Saturday, February 28, 2009

Citi Field preview

I'm watching the Mets propganda video on "Citi" Field. I'm not sure if they're just not showing the views from different seating areas, or they just don't seem to care. It's "restaurant" this, and "suite" that. I think it goes to my view that the Wilpons really missed the point. Not (yet) saying that the new Stadium is bad, but it really looks like something is missing. Maybe we'll all have to wait until April when the real fans get there and make judgements.

If they had the pulse of the fans, there would be a place called "The Happy Recap" to visit after a game.

It will be weird to go and see empty space where Shea used to be.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spring Training is here

Back when I was a bit younger (we'll call it the late '80s and early-mid '90s, a time when I wasn't quite a teenager), I remember running home from school on the day that Spring Training games finally began, or at least the day of the first broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I had no, or chose not to use, a walkman). I would look forward to hearing the voices that I knew meant baseball for the first time after the long offseason.

On the eve of the fist Spring Training game, I bring you two treats.

First up is a 1 minute audio clip from the Mets first broadcast on WFAN from Spring Training 1998. I won't say any more, other than the voice is forver the voice of the Mets...

Second is about 6 1/2 minutes in length, coming from another 1998 Spring Training game. This one is most of half of an inning from a road game against St. Louis in Jupiter's inagural season. The play-by-play voice again belongs to Bob Murphy with Gary Cohen along side.

I invite any readers to submit or link to their own Spring Training audio and video from the 1980s and 1990s.

Update: These audio clips use HTML5.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

live televised baseball

Spring Training games are just a few days away. With that, there is plenty of baseball to watch (and for that matter, especially if you're at work during the week, listen to). I posted the full Mets schedule a few days ago with an update today, but I want to point out other items on the Spring Training watching agenda.

If you subscribe to MLB.TV, you probably have a few choices every day, from both the Cactus League and Grapefruit League. The MLB Media Center has the daily schedule with watch/listen links. I've had it the past 2 seasons. It's pretty cool what they can do and what's new for 2009. They also have separate package deals with both and

Even without the online broadcasts, there is plenty of baseball to find in the NY/NJ area between SNY/WPIX, YES, WGN, ESPN, and MLB Network.

  • ESPN has 1 game (somewhere I read that their excuse was their broadcasts of the World Baseball Classic) - Houston vs. Atlanta at ESPN's (formerly Disney's) Wide World of Sports, during "ESPN The Weekend" at the Disney complex (what a shocker!).

  • MLB Network's schedule is here. 61 games, 45 of them live. Several Mets games on the slate, including 1 game not otherwise televised locally in NY.

  • The World Baseball Classic is in action throughout March, and there are exhibition games against MLB teams too

  • WGN has both the Cubs (6 games) and White Sox (1 game).

  • The hated Yankees will be on TV a lot (hey, baseball's baseball) with 11 Grapefruit League games, including one game against Team USA on March 3.

  • And if you're looking for the vocal tones of Vin Scully, the Dodgers Spring schedule from their new digs in Arizona is here. I would assume he would be on KCAL and PRIME in those listings.

Tickets, please!

Does anyone else find it interesting that the annual Mets ticket brochure mailing mentions nothing about individual game tickets?

It has a nice schedule printed in a pretty big font, and a really large seating chart for Citi Field with all 100 sections/color codes (I think that's also up on It's about time they made it large enough to read.

There's info about season and the partial ticket plans. But nothing about individual game tickets. The schedule itself marks which games belong to which ticket package(s). At least we don't have that color code for different premium values on different games.

I also find it interesting that the seating chart in print doesn't have home plate in the middle with LF on the left and RF on the right. This one has home plate and its seating area in the lower right side. It just looks weird that way.

While I'm here, I'll say (again) that I've never liked the names "Excelsior Leve", "Caesars Club", "Promenade Level", or "Promenade Club". I'll give them "Sterling Level", "Delta Club", "Metropolitan Box", and "Ebbets Club".

