Ankee Dium?

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Taken from The Major Deegan Expressway (New York Thruway) this afternoon – the third base side of the upper deck is long gone and about the rest of it, the first impression is apparently universal: it looks like they’ve stolen part of the old Yankee Stadium. The big blue letters are long gone, and the shadows left spell out “A N K E E      D I U M.” 
I don’t know if, even with the misspelling, that translates to anything in Latin, but here’s a second view – where the highway sign, in the right of the first picture, is out of view, and we’re obscured only by a light pole:
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This second shot gives you a clearer view of that missing chunk behind home plate. It’s inevitable, and it’s stark, and it’s progress (I continue to like the new place better) – but it’s still shocking. And where did all the stuff go? A partial answer below.
The slightly blurry pictures were snapped in route to my father’s memorial service, and this gives me an opportunity to thank you for the overwhelming support that poured from the comments after Saturday’s post about his passing. They were of incredible importance to me, and the members of my family, and to my father’s friends, who read them. I wish that I could somehow do them justice, but words, as they did this afternoon, fail me.
FROM A RESEARCHER’S NOTEBOOK:
Not much real sweaty research here (on my part anyway), but courtesy BaseballReference.Com we get to celebrate those three men who are just seventeen days or so away from hitting the old “I played in four decades” milestone: Ken Griffey, Jamie Moyer, and Omar Vizquel. They would swell the ranks of four-decaders (or in the cases of Minnie Minoso and Nick Altrock, five) to a total of 29. There are as noted several others, like Gary Sheffield, without clubs but with possibilities.
It is fascinating that there hasn’t been an “artificial” addition to this list since 1990, given that ten of the first seventeen players to achieve the distinction only did so by coming out of retirement, or at least inactivity. Jack O’Connor was a manager when he did it, Dan Brouthers a scout, Jim O’Rourke a minor league executive, Eddie Collins a never-used player-coach, Tim McCarver a broadcaster, and Altrock, Kid Gleason, Jimmy McGuire, Minoso, and Jack Ryan, all full-time coaches.
Lastly, as promised – where’d all that original Yankee Stadium stuff go?
Well, you have to admit, it gives a home a different feel.
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This was Damaso Marte’s locker in 2008, and Mariano Rivera’s earlier.

67 Comments

The most painful memories in my life as a sports fan revolve around the images of the demolition of Comiskey Park. It was excruciating to drive down the Dan Ryan and see that palace of baseball slowly being destroyed.

I am no fan of naming every stadium after a corporation, but I was thrilled when the new sox stadium changed its name from Comiskey to U.S. Cellular.

In my mind, there will only ever be one Comiskey Park.

Glad to see you’re back!

http://southsidehitmen.mlblogs.com/

I’m with The Hitmen on that, though a different stadium is close to my heart. Ye Olde Fulton County Stadium. Yes, I’m old enough to remember 2-for-1 Braves tickets (yes, there was a time they were that desperate for people to be in those seats). While I wasn’t a baseball fanatic (I mean that in the kindest way), I remember being pretty upset at the idea of a “new and improved” baseball stadium. I occasionally go to games at Turner Field, but it’s not the same. The concentration seems to be on everything else — the contests, the trivia, the fireworks, the video clips… anything but the game (though, given the games I went to last season, that may have been a blessing…). I know Fulton County allegedly had that curse on it (long story that less than half of the Atlanta population probably remembers), but it had a lot of character to it.

It’s good to see you back here again, Keith. You wrote in an earlier post that “this” is what baseball is about. Amen, and keep preaching it, Keith. You and yours are in our thoughts.

Not sure about the Latin, but ‘Anki’ is both a Dutch girl’s name and some kind of freeware flashcard memorisation system. Oh, and they sell chimneys in Ireland.

