Livin the American Dream

Two weeks ago, the New York Yankees played their last game in the House that Ruth Built – the original Yankee Stadium on 161 Street in the Bronx. On that Sunday night, the fans didn’t care so much that the Yanks beat the Baltimore Orioles, or that a postseason in New York was virtually impossible. All we could think about was that this was the last time the lights would shine over the original home of the greatest team in baseball. There really isn’t a place full of more baseball history than Yankee Stadium. It was opened on April 18th, 1923. It used to house the New York Giants football team, has been the site of over twenty famous boxing matches, served as a venue for three Papal masses, and above all, has been the home of the only team in baseball history to win 26 World Series Titles. While the new stadium will open in the spring, Yankee fans are dying to keep the original Yankee Stadium alive. On October 18th, 2008, Madison Square Garden will host “The Stadium: A Remarkable Baseball Auction Featuring Artifacts Relating to Yankee Stadium and the Many Great Teams That Played There”. Everything, and yes, I mean everything, will be up for sale. Ticket booths, bleachers, turnstyles, outfield walls, cinder blocks, trashcans, signs, urinals, even DIRT will be auctioned off between prices of $20 for a chunk of dirt, and over $50,000 for the facade lettering from the outside of the stadium. Urinals will be auctioned off for a starting price of $200. The bidding on the dugout phone will start at $2,000. Alright. A phone can be purchased at Target for $31.49. But can you really put a price on owning the actual phone so many crucial calls to the Yankees bullpen were made from? Evidently, you can. The allure behind these items and other similar kinds of memorabillia isn’t the use value of these specific products (do you really need a urinal in your home?). The allure is one of the magic combination of nostalgia, history, and fanaticism that will have Yankee fans (mostly Billy Crystal) paying thousands and thousands of dollars to take Yankee Stadium home with them.

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