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Where Did The Ghosts Go? The Ghosts of Yankees Past

“The ghosts will show up eventually,” is what Derek Jeter told Yankees third baseman, Aaron Boone, before Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series. 

            The New York Yankees are a team that captivates the “mystic and aura.” 27 championships are some feat for any team. But, the ghosts. The ghosts that haunted opposing teams for decades have somehow vanished from Yankee lore.

            In the late 1970s, those ghosts were up to no good. In fact, they helped lead the Bombers to back-to-back World Series titles in 1977 and 1978. Reggie Jackson’s three-home run game was a testament to the supernatural forces that lurked in the Bronx. 

            However, in the 1990s, the spirits really showed their true powers. The beginning of the ‘Core Four’ era, where the ghosts were anything but quiet. Again, they helped their former team to win four-World Series championships in six-years.

            After all of these triumphs, the ghosts of Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig rested for a while.

            The Yankees would make it back to the Fall Classic in 2001 and 2003 but lost to small-market teams. The Yankees continued to struggle throughout the mid-2000s. Even though they made it close to the World Series, they could never make the final push. 

            But in 2009, things started changing. Gone was the old Yankee Stadium, gone were the black seats in centerfield and gone were the memories. The “Cathedral of Baseball” was no more. The same field where stars like Roger Maris and Joe DiMaggio called home was gone.

Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man” speech echoed one last time as the final walls of the old Yankee Stadium came down.

Across the street, a bright and new stadium rose from the concrete. The “new” Yankee Stadium was met with backlash. However, the show must go on. After the final game at the old stadium, Derek Jeter delivered a speech only he could give. 

“Take the memories from this stadium, add them to the new memories to come at the new Yankee Stadium. And continue to pass them on from generation-to-generation.”

In April of 2009, the “new” Yankee Stadium opened its shining doors to Yankees fans all over the city. The new stadium brought them not only luck but also another ring. With a record of 103-59, the Yankees finished first in the American League East. 

            The new stadium brought them back to their winning ways. After years of torment, the ghosts finally showed themselves. The ’09 season was the last time the Yankees would make it to the World Series. 11 years later, they still can’t get over the hump.

As for the ghosts, it was their last hoorah.

Although they haven’t made it to the World Series, they’ve had several successful years. In 2017, they came close in the ALCS but lost to the Houston Astros. In 2018, they lost in the ALDS to the Boston Red Sox. And in 2019, they lost again to the Astros in the ALCS. 

So it begs the question: Where did the ghosts go?

The luck of the Yankees seemed to have gone and left with the old stadium. Did the same happen with the ghosts? Since their time in the new home, there are no signs of paranormal life.

            Did the ghosts’ contracts expire, making them free agents? Or, like the stadium where they once ruled supreme, did they fade away into a distant memory? And did they come back in 2009 just to say their final goodbyes?

            “I believe in ghosts,” Derek Jeter told reporters after the Game 7 victory in 2003. A quote that is just as relevant now as it was in 2003. Maybe the Yankees of today are lacking the sixth sense Jeter had.

            But, the same ghosts that once turned misery into magic. And hell into heroics were suddenly gone. 


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