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Last innings for Yankee Stadium

'The House That Ruth Built,' closing at the end of the season, hosts the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

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When the players take the diamond for baseball's 79th All-Star Game on Tuesday, the talk is more likely to be about the venue – Yankee Stadium – than the game itself.

This is the last season for the stadium, the playground for some of the game's most colorful personalities – Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, and, of course, Babe Ruth. Only a line drive away from the current stadium, the Yankees are building a $1 billion stadium with more corporate suites, more retail space, and probably higher ticket prices.

Yet the old stadium – complete with a haven of manicured green grass, high-decibel fans, and its Monument Park to remember past Yankee greats – holds a special place for the national pastime. That's in large part because, like Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago, it dates back to the first part of the 20th century, when baseball became an important part of the national psyche. The Yankees have 26 World Series championships, the most for any team.

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