Saturday, January 31, 2009

Remembering Shea - all together now - final thought

Thinking about the turnout. 200 to 400 people showed up to look at a destruction site (at least that's how some people would view it).

I look at it like this. There's a small herd of people that are passionate about something, and they show it. It may not quite seem normal to most, but it's what matters to us.

I saw it when the NHL returned from its season-long lockout in the summer of 2005, when the New Jersey Devils hosted a "Welcome Back Draft Party", inviting fans to come to the Meadowlands Arena on a Saturday afternoon to watch the NHL draft on the arena's video screen, meet a couple players and get autographs, and buy some hockey equipment. The Devils and arena staff were overwhelmed with the turnout and had to bring in more staff to man the concession stands (they had food for us, with a ticket to get a free hot dog and drink). It was just a lot of people (more than expected) who missed being around hockey for that year coming out to purge what I called the "repressed hockey". It wasn't something that appealed to most but it mattered to us.

Saturday was that at Shea Stadium. Nobody knew if we'd get enough to fill out a lineup card. And despite the very cold weather, and the long commute for some, there was quite a turnout just to come say goodbye to the big blue ballpark in Queens.

Thanks Chris Swann for deciding to organize the un-organized to come out and do this. Looking at everyone who came out today, and all those with their own Mets-themed blog, the Mets have quite a fan base.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Remembering Shea - all together now - part 6

Alas, the final images of Shea Stadium I expect to see with my own eyes came through the window on the 7 train as it pulled away from Shea towards Manhattan.

One thing I noticed was that the last piece that looked mostly intact was the outside side visible from the subway (until the trees obscured the view). It's a bit of a shame that I never got over to that side of the park today, but it's just not how the day worked out spending time talking with everyone.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Remembering Shea - all together now - part 5

No other way to put it, I'm just going to post a slideshow of ALL of the photos I took of the Shea destruction site. The different vantage points are near the old traffic circle, well outside the former Gate A (I think - it was hard to tell without the old landmarks) and moving towards Gate C (it just looked different in the parking lot), and also from the subway stairs and platform, which is still outside the former Gate E.

One note about the photos, and the link to the album is at the bottom of this post. A few of the phots have people in them (in the background, mostly). If you see yourself in a photo (or in the videos in another post), let everyone know which one you are.

Shea Farewell

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Remembering Shea - all together now - part 4

One thing about today's visit to Shea was seeing Citi Field. There was much discussion about the naming rights. I noted to a few people that just from a practical perspective, IF the naming right had to change, they couldn't just change the signs to a new name as if you were writing on a blackboard (the comparison I came up with now). Those signs are big, and as people pointed out, several of them. Chris also noted that the rows of seats alternate with a Mets sticker or a Citi Field sticker (which are already starting to peel - what an omen). Lots of logos to change - or in my estimation, just covering up the "Citi" logo and calling the place "Field" (as in, we're going to "Field" to see a Mets game).

From being there, I managed to get these photos of what's still called Citi Field.

The full album is here on webshots

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Remembering Shea - all together now - part 3

One of the items of the day that came up on some of the other blogs was that there was an impromptu press conference with Chris Swann and some of the reporters that came out, just asking questions about what we're doing (I don't really remember any questions being asked, but I was photographed on another blog standing next to a cameraman from This is Chris in the middle of the photo with the '69 on the sleeve.

At the end, someone suggested that we sing both "Meet the Mets" and then chanting "Let's Go Mets".

My videos cover just a piece of each. That is partially because I didn't know it was coming, and partially because I had gloves on (it was below freezing today) and couldn't operate the camera buttons (to change from photo to video and start/stop) fast enough.

Meet the Mets

Let's Go Mets

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Remembering Shea - all together now - part 2

Updated 9:04pm with photos and another item

While I'm working on organizing my photos and videos (a massive 219 photos and 7 videos taken today) into small/manageable chunks and posts, I do want to point out a few things that I noticed today.

I get the feeling that the crowd today was a group who would rather watch a game from Shea Stadium than Citi Field.

A lot of people seem to think that the name on Citi Field really may not be there on Opening Day. One of the reporters asked me more about Citi Field than Shea Stadium for some reason.

When specifically asked, the few people I asked did not like the names "Promenade" and "Excelsior" of the levels at Citi Field.

People brought their kids there, in the freezing cold. I saw one dog who was named for Mike Piazza (MikeP I think was the name), and saw photos of another dog named Shea (not Chipper Jones's kid either).

People wanted to take pictures and just talk. I think that was the intent.

I did get a few tidbits from people (and please correct me if I'm wrong)
  1. The concrete and steel removed from the Shea Stadium structure must be salvagable, with the concrete actually to be recycled into the pavement for the parking lot replacing Shea. Take a minute and process that concept.
  2. The outline of the old traffic circle outside the fence of Gate A is still visible in the new sidewalks, including what looks like a gateway to the new ballpark's Left Field corner.

  3. There will be a ticket office for Citi Field on 126th Street, to the left of (right field side of) the "main" outfield entrance (I noticed the signs when I was leaving)

  4. I also heard that the highway signs are going to be changed to reflect the new ballpark.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Remembering Shea - all together now - part 1

First, I want to say that I came up with the name for this blog long before today's event. It was sometime back in the fall. Considering I started all this a few months after Shea's final game, I never expected to post on anything "current". But here I am, and there I was. Remembering Shea with what was estimated to be as many as 400 fans braving the cold and icy ground to look at a pile of rubble over a fence and at a structure, that at times was made to crumble right before our eyes, which held so many memories for all of us.

