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This section is dedicated to: Linda Ruth Tosetti
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The first time I went to Yankee Stadium, it was in the early 70’s when my mother, Dorothy Ruth Pirone, the only blood child of George Herman, “Babe” Ruth. She was appearing for an Old Timer’s Day game. I remember stepping through the gangway and seeing this magnificent green grass, shining in the bright sun and I was in awe, because my mother told me it was my grandfather’s house. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I got goose pimples all over! I was later to learn a lot more about this “House That Ruth Built”. I remember being able to see the dugout from the seats we had and all the ball players were so happy to see my Mom. Earle Combs, Lefty Gomez, and many others smiling and talking with her. I remember how proud I was when they introduced her and she stepped from the dugout! The crowd roared when they heard the name Ruth! “Wow”, I thought to myself,” how cool it was to be born in a family like this”! I was just in my teens and I was later to learn just how important it was. I have been blessed with this wonderful legacy! Yankee Stadium was built to hold all the wonderful people who were my grandfather’s fans and went on to become most famous stadium in the world! This was my first introduction to baseball! I heard the “baseball” voices, and smelled the hot dogs! So this is what I had been missing! I fell in love with Yankee Stadium that day and have loved it ever since!
Dorothy ( my Mom), and “Pop”
Photo: from Library of Dorothy Ruth Pirone
The stadium has to become my home in the sense that, like any other grandchild visiting their grandfather, this for me was the only house I knew for mine, who happened to be the great Babe Ruth. I get that feeling when I walk through its doors that I am home. I know what people mean when they say that the ghosts are there! The ghosts of all the greats that played in this cathedral of baseball! The many generations and the many hundreds of thousands of people that have brought their daughters and sons to watch these players, who were the bedrock of the Yankees! There is a electricity in the air that can not be denied! What will happen if it is torn down? Where will the ghosts go? Do we really want to destroy this monument to baseball history?
I toured the stadium last February with my family. We stood at home plate and looked at what my grandfather looked at, to behind the monuments where the old wall was. I could hear the fans and echoes of games past, see my grandfather trotting around the bases, doing that little skip when he comes across home plate and Lou Gehrig being there to shake his hand. They seem to play like videos in my mind, whenever I am in Yankee Stadium! At the end of the tour, I was standing in the hall outside the offices wanting to never leave and savor being in my grandfather’s house, thinking I will not see it again and tears welled up in my eyes. If the city tears the “House That Ruth Built” down, future generations will never have the chance to experience this magic!
On a tour of Yankee Stadium
Photo Credit: Jeanne Newman
Linda Ruth Tosetti
Granddaughter of Babe Ruth
Click here: Our Petition | Save Yankee Stadium!
During her final visit to Yankee Stadium, she got the same goosebumps she has every time she comes to the house her grandfather built.
But on Saturday morning, Tosetti got the chance to walk to her grandfather's plaque in Monument Park. Over it, she laid a wreath of blue carnations in the shape of the NY logo with a No. 3 on it as fans watched.
"It's the last time we'll see Monument Park in his house, so it's kind of bittersweet," Tosetti said. "But the fans honor him every day, and they keep him in their hearts every day."
Tosetti took in a ceremony to honor Yankees captain Derek Jeter prior to Saturday's game against the Orioles. She said she was glad to be able to give Jeter an award for passing Ruth's Yankees hits total because she believes the New York captain represents everything that her grandfather believed in on and off the field.
"He's an outstanding player, he's great with his fans and works with the kids, and he's a great role model," Tosetti said of Jeter. "Like my grandfather said, you can't have one without the other. You can't say, 'I'm going to be famous and I'm going to be this, but I'm not going to be a role model.' It goes hand in hand."
In February, Tosetti came to the Stadium for a tour and got to stand at home plate. She brought along Ruth's 10-year-old great-great grandson, whom Tosetti said shows the same talent and fearlessness as her grandfather.
"That was the secret of my grandfather," she said. "My grandfather said there was no failure, and he was fearless. If he didn't hit a home run, he'll get it the next time. So did he point? Yeah, because if he didn't do it, he would do it next time. That was his outlook."
The most well-known player in the history of the game, Ruth made an impact that changed the sport, allowing it to gain the pastime status it holds today. Tosetti said she remembers that other teams would cheer for Ruth to hit a home run in their stadium just to see him slug one out of the park.
Ruth's No. 3 is already retired in the Bronx, but his memory has motivated Tosetti to campaign for his number to be retired in every club around the country.
"It's not so much to keep it off the backs of guys," she said. "I love to see 3 on the field. I just want it hanging in every stadium because I think it's an honor. The guys wouldn't be playing if it wasn't for Babe -- at least the caliber they're playing now -- if it wasn't for Babe saving it. He made it an international game."
Tosetti can see the incredible effect her grandfather had on a daily basis when people ask to shake her hand or get her autograph. But standing on the field at Yankee Stadium on Saturday morning, she recalled her first trip to the ballpark in the early 1970s, when she truly learned what he meant to people.
During an Old-Timers' Day, Tosetti sat behind home plate as her mother, Dorothy Ruth Pirone, stepped out of the dugout. It was the first time she had heard her mother introduced, and the roar of the crowd standing on its feet was overwhelming. And then Tosetti understood the words of her mother.
"The name's magic."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.