Monday, September 8, 2008


So after forty four years the curtain is finally coming down. The Stadium that William Shea built to bring National league baseball back to NYC will close its doors for good. Shea Stadium along with Yankee Stadium will both be demolished at the end of the season, to make way for gleaming new/old ball parks. As a Metropolitan fan since arriving here from Ireland, obviously Shea's ending has a far more personal effect on me than the decrepit place in the South Bronx. Actually many times I prayed that the Babe's house would implode all on its own, but I digress. After spending many a night out in Flushing I went on Sunday, probably for the last time. The auld joint was buzzing, the game was great, but I found myself reminiscing, to myself and anyone else who would listen, about specific nights that had Shea as its backdrop. All were baseball related but not all the stories were between the lines, like the night after too much crap beer I fell asleep on the subway and woke up in Coney Island, fell back to sleep and woke up in the last stop in Queens, and, you guessed it all the way back again. The night I was chased all the way around the upper level by Cardinal fans after I called Terry Pendleton something reminesent to McCains wife name calling. The night I saw Ronnie Darling pitch a complete game to win the pennant. The day I tried to figure out when they would clinch the pennant, I had a rain delayed ticket, only to be off by a day. I show up for the day game anyway with 5,000 other poor souls, watching the triple A team play in a cow patch. The sod had been dug the night before by the rampaging fans, BG, before Giuliani, when you were aloud to invade the field to show you gratitude for 14 seasons of ineptitude. The night I took James Doyle to his first game, we got stoned and couldn't find the car in the parking lot. To this day I think he holds it against me for introducing him to the blue and orange instead of pinstripes, as he has wallowed in the many years of woe along with me. My favorite players, Doc, Lenny, Wally, Coney, Piazza, Mex, Seaver #41 the Franchise, Mook. The craziness from the '86 team - Ojeada and the hand, Hernandez and Stawberry throwin punches. "The worst team money could buy" in the '90s. The bad trades - Lenny for Juan Samuel, I almost cried in the car when I heard it, my brother on vacation from Ireland howling with laughter at me - Nolan Ryan for Jim Fragosi, Cone for Ryan (5 tool,tool is right) Thompson and Jeff Kent, the worst trade in Met history. And of course we don't mention last year, never mention last year. Shea was the first stadium I entered in the US, its colors so vibrant, its size immense, I had never seen anything like it and yet I felt like I had been coming here all my life. But for all its pennant futility it still gives me the greatest of pleasure to say I'm a Met fan. To put the radio on in the middle of a summer night and hear Howie Rose float faintly across the airwaves could not make me happier. Goodnight Bob Murphy and Gill Hodges, Hello Citi Field.
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