I am 40 years old, blessed enough to remember going to Connie Mack with my Dad, sitting in the corner of the parking lot until we could leave.
Blessed to remember the night in 1971, Dad coming home with tickets to the "new stadium". Going down the expressway singing "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" to the radio before we saw Jim Bunning beat the Cubs 4-3.
Blessed to remember as a kid in Fischer day camp, on a "field trip" going to FDR Park, then getting a tour of the vet so we could see the amazing matrix scorboard in right tell us to clap.
Blessed to sit next to Thatcher Longstreth in the family box, because after my parents moved me to a suburb of Washington DC, I befriended - at age 14 - an usherette that happened to be the daughter of promotion director Frank Sullivan.
Blessed to be there when they should not have played a game at all - the 1977 playoffs - the rainstorm game between the Dodgers and the Phils.
Living in the DC area, folks talk about how wonderful the Orioles stadium is: Let me let you in on a secret; They like the old ballyard – Memorial Stadium – more. Why? Because that's where the glory happened for them.
In 33 years I have watched as Connie Mack went from a dump to one of the most wonderful places to see the game. Also, I have watched the Vet go from the "most spectacular park in all of baseball" – as it was tabbed in the 1971 yearbook - to "the dilapidated Vet".
Mark my words: In 2033, old folks like me will talk about how wonderful the Vet was to see a baseball game. I will miss you, my Vet. I love you, and will always hold only the fondest, most incredible memories for you and my Phillies.