History is not limited to landmarks. So say the few Yankees who may still be in pinstripes when the team's new home is slated to open in 2009.
"There's been a lot of history here, a lot of good memories," said Derek Jeter, one of two Yankees signed through 2009. "We're going to try and take that tradition and move it across the street."
The other Yankee who will be under contract is Alex Rodriguez, who said he will miss the special feeling he gets coming into the stadium. "As an opposing player coming in here, it's a very tough place to play," he said. "It has to do with the stadium, the fans, the aura. But let's not forget, players win championships."
Those players and their decade-long run arguably have played a significant role in yesterday's announcement. Joe Torre said as much during his pregame meeting with reporters, intimating that the $800-
million new stadium and the more than $200 million in city and state money slated for parking, transit and neighborhood improvements are much more palatable when a team has had the kind of run the Yankees have.
"When you try to sell your appeal with anything other than winning, it doesn't work," Torre said.
Torre talked about sitting in the stands as a kid; Jeter first came to the stadium when he was 6 or 7. Those memories are tough to transfer, but the ability to recreate some of the earliest stadium touches, like the original fa�ade from 1923, can create a special environment.
"The atmosphere of this place is what makes it special. There's going to be a new stadium, but it'll be the same atmosphere," Jeter said. "We'll have the same fans and some touches that will be similar to this one. It's definitely a positive thing."
"You can't take away what's happened here," Rodriguez said. "You think about the United States of America, this is one of the major landmarks. But when you start a new stadium, it's electric. It brings so much energy to the franchise, to the city. Four years doesn't seem like a long time to wait."