Once upon a time, Ray Kinsella had to turn his corn field into a baseball diamond and travel across the country in search of a reclusive author to reconnect with the memories of his upbringing and come to terms with his late father. Nowadays Yankee fans simply have enter in their credit card information and are well on their way to owning an eighty-dollar tablespoon of dirt from the old stadium in order to do the same.
In the first twenty-four hours after the team began selling old Yankee Stadium memorabilia, Steiner Sports Marketing says they raked in over a million dollars on sod alone. Brandon Steiner said, "People complain to me, 'Steiner, you're selling everything,' to which I say, 'Would you rather we just throw Yankee Stadium away?' "
And it isn't just fans who want in on the action. While Yankee players may have gotten the first crack at scoops of dirt during the final game played at the stadium last September, they have been some of the first ones in line for other items being offered up. Mariano Rivera is looking into securing a good portion of the old bullpen, Bernie Williams wants the old "408" sign from the center field wall and Team Captain (Serious) Derek Jeter would like the Joe DiMaggio sign he tapped before every game that reads, "I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee." Johnny Damon just wants some foul poles for his front yard, man.
All sorts of high profile celebrities have gotten in touch with Steiner with their wish list. They include Governor Pataki, LeBron James, Maury Povich and Richard Gere. Rudy Giuliani "definitely wants grass" and "has asked about our dirt products." Steiner is not surprised, telling the Post, "Yankee Stadium is our closest equivalent to the Roman Coliseum."
But what happens when all the dirt is shipped out? Will the Yankees fill the unsold seats at their new ballpark by opening them up to lesser nobility? One reporter suggested that they should sell old air from the Yankee Stadium, possibly having Jeter and A-Rod breathe into vacuum-sealed bags. An employee of Steiner's responded, “It would be a cool idea if we could do it."