Special to River Avenue News
By Chris Lima

I’m exhausted. Its been a crazy couple of months between filming weddings, my regular job, trying to launch a new website, and most importantly, trying to stay sane.

I’ve got this date circled on my calendar, so I don’t miss it. It’s the last time I’ll ever be at Yankee Stadium. It’s also the first time since 1993 that I’ve been to the Stadium and the Yankees weren’t on their way to a post season.

I’m a little sad, mostly mixed feelings. The new Yankee Stadium looks unbelievable, but doesn’t have any memories in it, yet.

I get to work, but can barely concentrate on anything. My mind keeps wandering back to some of the games I’ve been at.

David Wells almost threw a second perfect game against the Athletics, and I was sitting in the front row, third base line with my little brother. I even heard Art Howe curse off the ump, as he was being ejected from the game.

I remember the first time I got to take the Day Camp to the Stadium all by myself. The Yanks were playing the Blue Jays in a miserably hot July, and it was 0-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. My rule is never to leave a game early, not even if you’ve got fifty screaming, smelly, drooling kids with you.

Ruben Sierra hit a first pitch walk off home run off Billy Koch in the bottom of the ninth, sending me and five other extremely happy counselors home.

The first game I went to with my college buddies was on a rainy April afternoon. We came ready with a bed sheet that had the phrase “Soriano for MVP” on it. Giambi hit his first home run as a Yankee that day.

I wish I could remember my first Yankee game, but it’s hazy. Was it against the Angels or the Royals? Sad, I can’t remember. I always hear people talk so vividly about their first game, and I wonder how much of that is real, and how much of that is formulated on what they believed their first game was like.

It’s finally lunch time, and my girlfriend is sitting outside my office at a picnic table, waiting to share a bite to eat. I’ve got some orange flavored chicken, courtesy of our cafeteria.
I can’t wait to get a hot dog.

After a 3:00 meeting ends, I’ve got a chance to escape early. I call my co-worker (who happens to be an obnoxious Red Sox Fan) who’s also going to the game, and we jump in my girlfriend’s car. Feels like a bank robbery, the way we bolted out of that office so fast.

There’s a little bit of traffic, but I guess that’s a given at rush hour.

We pull off the second exit for the Stadium, to get a better shot. I pull my Canon Rebel out for the first picture of the night.

I’ll have taken 526 more by night’s end.

We park in the lot my family has parked in about three hundred times before. I’m not sad yet; the parking lot isn’t going anywhere. And it cost me $17, so that takes a little bit of the nostalgia out of the evening.

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