(Picture Courtesy of This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes)
At this time of the year, Yankee Stadium's grass typically appeared as green and fresh as a warm summer day.
It was almost time for baseball season, and the Bronx would once again be alive with chants, rants, cheers, and boos.
In 2009, however, the tradition will be carried across the street to the new Yankee Stadium.
It is otherwise referred to as "The House That Steroids Built", "The Eighth Wonder of the World", or "Steinbrenner's Last Gasp"; depending on my mood.
The concept of a picture being worth 1000 words is a severe understatement in this case.
The above photo is worth a never-ending novel filled with timeless memories, reflections, and the disbelief that it is truly over.
Symbolic of a grave site for a fallen hero, the shell of the original Yankee Stadium appears more similar to the ruins of the Roman Coliseum than a place just six months removed from game action.
If not for the rounded outfield fence and sharp contrast in color between the dirt and lifeless grass, it would be difficult to determine what sport was played here.
It is truly depressing to see how a structure that provided the heartbeat for an entire city could decompose so quickly without care and a watchful eye.
It is fitting that the brightest section of the stadium lies beyond the outfield wall, where countless home runs landed off the bats of the game’s greatest players.
The Yankees will ensure that new storybook endings are created as soon as possible. However, it will take decades to recapture the essence of history and tradition that the old stadium represented.
This photo symbolizes the rapid fall of the most recent Yankee dynasty. All that remains from the best of times are Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte.
Even the great George Steinbrenner has lost the ability to make his mark on the proud franchise.
The new stadium is as much a tribute to all that Steinbrenner represented as it is to the greatest team in sports history.
I eagerly anticipate the day that I first walk through the gates across the street, and officially become a part of the dawning of a new legacy in the Bronx.
Either way, seeing what has happened to what I once called my second home, it is hard not to succumb to the growing urge to wear black.