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Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 09:09 UK

Yankee Stadium bows out with win

Yankees legends and current players
Yankees legends were paraded to the crowd before the game

New York's iconic Yankee Stadium has staged its final game, after the Yankees beat Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Sunday to end 85 years of history.

The result itself meant little as the Yankees have been all but eliminated from contention for the play-offs.

A new $1.3bn stadium, across the street from "The House That Ruth Built" will open its doors next spring.

Julia Ruth Stevens, daughter of legendary slugger Babe Ruth, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Yankees legends such as Reggie Jackson and Yogi Berra were paraded before the game, as were actors dressed as deceased legends Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.

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Home runs from centre fielder Johnny Damon and back-up catcher Jose Molina drove in five runs between them.

Meanwhile, veteran left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte, in his second spell with the club, collected his 178th win as a Yankee after giving up just two earned runs off seven hits in five innings, while closer Mariano Rivera came in to seal the victory by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

The final act saw Baltimore's Brian Roberts ground the ball to Yankees first baseman Cody Ransom, who then handed the ball to Rivera - who pledged to give it to owner George Steinbrenner.

Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter, who recently passed Ruth in the club's all-time hits list, addressed the crowd after the game.

"We are relying on you to take the memories from this stadium and add them to the new memories that come with the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them on from generation to generation," he said.

"We are moving across the street but a few things about the Yankees never change."

Pettitte added: "It's very surreal. You can't believe this place isn't going to exist next year."

MLB PLAY-OFFS 2008
AL East: Tampa Bay or Boston
AL Central: Chicago WS or Minnesota
AL West: LA Angels
AL wild card: Tampa Bay, Boston, Chicago WS or NY Yankees
NL East: Philadelphia or NY Mets
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: LA Dodgers or Arizona
NL wild card: Philadelphia, NY Mets, Milwaukee, Houston, Florida or St Louis
(clubs guaranteed to reach the post-season in bold)
Yankee Stadium, opened in 1923, also hosted Masses delivered by three Popes, as well as boxing matches and a rally for Nelson Mandela.

With a week left of the regular season, three of the eight play-off places have already been decided.

Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim and Chicago Cubs have already wrapped up the American League West and National League Central titles respectively.

Tampa Bay Rays are guaranteed to feature in the post-season, and either they or Boston Red Sox will win the AL East - with the other team likely to claim the AL wild card.

The AL Central title is between Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, while the NL West is another straight fight between Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The NL East race looks set to go to the wire between Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, while the loser of that race is likely to contend with Milwaukee Brewers and possibly Houston Astros for the NL wild card.

see also
Yankees head for pastures new
20 Sep 08 |  Americas
In pictures: Yankees move home
22 Sep 08 |  In Pictures
Yankees see play-off hopes fade
17 Sep 08 |  Baseball
Stuttering Milwaukee sack manager
16 Sep 08 |  Baseball
Hurricane hits US sport schedule
14 Sep 08 |  Baseball
Jeter passes Ruth in Yankees win
10 Sep 08 |  Baseball
American League win All-Star epic
16 Jul 08 |  Baseball
Stadium Mass ends Pope's US visit
21 Apr 08 |  Americas
All-Star salute for Yankees' home
31 Jan 07 |  Baseball
NY Yankees set for new stadium
16 Jun 05 |  US Sport
Baseball fixtures/results
10 Oct 06 |  Baseball
Baseball - the basics
26 Oct 05 |  Baseball
Baseball jargonbuster
26 Oct 05 |  Baseball


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