It’s with a wrecking ball, not a baseball, that will mark the beginning of the end of Yankee Stadium when the season wraps up in October … well, late October if Bronx Bombers fans have their wish.
Here’s a look at some of the most significant events in the 85-year history of the venerable ballpark, which moves across the street in time for the 2009 season:
10) Oct. 4, 1965: In his first-ever visit to North America, Pope Paul VI leads mass for more than 80,000 attendees.
9) April 18, 1923: On the stadium’s opening day, Babe Ruth launches a three-run homer as the Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 4-1.
8) Sept. 23, 2001: Mayor Rudy Giuliani attends a memorial service for all the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
7) Oct. 14, 1976: First baseman Chris Chambliss hits a ninth-inning, pennant-winning home run and gives the Yankees their first trip to the World Series since 1964.
6) Oct. 1, 1961: Roger Maris hits his 61st home run of the season into the right-field stands, breaking Ruth’s season-best home-run record.
5) June 22, 1938: With World War II and Hitler’s racial politics looming in the background, American boxer Joe Louis defeats Germany’s uber pugilist Max Schmeling and retains his title by technical knockout.
4) Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2001: The Yankees muster two amazing World Series comebacks; in game four vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tito Martinez ties the game in the ninth inning with a home run before Derek Jeter wins it in the 10th with another dinger. A day later, Scott Brosius ties the game in the ninth with a two-out homer that help propel the Yankees to win the game.
3) Dec. 28. 1958: In what’s regarded as “the greatest game ever played,” Baltimore Colts running back Alan Ameche scores a one-yard touchdown in overtime to defeat the New York Giants in the NFL’s championship game.
2) Oct. 18, 1977: Reggie Jackson hits three home runs in game six of the World Series against the L.A. Dodgers to give the Yankees the title.
1) Oct. 8, 1956: Yankees pitcher Don Larsen throws the only perfect game in World Series history.