Old Yankee Stadium
The original Yankee Stadium is perhaps one of the most iconic venues in the history of Major League Football. It is still revered by fans, so much so that many still call it “The Cathedral of Baseball” due to its incredible importance for the evolution of this sport. In addition to that, the old Yankee Stadium will be forever linked with Babe Ruth, one of the best baseball players of all time. Ruth spent his best years at the Yankee Stadium, so much so that most fans still refer to this venue as “The House That Ruth Built.”
The original Yankee Stadium was located in the Bronx borough of New York City, and as the name suggests, it was the home ballpark of the Yankees. The team played 6.581 games at the original Yankee Stadium, which was opened in 1923. What’s special about this stadium is the fact that the construction was not funded by the city. Instead, the owner of the Yankees team, Jacob Ruppert, decided to invest in a stadium of his own. He was initially using the Polo Grounds, a former ballpark located in Manhattan, which the Yankees shared with the Giants. The Polo Grounds was simply not able to accommodate the audience and the high-quality standards the Yankees were looking for, and by the late 1910s, Ruppert was looking for alternatives. To add fuel to the flame, the relationship between the Giants and the Yankees wasn’t exactly amicable, and there was a lot of friction between the two organizations. The Giants had harbored some resentment towards the Yankees, who had been staying at the Polo Grounds for ten years. To top it off, the Yankees actually drew over 1.3 million fans during the 1920 seasons, while the Giants did not reach anywhere near those numbers. Out of spite, they issued an eviction notice, but it was rescinded soon after. The Yankees had their “moral revenge” on the field, as they actually won their very first American League Pennant to the Giants throughout eight games, all at the Polo Grounds. This was the last drop for the Giants, who really didn’t want the Yankees there anymore! The management of the Giants, heralded by the controversial Charles Stoneham and John McGraw, was very corrupt, and their scheme of trying to force the Yankees out and sabotage the team by leaving them with no place where to play actually backfired big time, as Yankee owner, Ruppert was driven to never be put in that situation again: Having his own stadium was a way to prevent that.
The idea of building a new stadium in The Bronx made sense, and the stadium immediately gained ground, acclaimed as a truly groundbreaking facility for its time. Not only is the old Yankee Stadium a baseball landmark, but it was also home to incredibly important events at various stages throughout history, including several high-profile concerts, charity events, and social gatherings.
Some of the most iconic music events organized at the Yankee Stadium include an R&B festival organized by the Isley Brothers in 1969, while several other high-profile acts performed there, including Billy Joel, as well as Pink Floyd and U2. The latter remains particularly famous for their Yankee Stadium appearance, as singer Bono Vox recited a small tribute to the venue: “I dreamed I saw Joe DiMaggio, Dancing with Marilyn Monroe.
Eventually, the stadium was demolished in 2009 in favor of a new facility in Macombs Dam Park. A beautiful park, Heritage Field, now stands where the old stadium was located.