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mets Spring Training to be featured on MLB Network

Thanks to for reminding me of this.

MLB Network will be covering the Mets as part of their 30 games in 30 days Spring Training/season previews. The show on the Mets will air on February 24 (Tuesday) at 11pm. The crew will be in Port St. Lucie on Monday. Here is the full schedule and some of what they have to offer. The series starts tonight with the Boston Red Sox.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mets Spring TV/Radio Schedule

Based on data entered into for the 16 Grapefruit League teams, this is the Mets TV/Radio schedule for Spring Training. As a matter of completeness, all games, including exhibition games, are listed. I list broadcasts from other teams as well as reference because they will be available to MLB.TV subscribers. Radio stations that are not WFAN or WADO belong to the other team.
Updated 2/24

2/25@ Baltimore1:05pmWJZ
2/26vs. Florida1:10pmSNYWFAN
2/27vs. St. Louis1:10pmSNY, MLB NetworkWFAN
2/28@ Detroit1:05pmWXYT
3/1vs. Houston1:10pmWPIX (live), MLB Network (TD 9pm)KTRH
3/3vs. St. Louis1:10pmSNYKTRS
3/4@ Washington1:05pm
3/5vs. Team Italy (WBC)2:05pm
3/6@ St. Louis1:05pm
3/7vs. Washington1:10pmWPIX
3/8vs. Univ. of Michigan12:10pm
3/8@ Washington1:05pmWFAN
3/9vs. Baltimore1:10pmSNY, MLB Network
3/10@ Washington1:05pmWFED
3/12vs. Florida7:10pmSNY
3/13@ Detroit1:05pm
3/14vs. Washington1:10pmWFAN, WFED
3/15@ Florida1:05pmWFAN, WAXY, WQAI (Sp.)
3/17@ Atlanta1:05pm
3/18vs. Atlanta1:10pmSNY, MLB Network
3/19vs. Houston1:10pmSNYKBME
3/20@ Baltimore1:05pmWJZ
3/21@ Atlanta1:05pmWFAN, WGST
3/22vs. Atlanta1:10pmSNYWGST, WADO (Sp.)
3/24@ Houston1:05pmFox Sports Houston, MLB NetworkKBME
3/25vs. Detroit1:10pmSNY, MLB Network
3/26@ St. Louis1:05pmKTRS
3/27vs. Washington7:10pmSNY
3/28vs. Florida1:10pmWPIXWFAN, WAXY, WAQI (Sp.)
3/29@ Baltimore1:05pmWJZ
3/30vs. Baltimore7:10pmSNY
3/31@ Florida1:05pmWFAN
4/1@ St. Louis1:05pm
4/2vs. Baltimore1:10pm

They paved paradise And put up a parking lot

Shea photo came from 'bluenautica' on Twitter, taken from the 7 train leaving Shea.

These before/after photos from 'johnql' on baseball-fever and photobucket.

Video from - it goes against my policy to post this, so this should be the last of it.

Look at the lyrics. You can take a lot of meaning from them here.

Big Yellow Taxi, lyrics by Joni Mitchell

Shea is gone

I just received word from the posters at that our beloved Shea Stadium has come down.

It came down around 11:25 am on February 18, 2009.

They've been posting pictures and video almost daily for at least a month of demolition. As a matter of principle, I look there but won't post any here (except for the day we all went to Shea a few Saturdays ago). But you can look.

Even wikipedia has been updated with the news of Shea's final pieces.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The last ramp to fall

Word has trickled into the thread on that the last ramp of Shea will come down tomorrow (Feb 18, 2009) between 11am and Noon.

That thread has LOTS of photos and videos, which I will not post here.

The last piece standing roughly covers Loge sections 5 and 7 (between Gates C and D) and the ramp behind it. The baseball-fever guys have been on top of this.

Vintage Shea

I can't take credit for this video - I wasn't even 4 at the time. I can't take credit for finding it either. I don't remember where it came from.

