The Yankee Cathedral

Posted by Censor Librorum on Sep 23, 2008 | Categories: Celebrities, Humor

Baseball stadiums are like cathedrals.

Storied, full of memorable events, they are also the scene of private moments of anguish and fierce joy. The interiors–the smells, the sounds, the surroundings–are immediately recognizable and familiar.   You have your favorite place to sit. yankee-stadium.jpeg

There are as many people praying, beseeching, pleading, bargaining, smugly satisfied or silently willing a miracle  as you’d find in any pew. Most of all, it is a place of community–solidarity and belonging.

One of the grandest baseball cathedrals of all–Yankee Stadium–played its last game this past Sunday.   A number of New York City celebrities, some Yankee fans, some not, were asked to comment on its closing.

Pete Hamill, an author and Brooklyn Dodgers fan, had this to say:

First visit: “In 1948. When Babe Ruth died. I was 13 and like all good Brooklynites, I hated the Yankees. My younger brother Tom and I traveled all the way to El Bronx, where the Babe was being waked in the Rotunda. We had a nearly theological debate before going, since it was like visiting another church. An act of betrayal. Almost as bad as turning Episcopalian.” pete_hamill.jpg

“But we convinced ourselves that since the Babe had been with the Dodgers as a coach for a season in the 1930s, we would mourn Babe the Dodger. And so we did. We kept our purity by saying a prayer at the coffin, glancing into the green patch of th imperious park, and refusing to enter.”

“The Jesuits later explained to me that I was exhibiting what purists called ‘an elastic conscience.'”

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