Thursday, April 17, 2014
I'm all for the Yankees celebrating Nelson Mandela, but he never once set foot in the giant concrete dog dish where they now play
Posted by el duque at 6:18 AM
Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.
Nelson Mandela never visited this Yankee Stadium. He never ate in the Yankee Steakhouse, never perused the Grand Concourse, never frooged in the disco. He once visited the Bronx, donned a Yankee cap and told the world, "Today, I am a Yankee," and he walked in an area that is now a parking lot.
I'm good with the Yankees remembering that historical moment. But when they do, they should also be held accountable for tearing down that historical marker. If Nelson Mandela's visit was so important to them, why did they knock it down and try to sell off every single blade of grass?
Well, whenever they hold a historical ceremony, I feel compelled to note the reality of what the Yankees traded, in the name of progress and tax breaks. They once had a stadium that possessed the history of Fenway Park, of Wrigley Field, and any sports facility in America. Growing up, I never imagined anyone - not the Nazis, not the Commies, not even the aliens - could ever tear down Yankee Stadium. The last thing I thought would be that the Yankees would do it.
The British didn't tear down Westminster Abbey to build a brand new one, featuring a Hard Rock Cafe. The French don't seem inclined to knock down the Louvre and put up a modern museum, rewired for improved WiFi access. Hate to be a downer here, but New York City preferred to have a parking lot mark the historical location where Ruth and Gehrig once played, and where Mandela walked.
We tore it down.