The new Yankee Stadium is heading toward the close of its second season, and though I can't say I love it, I think I've come to terms with its existence. The abandoned old ballpark next door is now gone, having given way to construction fencing, so there's no longer a specter looming ominously over the new joint. But that Yankee Stadium, the rough-and-ugly, 1970s-era edition of the House that Ruth Built, will always be my Yankee Stadium. It was a great public space — to walk up one of its tunnels to see the emerald field revealed below (stirring every time) was a lesson in what Philip Johnson called "procession." It was an electric place when packed for a big game.
Baseball, of course, lives on the memories it inspires, and that place has left more that its share. As a tribute to it, last year Alex Belth published a series of the reminiscences of the old park on his indispensable blog, Bronx Banter
. My contribution, about life in the bleachers in the 1980s is here
. Now, Alex has collected all the pieces he commissioned, and added many more for a new book, Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories
, out next month. It's got an intro by Yogi Berra (who else?), and pieces by Richard Ben Cramer, Jane Leavy, Kevin Baker and countless others. A great project and a worthy memorial to a great New York place.