The House that Ruth Built
Arguably considered to be considered the preeminent ballpark of all time, classic Yankee Stadium (1923-73, ‘76-‘08) served as a cathedral to all baseball fans. It was the first three-tiered ballpark to be given the lasting name of “stadium” rather than “field.” As Babe Ruth grew in acclaim, the Yankees front office know that that it need its own stadium after sharing the Polo Grounds with the NL Giants. The stadium was constructed in 1922 at a cost of $2.4 million. (New Yankee Stadium’s construction bill was $2.3 billion.) Babe Ruth hit the first home run on Opening Day, 1923 as the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox. During the course of its 85 year history, the Stadium served as host to 6581 Yankee games. 37 of the 83 World Series played during its existence were played, in part, in the Bronx. The Yankees won 26 series (#1 all time). Because of this, 161 post season games were played there. (#1 all time). The Yankees clinched championships at the Stadium nine times – 1927, ’38, ’47, ’50, ’51, ’53, ’77, ’96 and ’99. Don Larson threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 8, 1956 (Game 5).
Besides Ruth’s Opening Day home run, other memorable home runs included Roger Maris’ 61st on the last day of the 1961 season. Mickey Mantle hit his 500th career blast in 1967. Chris Chambliss’ HR in Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS clinched American League flag for the Bronx Bombers. Reggie Jackson his three home runs in Game 6 of the 1978 World Series. History repeated itself in 2003 as Aaron Boone’s home run in Game 7 of the LCS sent the Yankees to the ’03 Series.
As time began to catch up to the beloved stadium, city officials and team ownership agreed on a replacement park to be built next door to original Yankee Stadium at Macomb Dam Park. The Yankees began play there in 2009. “Classic” Yankee Stadium – The House that Ruth Built – as demolished by 2010. The city of New York constructed Heritage Park as a way to appease locals who complained over the loss of available park space that the new stadium engulfed. As of this writing, there is no historical marker acknowledging the existence original ballpark.