Shea Stadium: Did It Ever Feel Like Home?

n.p. RinaldiCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2008

Yes, I will admit it does bear resemblance to a toilet bowl. And you're right, I haven't forgotten about the time my seat fell out from under me or how for five years straight I couldn't land a player's autograph to save my rotator cuff.

I do, in fact, recall sitting in traffic for three hours after games and asking myself, "Was all this worth coming to watch Pete Harnisch and Rico Brogna?" Or sitting in the upper deck for three hours wondering, "Doesn't Pat Tabler look a heck of a lot like David Hasselhoff?"

But there I was every year, on the telecharge booking Opening Day tickets, on the Whitestone Bridge paying outrageous tolls, on the seat of my pants trying to convince Howie, the 80-year old usher that we did in fact have box seats behind home plate.

Yet, I have to say I will miss that old bum, Shea Stadium—the jazzy neon baseball players tacked to its facade, the primary, multi-colored levels that make each seating section look like a different Fischer Price world.

Although this relic of a stadium holds fond memories for me, I have to think that few outside of the New York Metropolitan area will ever miss its graces. While uptown Yankee Stadium will be forever commemorated and bedazzled, Shea seems to cry out for the wrecking ball. Even the Mets' website heralds the new Citi Field with no shame. Practically every day the latest update appears, revealing in what pattern bricks will be laid or from where the porcelain used to make the urinals comes. The changing of the guard cannot come soon enough.

The Yankees have nary a mention of their soon-to-be home, Macombs Dam Park's "New Yankee Stadium" on their website. After all, why should they? They still are proud to claim Yankee Stadium as the home where players become legends.

Sounds nice, right? Wouldn't you want to go there? 

Now, if the Mets had a stadium like that—a shrine—then things might be different. The only legends I know of to ever come out of Shea Stadium were Pete Flynn and Sidd Finch.

Maybe it will be different this year. Maybe the Mets ride that chunk of steel and concrete into late October and take the World Series home for game seven (cross your fingers that the NL wins the All-Star game this year). They rise victoriously to the occasion and give everyone a little something to remember... something that they hopefully won't forget in the time it takes them to get out of the parking lot.