Say Goodbye to Baseball Legends

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Forget about double-headers. This summer, plan a triple-header pilgrimage. Lead off with a visit to Washington, D.C.'s brand-new cathedral of baseball, opening this spring. Then bid a fond farewell to two venerated stadiums in New York City, Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium, both scheduled to close at season's end.

Carolyn Lantry and her older brother Matt Lantry, who grew up in New Jersey as Mets fans and now root for the Nationals from their homes in Northern Virginia, are considering doing just that. The goal, says Matt, is to visit on a weekend when both New York teams are at home—and show up proudly wearing his Nationals jersey. Carolyn has already told her boss that she'll "work any holiday but not opening day" for the Nats' new stadium.

September 28—the closing game of the Mets' regular season—is already on the calendar of Phil Barnett, who grew up three blocks away from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn and attended the Mets' opening day at Shea in 1964. "I sat in right field, close by where Willie Stargell of the Pirates hit the first home run in the stadium," he recalls. Having grown up as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, he's gratified that the new Citi Field is modeled after Ebbets—including a cantilevered deck in right field.

Meanwhile, in the Bronx, the new Yankee Stadium is going up right across the street from the "House That [Babe] Ruth Built," which was opened in 1923 and renovated in 1974-5. Erica Marshad of Manhattan admits it may be time for a new stadium—but all the same waxes nostalgic. She remembers the first game she and her husband took their two young sons to at Yankee Stadium. "It took my breath away, just to think about all that took place on that field and the ghosts that are there."