Oh boy. A home run ball from Jose Molina. Does anyone really care that it was the last one? We will see. As for Molina, this might be the first thing anyone has ever wanted of his.
Steve Harshman spent about a week soliciting advice on whether to sell the final home run baseball at Yankee Stadium, which he snagged on Sept. 21. When he decided to unload it, Harshman handed over the details to an attorney, then went back to being a husband and father and a Natrona County High School physical education teacher and the school's head football coach.
Harshman's ball -- hit by Yankees backup catcher Jose Molina in the fourth inning of New York's 7-3 win over Baltimore -- will be up for auction Saturday, when Guernsey's auction house of New York will conduct a Yankee Stadium memorabilia sale at Madison Square Garden.
"I think most people view the closing of a stadium as much more than the closing of a building," he said. "The names of Mantle and Gehring and Ruth and DiMaggio and the great teams they played against are gone now. This is the final glory, the final moment."
The pricing of memorable home run balls has been unpredictable since 1998. That year, the first home run ball in Yankee Stadium history -- smacked by Babe Ruth -- went for a then-record $126,000 to an anonymous bidder. A year later, Todd McFarlane, creator of the "Spawn" character, paid $3 million for Mark McGwire's single-season-record 70th home run ball. Last year, fashion designer Marc Ecko purchased Barry Bonds' career-record 756th home run ball for just more than $750,000. (Source)
When Bobby Abreu drove in his 100th run on Sept. 26 at Boston, the outfielder had the baseball rolled into the dugout by the Red Sox, even though an eighth-inning sacrifice fly had little impact on an eventual 19-8 Yankees victory.
Destined for Abreu's trophy shelf, the deep fly ball represented an accomplishment Abreu takes pride in -- his consistency. Having collected 100 RBIs in six straight seasons, the free agent-to-be believes he has stated his case for what he can offer the Yankees upon a potential return.
"I've played here two years and two months, and I think they can see what kind of player that I am," Abreu said recently. "I haven't changed anything. I just do my things. I put my numbers every year there and I do my job like a third hitter. I'm not trying to do more than I've been doing, just always be the same. I think I've been doing good the last two years and two months." (Source)
Plans for a closing ceremony at Yankee Stadium have been scrapped.
The team had discussed organizing an event on the weekend of Nov. 8-9 that would have included remembrances of many of the non-baseball events at the 85-year-old ballpark, such as football and boxing.
“The Yankees were considering having a charitable event at Yankee Stadium for BAT (Baseball Assistance Team), however, the Yankees realized that the final event at Yankee Stadium should be a baseball game, which in fact took place on Sept. 21,” spokesman Howard Rubenstein said today. “Accordingly, rather than having a fund-raiser, the Yankees will be donating $500,000 to BAT.”
Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen were among the artists the Yankees had reportedly sought for the event.
New York is scheduled to move into a $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium, with the first home game April 16 against Cleveland.
New York, NY (Sports Network) - New York Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his sore right shoulder next Tuesday, the team announced Friday.
The 38-year-old pitched through discomfort throughout the 2008 campaign but was still dominant, converting 39-of-40 save opportunities and compiling a 6-5 record with a team-best 1.40 earned-run average.
After tests taken on Rivera's shoulder revealed inflammation and calcification, the reliever opted for surgery rather than a series of periodic cortisone injections. (Source)
Less than two days after their season came to an end, the Yankees resolved one of their biggest questions by re-signing general manager Brian Cashman to a three-year contract.
The contract extension was first reported on Newsday.com, and announced later yesterday afternoon by the Yankees.
Yankees co-chairmen Hal and Hank Steinbrenner - who don't agree with one another on much - had both publicly stated that they wanted Cashman to return as general manager. That support did not waver even as the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in Cashman's 11-year tenure and the first time since 1993. It was Cashman, 41, who was not sure if he wanted to return.
Yet yesterday afternoon, Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner were able to come to agreement on a contract extension that will keep Cashman as Yankees GM and senior vice-president through 2011. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a Yankees source said it is for slightly more than the three-year, $5.5-million contract Cashman has been working under, and in the vicinity of three years and $6 million. (Source)
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will have offseason surgery on his sore right shoulder but should be ready to throw by spring training.
Manager Joe Girardi said Monday that the procedure will shave down calcification of the A.C. joint on the top of Rivera's shoulder. The surgery hasn't been scheduled, but Girardi said it doesn't appear to be a serious injury and there is no structural damage.
"From what I've learned, he's had it the whole year. Has it progressively got worse over the course of the year? I don't necessarily think so," Girardi said. "I think he just feels more comfortable having it done and then not have to deal with it next year." (Source)
Mike Mussina is not a dreamer. He knows he has just spun a season unlikely to repeat itself. He is too much of a realist to believe that finally winning 20 games — as he did Sunday on the last day of his 18th season in the majors — means he can keep defying age until he reaches 300 wins.
There is a very real chance that Mussina pitched the last game of his career when he beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-2, with six shutout innings at Fenway Park. His contract has expired, his 40th birthday awaits in December, and his family wants him to come home to Montoursville, Pa., for good.
“I’ve been envious of every guy who’s retired since I’ve been playing — you’ve done what you wanted to do, and I still have to grind it out, that kind of thing,” Mussina said, enjoying a soda in the manager’s office between games of a doubleheader. “You get to go home and relax, and you’ve played the game as long as you’ve chosen to play it. I’ve felt good for every one of them.” (Source)
Mariano Rivera is one guy the Yankees have not had to worry about this year -- until now.
Rivera, who is finishing the first season of a three-year, $45-million contract, returned to New York to have his right shoulder examined Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi played down the scheduled physical and MRI, saying it was part of Rivera's year-end physical and that they were simply doing it now because Rivera was unavailable to pitch after throwing in four games between Sept. 19 and 23. Still, it's not standard practice for an active player to leave the team to be checked out. General manager Brian Cashman said in an e-mail: "We just think it should be looked at. Since we have been eliminated, why wait?"
Rivera let Girardi know earlier this week that he had some discomfort. Girardi described the exchange as Rivera saying his whole body felt "cranky."
"It's just a physical," Girardi said. "I'm not concerned about him." He said he anticipates that Rivera will be available to pitch this weekend, in particular the season finale, in which Mike Mussina will try to earn his 20th win. (Newsday)