This is home video from someone coming into Shea for Opening Day 1982.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Something of Shea that wasn't Sold

Well, it's true. Shea's "Home Run" apple has indeed made the move over to the new ballpark. It apparently will be in a public open area behind the bullpens but it will no longer rise on home runs.

So says Bart Hubbuch of the NY Post and Steve Popper of The (NJ) Record. has more.

Personally, I didn't think the nearly 30-year-old apple would last much longer - new ballpark or not.

Update: WPIX's blog has a video of the moving of the old apple into Citi Field and getting it "dressed" up for display. Thanks to CitiField of Dreams posted this on a tip from a reader.

program about Shea nominated for Emmy

It's true.

read it here on page 5 of the nomination press release.

A program called The Amazin' Shea that aired on WNBC-TV (in New York) on March 29, 2008, the eve of Shea's final season, was nominated for a New York Emmy award in the category of "News Special". It's up against a piece on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy and two (2) programs covering last year's Papal visit to New York and the other defunct ballpark.

While I'm here, other Mets-related programming nominated follows:
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMINGKids Clubhouse: Fun with FundamentalsSNY
SPORTS PROGRAMMING: Program Feature/SegmentMets Weekly: Mr. Koo's Wild RideSNY
SPORTS PROGRAMMING: Regularly Scheduled ProgramMets Pre Game LiveSNY
PROMOTION: Sports PromoMets in HD PromoSNY
Mets: SundayWPIX
ON-CAMERA TALENT: Reporter – SportsKevin BurkhardtSNY
ON-CAMERA TALENT: Sports Play-by-PlayHowie RoseMSG PLUS (New York Islanders)
ON-CAMERA TALENT: Sports AnalystHarold ReynoldsSNY
Keith HernandezSNY
Ron DarlingSNY
DIRECTOR: News, Live or Live to TapeBill WebbSNY
ADVANCED MEDIA: SportsMatt & Ted Go to
Nissan Post Game

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring Training

I found this post in my RSS reader from the sports media columnist in the Hudson Valley, Ken McMillan, with the Mets Spring Training TV/Radio schedule.

12 games on SNY
4 games on WPIX
10 games on WFAN

More on this when I have a chance to look into it deeper. It doesn't count Spring Training games available on MLB.TV broadcast by the other team, MLB.COM, ESPN, or MLB Network.

Update 2/12 - the Mets released their version of the schedule today. At some point, I'll pull a composite schedule with everything available via MLB.TV (both TV and radio feeds).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I didn't think it would happen this year, with a new job that started in January, but I managed to get a long weekend to make my annual vacation to Mets Spring Training. 4 games in 3 days, after a travel day (about 1/3 of my normal adventure). And for the first time since my first trip in 2004, I stay in Port St. Lucie itself (Vero Beach was nice and very under rated).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

new poll question

I posted a new poll-question on the right-hand side of the page.

In it, I ask what was your favorite place to sit and watch a game at Shea. You can choose multiple answers. Some people had many places they liked to sit. It also solicits answers on different levels (no pun intended):
  • Field Level, Loge, Mezzanine, Upper Deck, Picnic Area
  • Left Field, 3rd Base, Home Plate area, 1st Base, Right Field
  • Box seats from Loge/Mezz/Upper, Front rows/boxes (behind the aisle in Loge/Mezz/Upper or the front half of the Field Boxes, closer to the dugout), Back rows/boxes (back rows under cover in Loge/Mezz, high up in the Upper Deck, or the back half of the Field Boxes, closer to the Loge)
  • suites, pressbox, broadcast booth, dugout - if you answer this, please explain - give a story or background as to why you sat there and if you're a notable person, also indicate who you are

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shea Seats

I got an email that my Shea seats are in. Since I ordered them from the owner of the season tickets that I partner with, he has them.

Now the fun parts - where to put them in my apartment and how to get them here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

some light reading

I came across different posts talking about 2 different Mets-themed books.

