I have known L E Lear for over 40 years. At my high school reunion on October 8 2005, I noticed he was missing from the event. Did he disappear again? No, he was working on his dream. I will get to that in a little while. At the reunion I sought out Harold Knox, a mutual friend of L E’s and mine, to see if I could get Mr Lear’s phone number. Success was at hand. L E and Harold still see each other.
The next day I contacted L E on the phone. He was still as nutty as ever. He works out deals with Burger King and McDonalds to get better pricing for buying bulk breakfast sandwiches. That’s my boy. But what really caught my attention was the project that he was working on. Redoing Yankee Stadium.
Redoing the stadium?
We reunited October 20 at his brother’s house in Union, New Jersey I was so excited to see what he was working on. He told me all about it when we spoke a few nights before. I still can’t believe what I witnessed. L E is building a huge model of Yankee Stadium. Some people work on model airplanes or cars or trains. L E is the first person I know of building a model stadium.
He has poured his soul, his heart and his body into this incredible project for four years. Sacrificing income and living any kind of normal life, this is his passion. His seven foot wide, 11 foot long and four foot high replica must be seen to be believed. The scale he uses is one inch represents 12 feet.
His objective is to have Yankee Stadium, the current Yankee Stadium, refurbished, remodeled, and redone with a retractable roof. He had the roof already erected. This newest Yankee Stadium would have a walkway around an upper level that we could walk around. Each few feet of walking would provide a different sight of the field. There would also be train tracks that run right up to the ballpark. Quite convenient for those that use mass transit to get to the game. The Major Deegan Expressway would have easy access to leave the stadium. This would allow for easy departure once the game was over. Additional parking would be adjacent to the Stadium. Two parking areas would be attached to the ballpark.
Now get this. In the background, next to the stadium would be tennis courts. You would be able to play some tennis and then go to the game.
Here is the icing on the cake. We all know that a new Yankee Stadium is in the works. How exorbitant the pricing will be to erect a new house that George builds.
We all know how important luxury suites are to a team owner. They bring in lots of revenue. L E’s resurrected stadium, with retractable roof will have over 200 luxury corporate boxes. Check this out. There will also be special suites under the walkway only for families. These suites will be sold at a reduced cost so more people can get to the Stadium as a family.
This entire project will cost less than the proposed new Yankee stadium.
Yankee brass need to see this thing of beauty. They will be able to save some money, keep the tradition and create a new type of ballpark with all the amenities. Every one wins. The traditionalists keep the old ballpark and the owner moves Yankee Stadium into the 21st century.
I have seen the conditions that L E has worked in to create his dream – a small area with little room to maneuver with poor air circulation in winter and summer. Such is the life of a passionate artist, with a dream that can come true. This replica is an incredible piece of work, down to the finest detail. I love the idea.
My guess is that Yankee dignitaries like Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, Thurman Munson, Craig Nettles, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey and today’s Yankees like A-ROD, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera would love to see this dream become reality.
Aron Wallad runs Baseball’s Pride and Joy ezine – Get your copy today.
By Aron Wallad