I was interviewed by the New York Times, MySN.TV (My SocialSports Network), and a local paper in Queens (damn, I can't remember the name of it).
I got to meet other folks taking pictures and sharing stories.
It was a way to give us better closure to the stadium than what we got back in September (I heard someone say that, or something similar. It may have actually been our great organizer, Chris Swann, but I'm not sure).

I'm so glad I went. I can't remember the last time I was at Shea when there wasn't a game going on (not counting going to the U.S. Open). And we all got to remember together

I got some great photos and videos. They're still uploading to Webshots and YouTube, and I'll organize them into a few different posts on RememberingShea in addition to a big slideshow.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Final thought | Recaps in the Media | Recaps in other Mets blogs | All together now

Shea Stadium Fan Farewell

So much to say. WCBS's report is going to air soon on the 6pm news. This will be the first of at least a few posts on today's event, while I thaw out and organize my pictures and videos.

Major kudos to Chris Swann for pulling this together. It was quite a turnout. I talked to a bunch of fans who came out. I was interviewed for 3 different reports.

More on all of that later, but Chris deserves his own post in my recap of the day.

If you follow the blog, stay tuned throughout the night and maybe even into tomorrow for more on the day. I'll update this post with links to my other posts and posts from other blogs on today.

Nice work Chris, and don't forget about all the other goodies on (MeiGray warehouse, walking on the warning track, and more).

I expect to see some articles from the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday on Sunday, as well as finding links and video clips from WCBS TV and I heard WWOR Channel 9 was there as well as SNY - the recaps from the media will be on this page.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shea's glory days

I'm watching a Mets Classic on SNY right now. It's Mike Piazza's first game as a Met. Aside from how different the TV broadcast looked and sounded (Howie Rose on TV with Fran Healy), just looking at how Shea looked.

This was 1998, before Shea was overrun with advertising. There was some (like the rotating ad behind the plate, higher up than it was in the final days), but it didn't stand out like it did in the final years. You could really see how blue the ballpark was.

I was there for the game. Field Box (back when it was affordable to sit there and fairly easy to get), right about on 3rd base behind the aisle. I remember sitting there a lot back in the 90s. This was actually the first game I went to early where I could catch Mets batting practice and try to get autographs (before Willie banned player-fan interactions). I was actually at the game before the new Mets star.

Update - there's a lot more advertising than I may make it out to look like there is, but it just didn't stand out like it did in the past few seasons.

Shea Goodbye posted an item about a funeral of sorts for Shea Stadium on Saturday at 12 noon at the site of Shea.

According to's Matt Cerrone, "Meet on the North side of the site, at the plaza facing the old traffic circle next to Northern Blvd,” one of the event’s planner said to [him] on e-mail.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shea Stadium or Citi Field

I don't like to mention the name Citi Field here, but I'm going to take the pulse of my visitor(s).

There is a poll on the right side of the page entitled "Shea Stadium or Citi Field". Please vote.

Comments are certainly welcome.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shea Signs

Just an update on the signs I purchased...

They're big, clean, and in the corner of my bedroom.

The black rolled up thing in the front-bottom of the photos is actually this (photo taken from the Mets auction site):

No Place I'd Rather Be

I'm going to start posting stories of my days at Shea. Stories help keep it alive.

In the 2008 season, I got to Shea about 10 times. One of those was in mid-June for a Saturday night game. It happened to be Father's Day weekend, which was the weekend right before Willie Randolph was fired. Summer time humidity localized over Queens and all the negative energy surrounding the Mets club at the time made for a night of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

I got to see at least 1 reason WHY Shea needed to be replaced (I was in a bit of denial before this). I've heard about it in the press box. I was standing at the food concession on the Mezz level behind home plate with a couple friends, eating, waiting out the rain (after driving in from NJ not knowing what was ahead). And it started raining on us. Well, dripping.

Even in the seats under cover, there were seats getting dripped on. That's where we watched a few members of the Texas Rangers using the tarp as a slip-n-slide.

Before we went out to watch the other club have fun and knock the then-manager, a really big line of storms moved in. I think it was actually overhead. I'll swear you could see the lightning flashes through the seating tunnels and out the exterior of the stadium. After one very loud clap of thunder, I starting thinking...

If this is the end of the world, there's no place I'd rather be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Big Apple

I couldn't have a blog about Shea Stadium without noting a post on via Long Island Met Fan about the new Citi Field apple.

I'm mixed on anything new replacing anything from Shea, especially when they replace something that wasn't put up for sale. But like everyting else at the Shea Stadium memorial ballpark, it needed to be replaced.

I think I'd be happy with the new apple if it doesn't obstruct anyone's view, if it isn't an eye-sore, it has no advertising, and it does something that won't distract them at the tennis center on a Mets homerun.

I could go on and on about the old and the new with regards to the ballparks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Signs of Shea

As a followup to my post on my trip to the MeiGray Shea Warehouse, this is the big Upper Deck section sign sitting in my living room. There are some scratches and it's not exactly in mint condition. Each item I bought needs to be cleaned (as in wiped down with disinfectent or soap).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spring Training and the WBC

Steve Popper at The Record in northern NJ just posted the Mets players that will be leaving the club to participate in the WBC during this Spring Training.

Maybe it's better that I won't be able to go this year.

Na, I'd still rather be in Florida this March.

Update - also lists the players. I link to, and links to me.

Shea Warehouse

Earlier today, I took a trip out to MeiGray's Shea Stadium warehouse in Bridgewater, NJ, to pick up the items I bought from them. I took a camera along with me. I'll write more about it later.

Update - the full album is available on Webshots.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shea Photos

These are the 50 best photos I took from the final month at Shea. more to come about these 3 days at Shea. The full album, "the final days of Shea", is up on Webshots to view.