Yankee Stadium, in its final year of existence before it brings the memories of 26 World Series championships, numerous Hall of Famers and too many magical moments to remember across the street, was the ideal venue for the 79th Mid- Summer Classic. Despite the game being the longest in All-Star history, nothing was going to overshadow the majesty and memories that were all brought back to the forefront these past few days inside the House That Ruth Built.
I’m talking about numen.
Numen is the concept that a place or object has a power beyond its intrinsic value.
A presiding divinity or spirit of a place
For me, divinity is probably too strong a word. I believe in One God. But I do believe some places evoke powerful emotions because of events — large or small — that have happened there.
Insert a place that is important to you and your family’s past.
I’m not much of a baseball fan. I DO enjoy the rhythm of the game as background noise on a Saturday afternoon. And I enjoy the idea of baseball. In fact, I typically read some sort of baseball-related book every summer. One of my favorites is Halberstam’s October 1964.
Even this somewhat casual fan in Arkansas who’s only been to ONE major league game just HATES the idea of the Yankees moving.
I just shudder at the thought. And the idea that the Cubs could play anywhere than Wrigley Field or that it should be named after a corporation really hurts my soul. As an American. Ya know???
So I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for families who, for generations, have spent a summer afternoon or evening together at Yankee Stadium, watching the Babe or Mantle or Billy Martin…and all the stuff that makes baseball baseball and makes baseball uniquely American.
It is fitting and proper to celebrate this historic venue’s place in American history. It’s also fitting and proper to mourn its loss.
Hot dogs won’t smell the same at the new place. The crack of the bat won’t sound the same. Peanuts won’t taste the same.
Because it’ll take numen a long, long, long, LONG time to take up residence.