Hmmmm … besides resembling “carpe diem,” –which I know you were thinking of — “Ankee Dium” also seems like it might be the name of some pre-1900 ballplayer. It reminds me of old-fashioned names that sound odd to the modern ear … like “Elihu,” “Alva,” “Ole,” “Lemuel,” etc.
Of course, since you toted the Marte/Rivera locker home, you actually did, in a sense, carpe Ankee Dium. (And the frieze motif carried through to the lockers? Boy, talk about your thematic continuity …)
When I heard that the old Yankee Stadium was being demolished this week, I thought about you, Keith, & how it might be difficult for you — this awful week in particular — given all the memories you have of good times there with your family. But I hope those memories will sustain you, too.
I was so glad to see you back here as well. I said it in an earlier comment, but it bears repeating — all those supportive comments just demonstrate how much you are valued, appreciated, & loved.
–TribeGal
(…who does not miss old Municipal Stadium in the least.)

?Two most compelling proofs of God’s existence: Serendipity & Synchronicity. Can?t escape either for very long.?
This is the observation I make on my Facebook profile page. Ask Mookie Wilson.

I am fascinated by the way events mark the passage of time much more fundamentally than timepieces ever can: births, deaths, disasters both divinely and humanly ordained, storms, scandals, ratifications, enactments. And the raising and razing of man-made structures, not limited to els or ballparks.
So even though I am currently a transplanted New Yorker, I will remember that Theodore Olbermann went with the Storm of ’10.

I?m prompted to comment here by the occasion of the rerun that MSNBC has chosen to air this evening, and I?m thankful for that choice, having already been down the final road of life with my own parents, and for the historical perspective that your program offered.
I also wanted to pass along to you, and any other readers who also see baseball as a way of marking time in life, one possibly overlooked fact of American History: When our nation was founded, the germ theory of disease was merely a theory.
As for the newly-acquired shrine, it seems oddly pristine. I also can?t help but wonder whether some distant future MLB player might someday acquire your amenities from a razed Rockefeller Center.
Looking forward to seeing you back live soon.
           
Ed from Queens, via Rochester NY

Keith – Thanks for the pictures, though it saddens me to think about the circumstances during which they were taken.

I didn’t finish this tribute to your father until a few hours ago, so I wasn’t able to post it in your last thread. However, since the memorial service was yesterday, I hope the timing of this will still be appropriate. It’s a two-page website paying tribute to your father. (I’m sorry if the HTML coding is less than perfect; I checked it in 4 browsers, but a couple of them are older versions, so I hope it’ll look OK in newer browsers.) When I’m stressed out about something, I tend to immerse myself in building web sites, so it was only natural for me to do this.

The main page is a tribute I had hoped I wouldn’t have to do. The second page is the little project I had hinted at in a comment I made in response to one of your previous blog entries. Namely, it’s a “virtual baseball card” that I made of your father. I figured, since you love baseball cards, and he had shown such courage these past few months, that you might like having a “baseball card” of your father.

The tribute site can be found here:
http://olbermann.tripod.com/
(The link for the second page is at the bottom, where it says, “CLICK HERE for a baseball-related tribute to Keith’s dad.”)

(I invite anybody reading this to check out the site as well, because there are so many people out here who never met Mr. Olbermann, yet feel they’ve lost a friend, because Keith has done such a wonderful job of introducing him to us.)

Though it’s sad to see the old “Ankee Dium” go, the Yankees’ recent World Series win certainly made some memories in the new stadium already. I hope your father, despite his “delightful grudge”, enjoyed the Yankees’ win in 2009.

It’s good to see you here again, BTW. Even though you’re sorely missed on Countdown, you need to take care of yourself, after an ordeal like you and your family have been through this past year. Take enough time off to heal somewhat (you never can heal completely from these things, I’ve found), before you return. Just seeing you pop up here and/or on Daily Kos every so often is enough to let us know you’re still hanging in there.

Well, it’s good to see a little of that “Keith snark” back even on such a sad day. :) In dealing with my Mom’s illness, my family & I know all too well that you just gotta laugh sometimes. As far as Latin translations go, we all know carpe diem is “seize the day,” so “A N K E E D I U M” could mean to seize…uh…well…ankles? You can’t tell me that more than a few ankles weren’t busted during the stadium’s illustrious history. ;) And, it’s great to see you got a piece of the ‘ol ballpark – literally! – if that’s indeed your place. The only comparable experience I can share is seeing the HUGE pile of rubble in downtown Indianapolis after the Hoosier Dome (I refused to call it “the RCA Dome”!) was imploded; that was one big pile of “stuff!”

