And Yankees stadium stands now as a warning symbol. Where it once seemed like a museum and mall with a baseball field in the middle, it now projects an aura of cold death to opposing players. Inside, only Yankees fans and players come to life, and opposing players’ baseball dreams come to die.
By next season, expect to see this sign appear over the top of the entrance for visiting players: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.
That won’t end when the season ends. Anymore than will the championship dreams of this team, no matter what happens in 2017.
I will return briefly to Alexander the Great to illustrate the point. He was so ferocious in his destructive abilities that, years after the end of his life, just the sight of his statue caused fear and physical reactions even to kings:
"…so that many years afterwards, when he was now king of Macedonia and master of Greece, as he was walking about and surveying the statues at Delphi, the sight of an image of Alexander smote him suddenly with a shuddering and trembling from which he could scarcely recover, and made his head swim."
That’s what the sight of Yankees stadium is starting to feel like for other teams. A few more playoff victories, preferably this year, will cement the edifice in stone and instill fear, fear of the destructive abilities of the men who wait inside.
An Angel on Their Shoulders
But no matter how this series, and remaining postseason unfolds, these young Yankees have awoken the ghosts of Yankees past, including a recent entrant whose soul seems to inhabit the spirits of the Baby Bombers: Gene “Stick” Michael:
"“People are making the most of the moment,” Judge said. “But also a lot of hard work is showing up right now.” Just before Game 5, one of the many Yankees advisors in that effort, Lee Mazzilli, was in the dugout, joking with Bird about how Yankee Stadium had come alive with passion and euphoria in that Game 4 comeback, almost like the way it was in the old stadium. “The ghosts,” Bird told him. “Ah, they’re not here,” Mazzilli said. “That was the old place.” “No, they moved over here,” Bird said. “And we’ve got one more.” Bird smiled and said only, “Stick,” and turned to run on to the field, right on time."
Perhaps no other member of Yankees universe had more to do with the development of these World (Series) rattling baby bombers. His physical presence no longer inhabits this world, but his spirit lives on in every base hit and run stealing defensive play.
As much as they play in honor of the legacy left behind by men such as Ruth, Gehrig, and Mantle, current Yankees such as Sanchez, Judge, and Bird play to honor the man who helped get them here. And that seems apropos for a team that seems to always keep things in perspective.