    One comes from Dana Brand with his new book The Last Days of Shea. A brief description of the book can be found on his blog. He's also written a book called Mets Fan. On his website,, he mentions that he is "a Professor of English and American Literature at Hofstra University", which is my alma mater (I studied Math and Education and, no offense, tried to stay as far away from the English department as I could).

    The other comes from Greg, of the blog "Faith and Fear in Flushing". His book is called "Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets", and he posts 99.9 sentences about his book.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shea Warehouse part 2

I've promised a few people that I've e-mailed with and met that I'd have more about my visit to the MeiGray Shea Memorabilia warehouse from a few weeks ago.

Where do I begin?

This is the place that all the signs (ramp and escalator signs, section signs, directional signs, bathroom signs, some concession signs, and others), some concession carts, scoreboard lights, blue wall padding, box identification plaques, player lockers, a large collection of photos and yearbook covers, and so many other things from Shea Stadium ended up.

With a U-Haul, I could have taken home so much stuff, but nothing was cheap. A lot of it is up for auction on that you can see for yourself. It's amazing what that was taken out of Shea that's not coming over to the new ballpark.

I'll point out a few items that I found interesting (aside from the collections of signs that are in my slideshow).
  • We have the part of the outfield wall marked "358". I did see a pile of wall paddings that were all sponsored (AIG, State Farm, etc.) sitting next to piles of dirty blue padding. very dirty (I may have bought a small section of padding, but it was so dirty I decided against it).

  • There was a pile of what looked like on-deck circle logos, with this special one on top. I didn't think to look deeper down in the pile.

  • You can't see it well on top of the big wedge of section signs, but they had what looked like some form of the retired numbers. It looked like the retired number circles cut into two pieces. That looks like part of the number 41 on top.

  • I don't think I realized it then, but looking at photos, there was at least one foul poll and screen (separated).
  • They had some of the carts that the vendors would use to sell scorecards and yearbooks when you walked into Shea.

  • There were two whole rows of player lockers - back to back. I think they've sold some already. These didn't look that impressive. I think the beat writers should each get one to remind them of working at Shea. Not pictured was the "manager's" locker with a lifesize cutout of Willie Randolph.

  • Could someone please help me out and tell me where these small neon signs were in the ballpark. - Thanks to a reader for pointing out that these neon signs came from the gate markers outside Shea (see the comments for this post) - these are the same poses that were on the exterior of the ballpark, but smaller (actually, the exterior ones are still there, for the parts of the exterior that are still there).

  • These are part of about a half dozen boxes of photos that probably lived on the press level and mounted yearbook covers. I think some of this is available on the auction.

  • These are a very small portion of the box identification plaques that were there. It was actually very organized together in groups and by color, and this was the exception.

  • Anybody hungry?

You can see the full album on my webshots page or the slideshow on my first post on the subject.

One other note on the items themselves. Anything you buy (auction or direct, delivery or pickup), CLEAN IT. Not knocking it at all, think about where it came from and where it's been sitting.

Overall, I thought the items were very over priced, but they know there was a market. There still is a market on the auction block. Communication wasn't that good when they were getting the word out that items were for sale in September. I actually walked into their setup on the Loge concourse (I think it was right across from the Citi Field experience around section 11 & 13) before the final game and made my purchase there, not knowing that items were even up for sale. After the initial pickup at Shea in the very early days of demolition, there was very very little communication with everyone as they arranged delivery (to be fair, the person who came in to lead the effort left during that time). I didn't get called until January to arrange delivery of my items, and found it would be cheaper to rent a U-Haul and pick the items up myself.

For other notes on the items I purchased, see my posts "Signs of Shea" and "Shea Signs".

little Shea linked to this replica of Shea Stadium available to purchase over at

You can have your very own replica of Shea Stadium. Available in 2 versions - "Regular" and "Jumbo" (with lights).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Name that ballpark 2

I read in a blog by Newsday Sports Media columnist Neil Best that "Citigroup is exploring breaking from [the] Mets". In the post in Neil Bests's "Watchdog" blog, he cites not one, but TWO Newsday columnists as well as the Wall Street Journal.

