The New York Yankees closed down the old stadium 13 years ago Tuesday night, and though the skeleton of the ballpark remains across the street as a youth field, nothing about it feels preserved.
Most of us swung by the construction site that fall and winced, seeing the Yankee Stadium we knew and loved in some form of disrepair. At a certain point, the whole thing had been opened up, black seats visible from all angles like some sort of unholy cross-section.
I want to remember the stadium as it was, not as it very briefly was, partially disassembled.
According to David Cone, though, the deconstruction began sooner than any of us thought — and he was a part of it.
Per Coney on Tuesday’s broadcast, he spent the immediate aftermath of the Yankees’ win on Sept. 21, 2008 tearing a cupholder off the seat in front of him, directly behind home plate.
Took him a while, too. Had to do a lot of ripping and yanking.
Yankees star David Cone tore a cupholder apart at the final game at Old Yankee Stadium.
According to our beloved ex-pitcher (and, hopefully, future coach), the process took a while, and the cupholder’s sitting somewhere in storage.
The right-hander swiftly learned he wasn’t the only thief in the building that night; YES Network’s Jack Curry, an extremely laid-back insider, admitted he swiped the New York Times nameplate from the press box.
And, of course, there was Mariano Rivera, who collected dirt from the mound and inspired a whole wave of lesser people on the field to immediately try the same thing.
The game was a relative laugher in a sleepy season in the Bronx, which the Yanks took 7-3. The final home run in the old ballpark was smacked by Jose Molina in the bottom of the fourth, and the pitching matchup featured Andy Pettitte against someone named Chris Waters.
We don’t blame Cone for eyeing what he could smash-and-grab during the downtime.
During the present-day Bombers’ collapse, Cone has been particularly pointed on air recently, railing against everything from Tanner Swanson’s catching coaching style and the way Gary Sánchez has embraced it to Aaron Boone’s strategy in his possible final days.
We hope the door’s not closed on Coney taking a dugout job in the not-so-distant future, even though he and Brian Cashman couldn’t agree on a way to make it work last time around.
If the cupholder thing is disqualifying, please scrub this story from the internet.