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On This Day in History | 1998

4/24/1998 | Steinbrenner joins hard hat-wearing fans in loge section 22 in the first game back at the Stadium since the beam fell (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

On this day 15 years ago the Yankees were forced to play a home game across the river at Shea Stadium, two days after a 500-pound concrete and steel beam fell from beneath the upper deck. The beam obliterated a seat and left a 6-inch deep hole in the concrete floor. Thankfully, the Stadium was vacant at the time of the accident. Yankee Stadium, just 5 days shy of its 75th birthday was closed until a full inspection of its structural integrity could be performed. Pitcher David Wells was quoted by the Associated Press on the incident: “It is sad. You don’t want to see that happen like that. It’s an old stadium.”

The change of venue to the home of their cross-city rival did nothing to stop the Yankee juggernaut that would go on to win 114 regular season games in ’98 along with the World Series. Wells allowed just 3 runs on 4 hits, including 3 solo home runs, in 8 innings of work before giving way to Jeff Nelson who picked up the save.

Paul O’Neill paced an offense that rapped out 13 hits, going 3-for-4 with a double and a triple. Darryl Strawberry collected 3 hits as well, including a 5th inning bomb off of Omar Olivares, in helping to lead the Yanks to the 6-3 win.

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