not yet started at the time the Gazette went to press. The Mets played their Opening Day game on Monday against the Florida Marlins on their opponents' field in Miami. They won by a score of 7 to 2. (Go Mets! Squish the Fish!) They will officially open their last season at Shea Stadium on April 8 in the first of two games against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mets and Yankees have histories that intertwine. The two teams face each other in interleague games several times each season and last contended against each other in a Subway Series for the 2000 World Series title, the first postseason Subway Series since 1956. The Yankees played at Shea Stadium, in 1974 and 1975 while their home in The Bronx was being remodeled. They may be rivals, but both call New York City home and both hold a place in the hearts of all New Yorkers, whatever their team affiliation may be.
Wherever they play, and whoever their opponents, our Major League Baseball teams are a source of pride as well as a means of entertainment. They show the rest of the Major Leagues and the rest of the world what it means to be a New Yorker- grit and perseverance, determination in the face of what can be overwhelming odds and sometimes defeat, as well as pride in achievement and grace and courtesy in victory. As the bittersweet final season of both of New York City's ballparks opens, we wish both Mets and Yankees a glorious and victorious 2008 and a warm welcome when they start the first season in each of their new homes in 2009.