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From two-cent stamps to MLB.TV

From two-cent stamps to MLB.TV

When Yankee Stadium opened on April 18, 1923, the world was quite a different place than it is today, when the old ballpark in the South Bronx hosts its final game Sunday.

What exactly has changed over the years? Well, here are just a few things.

In 1923, the construction of the Stadium was finished for a total cost of $2.5 million.

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In 2008, the Yankees' third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, salary was $28 million. Their first baseman and designated hitter, Jason Giambi, has made more than $23 million. Their shortstop, Derek Jeter, has made over $21 million.

In 1923, a first-class stamp cost 2 cents.

In 2008, it's 42 cents.

We won't even discuss gas prices.

But enough with all that.

Let's talk about how the world has, well, evolved, while the Yankees were busy winning 26 World Series titles in the past 85 years.

In 1923, Vladimir Kosma Zworykin patented the iconoscope, a transmission tube that eventually led to television.

In 2008, all Yankees games can be seen in high-definition on the YES Network and can also be watched right here on MLB.TV.

And there have been a lot more developments than that in the world of baseball.

In 1923, history was made when President Warren Harding died of a heart attack in August and was replaced by Calvin Coolidge.

In 2008, history was made when Barack Obama became the first African-American nominee of a major party for U.S. President.

In 1923, Time magazine printed its first issue, with a picture of retired House of Representatives Speaker Joseph G. Cannon gracing the cover.

In 2008, actress Dyan Cannon watched her favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, lose in the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics.

Musical advances have taken place in the past 8 1/2 decades, too.

In 1923, Bessie Smith recorded her first song, "Down Hearted Blues," a huge hit that made her known as the Queen of the Blues.

Farewell Yankee Stadium

In 2008, the Police finished up their reunion tour anything but down-hearted after grossing close to $360 million. They sang "King of Pain."

In 1923, Harlem's Cotton Club opened and included concerts by Cab Calloway.

In 2008, the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee featured a set by Death Cab For Cutie.

Let's not forget film and literature, either.

In 2008, the actor known as Keanu Reeves starred in "Street Kings." Reeves used to play bass in a band called Dogstar.

In 1923, the famed Hollywood sign was erected.

In 2008, comedian Howie Mandel finally got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1923, Irish poet William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation."

In 2008, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, became an Oprah's Book Club selection. "Oh my gosh," Oprah Winfrey said. "I love this book because my goal in life is to get people to think for themselves in a way that they know who they are."

Yes, time has moved on and a lot has happened in the world and in America since 1923, but baseball's Cathedral has always stood in the same spot -- that is until next year.

But on that magical Opening Day, April 18, 1923, Babe Ruth strode to the plate in the third inning and took Boston Red Sox pitcher Howard Ehmke deep for the first home run in Yankee Stadium history.

And now, with the park shutting its doors and making way for the new Yankee Stadium just a Ruthian blast away and ready for business in April 2009, one can only wonder what will happen between then and 2094.

Hopefully, we'll be around to write about it.

Doug Miller is Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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