Update: also picked up the story this morning with an interesting note from something heard on CNBC.

Update: This is going to be a mess...First they're staying together, then they may break up, then it's not true. It probably will happen, and it can't be good for either side.

It means the poll in my last post "Name that ballpark" may have some real meaning.

Name that Ballpark

I added a new poll to my site, asking what you'd rather see as the name of the new ballpark, in the case that the "Citi Field" name does not last.

As much as we like these names, the reality is that any name on this list is TEMPORARY until a new sponsor can be found. In that sense, the ballpark could be named almost anything (and I won't begin guessing).

  • (the new) Shea Stadium (or "Shea Stadium II" in the parlance of how Wikipedia notes ballparks that seem to have moved to been rebuild, such as the Polo Grounds)

  • Shea Field (because "Field" is already in the name of the ballpark's very large signs)

  • Mets Field

  • Sterling Field

  • Jackie Robinson Field

  • other

If there's another option, let's hear it...

Update: Check out the comments section for another very good sugestion.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The "old" Shea

This is how I choose to remember Shea. This is from a 1991 game (televised on Channel 9 with Tim McCarver and Ralph Kiner) that SNY is airing tonight (Straw's return to Shea with the Dodgers). The teams from the early 90's weren't worth remembering.

The outfield walls and other padding were BLUE (complete from that whole makeover from the 1980s). There were NO ads on the wall - instead, it was the championship "banners" and "banners" from the teams in the National League. Very view ads outside of the Scoreboard and Diamond Vision screen were even visible anywhere in the ballpark.

And even the TV broadcast was visibly clean (except for the graphics and logos that SNY attached). I just love how simplistic the graphics for going to commercial were in those days. There wasn't a lot of chatter on the broadcast. You could HEAR the ballpark (and the organ playing "charge" when a player stepped out). And the music played before a commercial break was soft elevator music. Just so different from today's games.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Remembering Shea - all together now

I think I've covered everything that I saw at the Shea site yesterday. I met a bunch of people. Others that I wanted to meet were also there. One I didn't mention yet, who also got some good shots of both ballparks from the subway platform was "The Flushing Fotographer", who sent some images to I also found photos from Chris Swann himself. I wish I got more shots of the crowd and I wish I made it over to the 1B side of Shea to see it (although the slideshow from the subway ride out covered it).

If anyone knows the name of the local Queens newspaper that was interviewing people (myself included), I'd love to know what it is so I can post to it and see what I said.

Between the different reporters I talked to, I got asked about Citi Field (at a Shea rememberance event) and a lot of my memories from Shea.

I know I've spent more time writing about Saturday's event than I did actually being there and getting there (even with 4 hours of travel included). Keep following for discussion (I'll post there too if I can get my account fixed).

If you've been following my blog since yesterday (and thanks to Chris to linking to me on and Kingman on for linking to me as well, plus NYSportsDog and anyone else I'm forgetting about), please check all the pages again. I've updated most of them with something since the original post.

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 or Citi Field - calling all voters

A few days ago, I posted a poll asking fans to vote for Shea Stadium or Citi Field.

So far, a few people have found my blog and voted. And the numbers are overwhelming in favor of Shea Stadium. I'd like to hear from everyone (comments please) as to why they voted the way they did. Given the nature of the site, I'd expect to see more votes for Shea.

But I'd especially like to hear from the (so far) 2 people who voted for Citi Field.

Remembering Shea - recaps from other Mets blogs

Lots of people were there yesterday, and lots wrote about it. I'll be updating this page during the day as I come across more recaps from bloggers.

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 - recaps in the media

Updated with a link to the Daily News

Well, I was expecting to be quoted in the New York Times today (maybe the print edition has more stories than the online edition). But no. I was interviewed by a reporter coming off the subway just before 12 noon, and probably many people were too, and only some of it, the good stuff, made it into the article. I heard there were 3 reporters from the Times at Shea on Saturday, but I can only account for 2 pieces online.

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