Last Homerun Baseball from Original Yankee Stadium
Dateline: Sunday, September 21, 2008. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York. Tonight, a ball park closed... and an era ended. And despite the fact that a sparkling new, state-of-the-art stadium is nearing completion only an outfielder’s throw away, for many millions there will be no replacing Yankee Stadium.
For a good period of time, the world record for the most ever spent on a single baseball was for the the first home run hit in Yankee Stadium. That accomplishment, never to be duplicated, remains one of the landmarks in baseball history. Gehrig’s farewell, the Larsen game and extraordinary Mantle and Ruth moments are several of those other never-to-be-forgotten Pinstripe memories conjured up by countless fans in the dead of winter.
The punctuation to the Yankee Stadium story, the final moment of glory, comes in the form of the very last home run hit into those hallowed stands. It is the final cheer... and it can never be duplicated, replaced or bettered.
Steve Harshman, a Wyoming state legislator and football coach for Natrona County High School in Casper, caught the final home run ball off the bat of Yankee catcher Jose Molina. Growing up in a small mining town in a remote spot in our nation's least populated state, baseball was the dream young boys grew up with. And so Steve's dad, a Yankee fan from the start, was able to gather just enough kids to form a Little League team... appropriately called the "Yankees". Steve's earliest memories were of his dad telling him that one day he had to head east, east to that great ball park in The Bronx.
The years went by and Steve became a father himself. Although he had never made the journey, there were many instances where Steve was found passing along the same advice to his son. Then sadly, just a few years ago, Steve's dad passed away. And although all death is unkind, there was a certain irony that the cause of death was Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Determined that he would heed his father's advice, Steve Harshman and his son eventually did travel east to Yankee Stadium. And they did it on the very last available opportunity... the final game. Although the last home run baseball would have had great meaning for many of the fans in the stands that day, it was particularly fitting that Steve Harshman - with his son on one side and the memory of his dad on the other - caught that baseball.
On September 24th, the last home run baseball hit in Yankee Stadium will trade hands. In all likelihood, it will become the star attraction in a prominent collection, sit in a museum's vitrine or be the single most treasured item owned by a die-hard Yankee fan. Proceeds from the sale will help finance the Harshman childrens' education. In the hearts of Yankee fans from the inner most urban confines to the U.S.'s broadest expanses, the old Stadium will live on.
Estimate: $150,000 - $175,000