With all the hoopla surrounding the New York Yankees’ final home game last weekend at Yankee Stadium, I couldn’t help thinking about historic sports venues in my own life.

For me, Yankee Stadium, “The House That Ruth Built,” based, interestingly enough, on the nursery rhyme, “The House That Jack Built,” always seemed larger than life until I first went there in 1976 to see a Red Sox-Yankees regular-season game.

Surrounded by the dirt and grime of the big city, I decided I liked the friendly confines of good old Fenway Park better.

Admittedly, there is something special about these seemingly age-old structures that host all these sporting events we love to attend in-person or watch on television.

For me, the aforementioned Fenway and the old Boston Garden were the two places that created all those memories.

The opening of the “new” Yankee Stadium next spring — the original stadium opened in 1923 and was refurbished in 1936-38, with extensive renovations done between 1974 and 1975 — reminds me of the closing of the old Boston Garden in 1995 and the opening of the new TD Banknorth Garden the same year. Speculation is already rampant that the Bronx Bombers will never be the team they once were in the old building.

Like their NBA counterpart Boston Celtics, the latest version of the Boston Garden has seen one championship, compared to the 16 titles they won in their old building.

As a longtime Red Sox fan, I can only hope the Bombers have that kind of title delay. Previously, the Yankees won 26 world championships in their old buildings.

During all the closing ceremonies in New York this past week, culminated, of course, by the final game in the Bronx, Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter spoke of the so-called ghosts in the building that he had come across throughout the course of his illustrious career. All I could think of were the ghosts of Celtics past, which were always mentioned by rival opponents after a loss in Boston.

Funny thing about those ghosts, they seem to inhabit those old structures, after spending decades or so helping the home team win.

Here’s an update to baseball fans everywhere: The New York Yankees of 2009 will add every available free agent pitcher in America to ensure that their beloved team will not finish out of the playoffs again.

In Bangor, we have our own version of Yankee Stadium. Our beloved Auditorium — a rebuilt phenomenon in and of itself — sits on Dutton Street as the second Bangor Auditorium. The original Auditorium stood just below the famous structure. Our “new” building is about ready, ironically, to be replaced itself. The civic discussion by city fathers is on-going, and I’m guessing will result in the building and the opening of a new one somewhere along the waterfront in the Queen City.

In Boston, the owners have taken it upon themselves to continue to renovate old Fenway Park. These changes in Boston will probably reach a point like they did in New York where a new Fenway Park is needed. In the meantime, we can still bask in the glory of the past and the present, while enjoying the many frustrations that have accompanied the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry since Boston has dominated World Series play, while the Yankees have wallowed in relative mediocrity since 2000.

Make no mistake about it. The rivalry between the two giants will always go on regardless of where these teams play.

30-Second Time Out

The good folks at the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches have asked this old coach to mention their upcoming annual coaches’ clinic and seminars.

Coaches, please be advised that the 2008 fall extravaganza will be held this year in the Wadsworth Gym at Colby College in Waterville on Friday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct. 11.

Featured speakers will include Stephanie Lawrence-Yelton, associate head women’s basketball coach at Boston College, Dick Meader, head men’s coach at the University of Maine at Farmington, Joe Mullaney, assistant head women’s coach at Villanova, and Bob Bigelow, a former Boston Celtic and fundamental teaching whiz.

Cost for the event is $50 for MABC members and $75 for non-members. MABC executive secretary George Conant tells us that membership dues are $20 for the 2008-2009 season, and he adds that an entire coaching staff may attend the event for $100, minimum of six.