No additional final sendoff for Stadium
Yankees decide last game, ceremonies were fitting closure
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have canceled plans for a sendoff ceremony to be held in November at Yankee Stadium, moving the 85-year-old ballpark nearer to closing its doors forever.
The final game at Yankee Stadium was held on Sept. 21, with the Yankees defeating the Baltimore Orioles, 7-3. The team had discussed organizing an event on the weekend of Nov. 8-9 that would have included remembrances of many of the non-baseball events at Yankee Stadium.
That event would have acknowledged sports like football and boxing, and a star-studded lineup of musical performers had been rumored, with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel among the names reportedly sought.
Instead, the Yankees will donate $500,000 to the Baseball Assistance Team, in lieu of a fundraiser.
"The Yankees were considering having a charitable event at Yankee Stadium for BAT (Baseball Assistance Team)," the club said in a statement. "However, the Yankees realized that the final event at Yankee Stadium should be a baseball game which in fact took place on Sept. 21, 2008 with the magnificent closing ceremony. Accordingly, rather than having a fundraiser, the Yankees will be donating $500,000 to BAT."
The final-game ceremonies featured a memorable lineup of more than two dozen Yankees legends from across eras in a pregame tribute that also permitted fans to circle the warning track at their leisure, posing for photographs along the outfield walls and in the visiting dugout.
After the game, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was given a microphone near the pitcher's mound and addressed the crowd, urging them to "take the memories of this field, add them to the new memories that will come at the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them on from generation to generation."
The entire roster then made a slow lap around the outfield, with many players lingering on the field for long periods after the game and collecting dirt as keepsakes of the Yankees' home since 1923.
Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium, a $1.3 billion facility rising across 161st Street, is scheduled for April 16 against the Cleveland Indians.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.