Derek Jeter held a wireless microphone on the final night at the original Yankee Stadium, striking perfect notes from the center of the storied infield. The captain asked fans to “take the memories from this stadium and add them to the new memories we make at the new Yankee Stadium.”
The 2009 move across East 161st Street ushered in a new chapter in franchise history, with the glittering cathedral having already played host to a bevy of remarkable achievements and performances. Here are our top 10 moments at the new Yankee Stadium so far:
1) Nov. 4, 2009: ‘Mission 27’ is complete
The Yankees capped their inaugural season at the new ballpark with their 27th World Series championship, defeating the Phillies in a six-game Fall Classic. The final out came when Mariano Rivera induced Shane Victorino to ground out to second baseman Robinson Canó, with Mark Teixeira receiving the throw at first base. Hideki Matsui had six RBIs in the clincher, securing Series MVP honors.
2) Sept. 25, 2014: Where fantasy becomes reality
Jeter exited a winner at home in his final game in pinstripes, exhibiting his trademark inside-out swing to lace a walk-off single and sending home the deciding run in a 6-5 victory over the Orioles. Jeter raised his fists, securing a Hollywood conclusion after he had already doubled and driven in a go-ahead run earlier in the contest, only for closer David Robertson to permit three runs in the ninth.
3) July 9, 2011: History with an exclamation point
On a sunny Saturday in The Bronx, Jeter became the 28th player -- and first Yankee -- to reach the 3,000-hit plateau, sending a pitch from Rays left-hander David Price into the left-field bleachers. Jeter’s historic knock came as part of a five-hit afternoon in a 5-4 victory, permitting the shortstop to exhale and relieve the mounting pressure that the milestone presented.
4) Sept. 26, 2013: Exit Sandman
Rivera’s remarkable career ended with his longtime teammates Jeter and Andy Pettitte visiting the mound. As Jeter grinned and told his close friend that it was “time to go,” Rivera sobbed and buried his face into Pettitte’s right shoulder. Rivera tipped his cap as he exited, taking his first steps toward the Hall of Fame, where he’d be enshrined as the first unanimous inductee five years later.
5) Oct. 3, 2017: Sir Didi saves the day
The storybook 2017 Yankees season seemed to be in jeopardy when the Twins shocked the Stadium crowd with three first-inning runs in the American League Wild Card Game, scoring before many in attendance had even found their seats. Gregorius put the Bombers back in control in the bottom of the frame, belting a three-run homer off Ervin Santana that set the tone for an 8-4 victory.
6) Oct. 10, 2012: Raul, so cool
In one of the boldest gambles of Joe Girardi’s managerial tenure, 40-year-old Raul Ibanez was tabbed to pinch-hit for A-Rod in the ninth inning of AL Division Series Game 3 against the Orioles. Ibanez sent the ballpark into hysterics, mashing a game-tying homer off Jim Johnson. Ibanez delivered again in the 12th, slugging a game-winning homer off Brian Matusz.
7) June 19, 2015: A-Rod does it in style
Four years after Jeter secured his place as the second Major Leaguer to homer for his 3,000th hit, A-Rod became the third, launching an opposite-field blast in the first inning off the Tigers’ Justin Verlander. Later saying that he was grateful for the opportunity to continue wearing the uniform, Rodriguez pointed to the seats behind home plate, blowing a kiss to his daughters Ella and Natasha.
8) Sept. 19, 2011: Mariano stands alone
Urged by his teammates to soak in the moment, Rivera stood alone on the mound, celebrating his place as the game’s all-time saves leader. Rivera surpassed Trevor Hoffman by recording his 602nd save, dispatching all three Twins he faced. Rivera even shattered a bat with his trademark cutter, later calling the moment “priceless.” Rivera would retire with 652 saves, plus a record 42 more in the postseason.
9) Aug. 13, 2016: Here come the ‘Baby Bombers’
One day after A-Rod doubled in his final game, a new generation of Yankees splashed onto the scene. Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge electrified the Stadium crowd by belting back-to-back homers in their first big league at-bats. Austin cleared the short porch in right field, while Judge smashed a 446-foot blast off the glass panels over Monument Park, the third player to reach them.
10) June 19, 2019: LegaCCy
Having recorded his 3,000th strikeout earlier in the year on the road, CC Sabathia shared a significant milestone of his final season with the home crowd, becoming the 14th pitcher to have 3,000 strikeouts and 250 wins -- all except Roger Clemens are in the Hall of Fame. After hurling six solid innings in a 12-1 win over the Rays, Sabathia said it was significant to stand alongside African American hurlers Bob Gibson and Fergie Jenkins in the select group.