Fans were Yankee Stadium's heartbeat

Updated: September 22, 2008, 11:35 AM ET
As the fans really roared for the first time at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night, at the first mention of Derek Jeter's name, they were being watched. Jorge Posada, standing near home plate, glanced around the upper decks, absorbing the echoes. Ivan Rodriguez, at Posada's left, did the same. Some Orioles, some posted in the front of the visitors' dugout, did the same.

Yankee Stadium, like every other park, is a cold construction of mortar and beams until filled with fans, who give the place a heartbeat, a vibrancy. After many of them circled the warning track on the field after the ballpark opened at 1 p.m., the fans who filled Yankee Stadium provided the sentiment, with the way they cheered for everyone from Babe Ruth to Scott Brosius, the way they responded to the voice of public address announcer Bob Sheppard, the way they welcomed their heroes back, for one last time at the old park.