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Tue, Jan. 27th, 2009, 11:50 am
Never Shea Goodbye

My first photo-expedition of the new year starts off with a horrible Bon Jovi pun and some depressing sights for fans of the New York Mets.

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Most sane people look at Shea Stadium as a dump, an architectural wreck notable for its labyrinths of dismal concourses and horrible airplane noise. As a Mets fan who vividly remembers how the place sounded when Mookie Wilson's ground ball went through Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (when I was six years old and watching it on television), I could never get to think of Shea that way. I saw my first game there when I was eight years old, and I still remember that the opponent was the Houston Astros and the pitcher was some old guy named Nolan Ryan. When the first pitch to Mookie Wilson was thrown, the whole crowd screamed "Moo!" and I thought they were booing. Then the umpire called a strike and I screamed "Kill the umpire!" because I thought that's what you were supposed to do.

1988 was a good season for the Mets. Most of their subsequent seasons sort of resembled this...

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You can't stop the wheels of progress, but this still makes me kind of sad. Losing Shea Stadium is kind of like losing an old friend... one who drank way too much and was always down on his luck, but one you couldn't help but love anyway.

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The space between the old stadium and its replacement, Citi Field, is marked with depressing rubble.

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The new stadium. It looks beautiful, and it's supposed to be magnificent. But I can't stomach the fact that (1) it's named for a bank that the federal government is currently bailing out with our own money, (2) I'll hardly be able to afford to see a game there on a librarian's salary and (3) it's not the depressing dump I grew up with.

Oh well. The good news is that pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks, regardless of what stadium the games will be played in. Let's go spring, and let's go Mets!

Tue, Jan. 27th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
lcsa99.wordpress.com

That is Amazing, and I can understand why it would be so depressing for any Mets fan. Beautiful pictures though, I am glad the day was so clear for you.

Tue, Jan. 27th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
herb_lehman

Oh, it was beautiful. But really, really, really cold.

Tue, Jan. 27th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
therepublican

I saw my first game at Shea in 86 when they played the cards. Daryl strawberry was my hero, and even though they happened to lose that particular game, it was a good season to say the least.

When I was in new York in September, I took a similar trip up to see tanker stadium one last time. But when I was back in the city last month, I decided it'd be best to let it be, so I stayed in lower Manhattan. Easier that way.

Tue, Jan. 27th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
herb_lehman

'86 must have been an incredible year to see a Mets game in person.

Wed, Jan. 28th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
therepublican

bahahahah... I was using my crackberry to make that last comment, and I just realized it reads "tanker stadium" instead of "yankee stadium"... damn predictive text!

Wed, Jan. 28th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
herb_lehman

I figured "Tanker Stadium" was some sort of anti-Yankee joke. It's welcomed here. I'm not much of a Yankees fan.

Wed, Jan. 28th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous)

Ha! Shea is like an old friend who drank too much and was down on his luck lol. Great photos. I'll miss the big blue, but on snowy, cold days like this, I admit I'm thinking ahead to when it's a little warmer and I'm checking out my first game in Citi Field.

~ Eddie

Wed, Jan. 28th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
herb_lehman

It's hard not to look ahead. This weather has been dreadful. Checking baseball book after baseball book out of the library has been little consolation. I need the real thing.