07/14/08 11:55 AM ET
Gossage rings opening bell at NYSE
Hall of Fame closer joined by MLB, Yankees officials
By Willie Bans / MLB.com
But when they saw soon-to-be Hall of Famer Goose Gossage walk on the NYSE floor, some stopped him for an autograph and shouted that familiar "Goooose" nickname for the former Yankee closer.
Eventually, Gossage made it to the balcony and rang the opening bell at 9:30 a.m., flanked by New York Gov. David Paterson and Yankees president Randy Levine, as part of the All-Star Week celebration.
Gossage had toured the NYSE years ago with his family and hung photos from that experience on his wall, but this was different.
"Today, to be here to ring the bell is actually a real thrill," Gossage said. "It's a real thrill for me to be here. It's really exciting."
Paterson thanked the Yankees representatives there, such as chief operating officer Lonn Trost and vice chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, and the NYSE, ""for having us today and recognizing not only this great night for New York, but a great night for the country," Patterson said. "Yankee Stadium is the premier baseball stadium in America, and you couldn't have closed it down any better way."
Bob DuPuy, president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, said having the All-Star Game recognized at NYSE and at other community events this week has been "a reflection of the hold baseball has on the country and the hold it also has on New York," he said.
"The game is the culmination of it," DuPuy added. "What I think is very interesting if you look at the lineups and you look at the reserves is the game represents -- like the Yankees moving into the new Yankees Stadium and like the Mets moving into Citi Field -- a transition from the old stars to new stars."
Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext, presented medallions to the Yankees executives and Gossage to commemorate ringing the opening bell. And as a committed Mets fan, Niederauer still appreciated the significance for Yankee Stadium to host the All-Star Game.
"This is a tremendous week for New York. I'm a huge baseball fan, and even though I love the Mets, I think it's a non-decision if you think about where to have the All-Star Game when we're retiring two stadiums (Shea Stadum and Yankee Stadium). Yankee Stadium is an amazing place."
Already, Trost thought of where he'd put his medallion.
"I'm going to take a look at it, probably have it framed, and put in the new office in the new building at Yankee Stadium," Trost said.
Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.