Special to River Avenue News
by Chris Lima

My last game in Yankee Stadium ended with the Bombers shaking hands and slapping asses in the infield. They go on to win 9-1, a sad reminder of what could have been.

My girlfriend, who has been a ball of energy throughout the game, asks another fan to take a picture of the two of us, with the field to our backs. After a few takes, she gets the photo she’s looking for, and gets her camera back from the wasted guy in the Mattingly jersey.

We met the day after the Yankees’ historic collapse in the ALCS against the Red Sox, senior year of college. It was karaoke night at the local bar and we were both there. I asked who her favorite Yankee was, and she oddly said Bubba Crosby.

At the time, I was the world’s biggest Bubba fan, and I instantly realized that the saying “There’s someone out there for everyone” was just not a line that roommates said to console a best friend after a bad breakup. Despite her best efforts, we started dating.

Our first game was on a Saturday against the Orioles. Carl Pavano started the game and Alex Rodriguez hit a walk off grand slam. We were the only ones left in the right field tier seats, and we were celebrating like lunatics.

We’ve watched countless Yankee games together, and she’s thrown countless pillows at me every time I suggest, “If you love Derek Jeter so much, why don’t you marry him?”

We were leaving the Stadium, and she was snapping away at anything that looked like a memory. She got a shot of the “Slippery When Wet” sign that always made us laugh for no apparent reason. (Could be that the sign was indoors).

I ran my hand against the railing, and then the wall, not sure why though. I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do.

I was initially against building the new Yankee Stadium, but have softened my stance since then. Its bittersweet leaving the Stadium for the last time, because you feel like you’re leaving a part of yourself there.

Looking across the street, you see this shiny new hunk of concrete and wonder if you’ll ever feel the same way about the new stadium as you did the old. You’ll watch a new Don Mattingly play first, watch a new Andy Pettite pitch the Yankees to four more world series, and you’ll have a hot dog.

And you'll stare out at the field hoping that the ghosts have found their new home. And one day, when they're tearing down the New Yankee Stadium to make way for the next one, you'll sit in the same revered silence, wondering how you'll ever live without the old one.

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