August 26, 2008

August 25, 2008 Astros vs Mets at Shea Stadium

I attended my first baseball game at Shea Stadium in 1966 I think. It was still new. I was astonished at the bright colors. Especially that of the grass, which to me looked greener than green, especially as compared to the black and white TV we had at home.

Now, there are only about 15 regular season games to go at Shea. Like it's older, more famous cousin Yankee Stadium, it will be torn down before long. The new Mets stadium will be named after some bank.

But while many are sad to see Yankee Stadium go, you don't hear much regret at the passing of Shea Stadium. Even Tom Seaver, the best player in the history of the Mets, said the other day that he won't be sorry to see Shea Stadium go. Because of the "undistinguished" architecture.

Well, I'll be sorry to see it go.

I'm sure I've been to way over 100 games there every decade since the sixties. I saw Seaver in his prime. I saw the Big Red Machine strut into town - after I sneaked down to the box seats, I heckled a young Johnny Bench who heard it, then chuckled. I saw Nolan Ryan as a Met, and then, years later, as a Houston Astro, mowing down one overmatched Met after another in the second game of a twilight doubleheader.

So, last night, while Katie and Keri and the gang enjoyed the spectacle and the crude humor of the Shea fans, I saw ghosts everywhere. A still new Shea Stadium, where the outfield fence was green and the Flushing subways were blue. I saw Agee, Grote and Swoboda take the field against Santo, Aaron and McCovey. I saw a black cat make sure that the Cubs wouldn't win a game against Leo Durocher and his wicked Cubs.

There was a gorgeous cool breeze off Long Island sound last night. Young Mike Pelfrey pitched a complete nine innings the way starting pitchers should, and the Mets took home a 9-1 win.

Many great things happened at Shea Stadium over the past 40 odd years.

I'll miss it a lot.

Bad news from the Green Church ( Gowanus Lounge )


Eagle said...

I accept that Yankee Stadium is more attractive and that the field is the same one that Ruth, Gehrig & Dimaggio all played on. However, Yankee Stadium is not really older than Shea. There's virtually nothing left of 'old' Yankee Stadium today. The ball park at 161st & River Ave is the same as the "House that Ruth built" in name only.

Eagle said...

I love the picture of Shea as it used to be. That's how I remember it from when I was a kid. I went looking for more and found this site. I'm sure there are others out there.