Ghosts of Yankees' past? Not for Baker

Ghost of Yankees' past not for Baker

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Dusty Baker respects the ghosts in Yankee Stadium, though he sees no reason to let those ghosts haunt him.

"I didn't play there much -- three World Series," Baker said. "But that's been a while."

So he doesn't have much experience with the ghosts inside Yankee Stadium to know those ghosts well. But those ghosts are there, Baker said. They're there, just as they are in aging venues like Notre Dame Stadium or wherever else great games have been played and championships won.

But after Sunday, Yankee Stadium and its ghosts will be spoken of in the past tense. The Yankees will close the historic ballpark in the Bronx with a game against the Orioles. Derek Jeter, A-Rod & Co. will be moving to a new ballpark next season.

While the Yankees faithful had hoped the House that Ruth Built would close with a World Series game, they aren't likely to see that happen. A string of 13 appearances in the postseason will probably end for the Yankees this season. Now, it's just the memories and the ghosts.

"It's a special place," Baker said. "I wonder if the mystique and the ghosts will move with 'em."

He doesn't see the ballpark, even with the flashy trappings of the new place, fading into irrelevance quickly. No ballpark does. Yankee Stadium will be missed, Baker said. Fans missed Riverfront, fans missed Fulton County Stadium and fans missed Forbes Field.

"I'm sure the Brewers are a lot happier playing in their new stadium than they were in County Stadium," Baker said.

But as personnel turns over, old ballparks are missed less and less because ballplayers won't have anything to remind them of the past but old stories, Baker said. They'll be building memories in the new place, which will make it easy to forget the old place's mystique.

And its ghosts.

Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.