Well even for a non-fanatic, that is some cool stuff! The locker, that is. As for Ankee Dium, it reminds me of when they ripped all the stars off Texas Stadium after building that new monstrosity. Disturbing. Then there was the stripping of Reunion Arena which, last time I checked, was all gone but the roof and pillars holding it up. But construction and destruction are sometimes quite similar in appearance. I also saw the new Browns stadium going up. That was one happy town back in 1998.
Great to see you, KO.

Keith,

How I long to see big green letters spell out AKLAND SEUM.

Having lost my father to a long, difficult illness, I can tell you that a change of scenery does wonders. So get thee to spring training.

Laurel,
from the worst MLB stadium in the world where the lockers aren’t as nice

Hey, I could sure use one of those for shoe storage! :D

Welcome back, Keith! It’s good to see you here again. I seem to be having the same problem that you’re having… of words failing me. I wish I could give you a hug – that seems to express far more than words can, at least for me. Sometimes a gesture can carry more meaning than words…. Looking forward to seeing you back on Countdown, but when you’re ready. I hope you’re getting to see a few baseball games here and there… everyone copes in different ways, and I think most of us understand that. Do whatever brings you peace of mind, and know that we’re here for you. :) So is that locker at your place? If so, I’m glad you were able to get it! Nice piece of history right there. @unpaka27, great tribute! Loved it! @sanfranciscokarmared, I’m with you – it sounds like “Seize the Ankle”. Which could be a mantra for a certain “news” organization…. ’nuff said. :)

How appropriate the funeral went by the old Yankee Stadium. And that the stadium as you and your dad knew it was being torn down — as going to games there could never be the same.

As for the “Latin”….

I saw unpaka27’s web page tribute to Keith’s father. How nicely done. I cannot believe the photo of KO’s dad that looks almost exactly like him, albeit a bit older.

Keith, my best during this difficult time. I’m so glad this web site and its readers have been a source of comfort to your dad’s family and friends. We do care. We always will.

@sanfranciscokarmared and @entireofitself: With all due respect, and with high regard to fun and friendship, I do believe it would actually be closer to “ankle day.”

But both wrongs aside, what’s important is that locker is some seriously neato swag! I am suddenly almost tempted to watch a Yankees game!

YOU GOT A LOCKER? Granting, it’s from Yankee Stadium and I am a Dodger fan, but I am envious, indeed.

I remember reading that when the Polo Grounds went down, the Mets gave Casey Stengel a row of seats.

And your words did not fail you. You expressed your sentiments beautifully, and all of us hurt with you.

Almost forgot to mention this – you said: “…we get to celebrate those three men who are just seventeen days or so away from hitting the old ‘I played in four decades’ milestone: Ken Griffey, Jamie Moyer, and Omar Vizquel” – all three played for the Mariners, and I’ve seen all of them play, albeit at the old Seattle Kingdome. Randy Johnson almost made it to that milestone as well, didn’t he? Almost… :) And he’s also an ex-Mariner. And there is this… you mention the old Yankee Stadium coming down… I’ve never seen it, but wish I had. Hoping to visit the new one someday. But the Kingdome was baseball “home” for me, for a long time. I moved to Florida back in 1998, and I still remember one day I was changing channels at random, and saw what looked like the Kindgome crashing down – and in fact that’s exactly what it was. I had flipped to that channel just in time to see them showing the destruction of my old “home”. They weren’t actually tearing it down at that moment, but just happened to be showing a program about bringing down buildings with carefully planned explosions – and the timing was just amazing. And yeah, the Kindgome was an ugly old place, but it was our ugly old place. I know there’s a new stadium in town, and I’m here visiting family, but I haven’t seen it yet – not from the inside, anyway. Again… maybe someday. Perhaps. I hope. :) Take care of yourself, Keith… and please keep posting. It’s so good to hear from you.

Keith, I have to say we have all through our lives come across fans with tons of baseball memorabilia, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of anyone having a real MLB locker in their home. lol And from the old Yankee Stadium to boot. I as well have something really special – an old Braves sign taken from the scrap heep of Braves Field in the mid 1950’s. It means everything to me, so I can imagine what this locker must mean to you. Locker? Wow.

