Momentous events mix with obscure but telling human incidents; the course of the great pennant races and World Series championships is touched with the reverie of timeless, long-ago summer afternoons.
A chronological text is studded with boxed features highlighting special events, milestones, championship lists, and brief essays, comments, and reminiscences by baseball greats and other notables from Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto to Pete Hamill and Bob Costas.
Stunning illustrations include both classic images and rare, unpublished photographs. Yankee Stadium, in the tradition of Lost Ballparks, eclipses the uncertainty of the future with the glories of the past in a gift book baseball fans will treasure forever.
Since its opening in 1923, the stadium has been storied ground. The Yankees became a dynasty there. Tunney, Louis, Marciano, and Ali all fought for the heavyweight title there. Two of the greatest games in football history; the Army-Notre Dame scoreless tie of 1946 and the Sudden Death victory of the Colts over the Giants for the 1958 NFL Championship, chewed up the grass there. Pele scored goals there, two Popes offered mass there, Nelson Mandela was adored there, and Billy Joel, U2, and Pink Floyd all rocked the House that Ruth Built there.
If ever a ballpark deserved to be venerated, it's this particular green patch of the South Bronx, and its 75th anniversary is duly noted and celebrated in this richly illustrated appreciation of the park, the players, the events, and the team that gave the place its hallowed name.
It's an evocative volume. Interspersed throughout its historical text are lovely observations and reminiscences from such luminaries (on and off the field) as poet Marianne Moore, novelist James T. Farrell, violinist Itzhak Perlman, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, comic Billy Crystal, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Mickey Mantle. It features stunning archival photos of the stadium's construction, a particularly haunting image of DiMaggio watching its reconstruction in the '70s, hosts of action and publicity shots that span the decades, and a beautiful essay by Pete Hamill on Babe Ruth's farewell.
But it's Mel Allen, whose honeyed voice became synonymous with the Yankees from the late '30s through Casey Stengel's juggernauts and on into the '60s, who seems to capture the ethos of the place most clearly: "Suddenly," he remembers, "here I was, a guy supposed to practice law, broadcasting Yankee home games on radio from this mecca of baseball. This was the place, the number-one place in baseball. The stadium was like the Empire State Building or the Grand Canyon of baseball, and every time I stepped inside of it I had to pinch myself!" In its own way, Yankee Stadium, dazzled as it is by its dazzling subject, manages to pinch itself pretty good as well. - Jeff Silverman of Amazon.Com