My perspective from the 60's conjures up a bunch of sewer rat Irish-German kids hunting the garbage cans of the back alleys for enough deposit bottles to finance enough fifty cent bleacher tickets for a gang of ten. On a really lucky day we scavenged surplus profits for five hot dogs and sodas to share.
But fed or starved the real good fortune came from sitting fifty feet away from Mr. Mickey Mantle and being entranced by the magical number seven. Seeing home plate even with our sharp young eyes could not be as important as our inspiring proximity to "The Mick".
If you were to talk to me and my long lost friends today, I am sure that we would tell you that that house the robber barons' Steinbrenner are about to dismantle may have been built by Ruth but for us 60's kids, its walls were supported by Mantle, Maris, Skowron, Richardson, Kubek, Ford, Turley and a host of our boyhood heroes.
Yes, we ran on the cinders of Macomb's Dam track but we also swam in the Harlem River close enough to enjoy some summer shade from the Stadium and to ride the dangerous waves from the tourist packed Circle Line. Believe those Out Of Towner's when they tell you about the rude urchins who gave them a friendly smile and a wave and then mooned them from the banks of the river.
I mourn the Yankee ignorance toward the neighborhood that still has kids that need them and while pinstripes will always be in my blood, I may never forgive them for replacing the irreplaceable house built and supported by my ancestor's legends, my heroes and my children's and now grandchildren's' idols.