I have just started Joshua Prager’s book The Echoing Green. I’m only on page 11 but already I can see myself getting lost in this book. Leo Durocher, Willie Mays, Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca, 1950’s New York/Brooklyn, a pennant race for the ages. I imagine this book is going to have it all.

Congratulations on nailing a locker. That’s about as big a piece of memorabilia as anyone is ever going to get. Pretty soon you’re going to be able to open up your own private Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nice hearing from you Keith. Baseball is almost here.

Captivating interview below w/Joshua Prager talking about the shot heard ’round the world and the stealing of … well, you know. I have seen that photograph of Ralph Branca lying on the steps after the game a million times. It was always the saddest picture I had ever seen of a player after losing a game. I can’t wait to read this story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5YpSyc5vBA

When I last posted, I forgot to say something else that I meant to, about that picture of the locker that you posted. According to the data I see on that picture, it was taken 2 days before Christmas. Now, that’s a Christmas present any baseball fan would want…whether they liked the Yankees or not! The Mariano Rivera jersey is a nice touch, too. Those shelves would be a nice place to display some other, smaller baseball memorabilia. The decorator’s instinct in me goes into overdrive, thinking of the possibilities. :-)

While I’m here, I’ll mention a quick update I’ve made to my tribute site to Keith’s dad, since somebody e-mailed me and said they were having problems with the baseball card part of it. I’ve made the pictures clickable, so you can download a Microsoft Word document that will help you print the card at a more accurate size than it appears on the web page. My apologies to anyone who had problems with it. The link to the site appears in my previous post on this page.

Ankee Dium? He was a guard on the ’39 Aggies championship team, right?

Nice Yankee Stadium relic.

Nice to see you in good spirits. How about a report on spring training?

Jan in Santa Clarita

Three things:

1. The historian in me dies a little inside to see the old stadium going… but the baseball fan in me is crazy excited about the new one.

2. *hugs* Good to have you back.

3. SWEET locker.

You do know that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything, right?

That is a sweet locker. I’m totally jealous.

As a child, I can remember going by Ebbets Field as it was taken away from us. When I grew older, I thought deprived, due to the fact that I never had the opportunity of going to a game there (What can I say? My dad is a lifelong Yankee fan from the Bronx).

What is painful for me over the last few years was seeing the demolition of Shea Stadium. It may have been a bit of a dump, but it was OUR dump. It was where I saw the 1969 and 1986 teams play, memories that will always be inside of me. It still hurts to see a void, a parking lot where Shea was. I know that there are plaques there marking where the bases and the pitchers mound were (I stepped on the bases, but not where the pitcher’s slab was. Tom Seaver stood there. Jerry Koosman stood there. Dwight Gooden stood there. I wasn’t worthy. I did, however, walk away from there banging my hand off of my hip like my all-time favorite baseball player, Mr. Frank Edwin McGraw). It’s not the same.

I’ll always look towards that parking lot and feel like I’m missing a lot. There are too many memories.

Being from Indianapolis where we don’t have a professional ball team and most people worship Peyton Manning, I might be the lone person who cares that they are about to demolish the AAA Indianapolis Indians Bush Stadium. Why you ask? For a new retail center!

The stadium has it’s day like most that are tore down, but isn’t a disease, nonetheless it is a functional building. I understand that in a place like New York City where everything has to be the newest, best, and brightest, but in my situation I feel like there is no excuse.

Being from Indianapolis where we don’t have a professional ball team and most people worship Peyton Manning, I might be the lone person who cares that they are about to demolish the AAA Indianapolis Indians Bush Stadium. Why you ask? For a new retail center!

The stadium has it’s day like most that are tore down, but isn’t a disease, nonetheless it is a functional building. I understand that in a place like New York City where everything has to be the newest, best, and brightest, but in my situation I feel like there is no excuse.

I have just started Joshua Prager’s book The Echoing Green. I’m only on page 11 but already I can see myself getting lost in this book. Leo Durocher, Willie Mays, Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca, 1950’s New York/Brooklyn, a pennant race for the ages. I imagine this book is going to have it all.
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I want to think that the person who designed the words had a fancy way of writing stadium. The dium stands for stadium and that is why it is unique for the Ankee field. Or still due to the old age, the letters fell off leaving only the ?ANKEE DIUM? standing. – Jordan

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