As we all know, this is the final season of venerable old Yankee Stadium. But before the grand ol’ ballpark gets bulldozed, Rick Reilly rallies Yankee fans to swipe a sign or steal a seat before it’s too late.
In his latest column for ESPN THE MAGAZINE, Reilly writes that fans should, nay, “must!” take what they can from a sporting venue he elegantly refers to as “our Roman Coliseum, our sports Louvre, our Delphi“:
…Next week’s All-Star game sets up as a kind of Final Viewing, and, like any good funeral, grievers will be trying to slide a wristwatch or a set of cufflinks off the corpse on the way by. This might turn into a pickpocket convention: armrests, pieces of façade, maybe even turnstiles will go missing.
But it shouldn’t be just spectators grabbing a piece or three of baseball history. The Yankees players want in on the action, too. And here’s what they plan on poaching:
• Mariano Rivera: “I’d steal some dirt. Just from around the mound, where I work. I don’t steal, but that would be nice. I’d display it somewhere special in the house.”
• Hideki Matsui: Dirt from the left side of the batter’s box. “I don’t have a backyard right now, but if I did, I’d dig out the dirt and haul it back in a truck.”
• Joba Chamberlain: “I’d take the whole clubhouse. Piece by piece. Hopefully, they won’t notice they’re missing a roof and later, a bench. I’d add onto my house.”
And what of fan favorite Derek Jeter? The shortstop wouldn’t elaborate on his proposed booty, only to say that it would be “bigger than a breadbox” and that “When it’s gone, they’re going to come after me.”
That’s a puzzler. We can only think of one thing he’d want:
Well, he is available at the moment.