It sure has been a long week of baseball and it’s only Thursday. Since Saturday, April 4th, I’ve logged 750 miles of travel in the name of baseball. That’s my excuse that this is tardy. Sorry. One thing I must say is that I really do need to clean my car. But it was worth it. This is even more miraculous, it was all without children in tow.
On Friday, one of our LN members that lives in New Jersey offered a spare set of tickets to the second exhibition game which was happening at the New Shea in Flushing, New York. I couldn’t find anyone interested in going with me, so I bought just one. Somewhat out of curiosity but mostly because I have had a really bad off-season and the sooner I could see my boys of summer, the sooner I knew things were going to get better. The first 265 miles is logged going to the New Shea.
O.K., O.K., I know I said I wouldn’t patronize the New Shea out of principal, but it is baseball history that I was part of PLUS it was a Red Sox game; I had to…I had the opportunity. I live by the rule that I’d rather do it and regret it, than not do it and regret it. New stadiums only are new once so Carpe Diem. And I did.
New is almost always nice and the New Shea is no exception. The parking is
plentiful and close to the stadium. It seems a bit more fully contained than the old Shea. It looks beautiful and new. It even still smelled nice which is more than I can say about the old Shea.
We had club seats in the 400 section so we were in the wind overlooking the field. What a beautiful sight seeing our boys go onto the field (even if it was against the Mets). Unfortunately it was the overpaid Perez pitching for them and Diva Dice-K pitching for us.
Between Dice-K being the slowest pitcher in America and Perez throwing 30 pitches, giving up four walks, no strikeouts and six runs in the first (!), it was a loooonnnnggg game. One bit of history was made when our new #12, Jed
Lowrie, blasted a beauty of a hit to left center to mark the very first major league grand slam to be hit at the new Shea. Yea number 12!
Since the game was rather boring, and knowing that it really didn’t count, we were able to take in a bit of the new stadium. Not to mention we virtually saw a whole game in the first inning! After a controversy Keep the Apple vs Sell The Apple, the Shea
Stadium Apple does have a home out in center field at the New Shea, however it no longer pops out of the big magic top hat. I don’t know why because it does just sit on a back drop of black plywood-looking material, and let’s face it, the Mets sure could use some “MAGIC,” which is what the apple and hat originally symbolized when it was first installed in 1980 when the slogan “The Magic Is Back” was coined.
Other notables of the New Shea: great layout although they still have all those wacky escalators that are everywhere but don’t seem to get you anywhere; there’s a beautiful scoreboard, an even more beautiful ML scoreboard that shows all the other teams that are playing; great food and food courts; LCD-HD widescreens monitors everywhere; clean bathrooms. There is a very curious outfield, though. There is like cutouts in the outfield with no uniform look to it. The bullpens are separated by like caged benches where the players sit when there’s action there, plus both teams share the area. And, like Fenway, the right and left foul lines are separated by the seats by what looks like only a couple of feet. There are still huge lines that form outside the souviner shops.
I had fun. It is always nice when the Red Sox win. It was great to see my NJ buddy. It was wonderful to see, smell and hear the sounds of baseball again. It was great to how bad the Mets looked. I still think Santana should have asked before signing his
on Monday to Opening Day (Part One).
Spring Training is over. The exhibition games are beginning. The Red Sox begin moving north and the next games will be at the new Shea Stadium. Yes, I realize it is not called Shea Stadium anymore, but, too bad, to me it will be Shea. For a while
I’m opposed (and appalled) that the naming rights remained as Citifield. I’m disgusted at the whole tear-down-Shea-put-up-a-shiny-new-park-on-the-tax-payers-dime thing.
I’ve been to Shea a few times. I grew up paying attention to the Mets. Afterall, I live in Connecticut. I am a Red Sox fan and was in 1986. I can tell you all about that defining week of baseball. I can tell all about the series itself. I can tell you where I was when the ball went between Buckner’s legs. I remember.
When the Mets played the Cardinals in the playoffs a couple of years ago, I took my 75-year old Cardinal fan friend and his son. I grew up next to this Cardinal fan. My old neighbor helped me love baseball. It was the least I could do. The Cardinal’s lost that game, and ultimately that series but I probably had the most fun at any game I ever went to.
So the Red Sox are playing against the Mets for the last two games of this years Spring Training, though officially called Exhibition Games. These two will be at the new Shea. I learned a lot about what we can
expect this year from the RS, I think. I did watch and listen to a lot of the games. It is fun to know this pre-season is wrapping up.
I do have fond memories of Shea Stadium. I will be going to Saturday’s game, the 2nd Ever Major League game to be played at the New Shea Stadium: Mets v Red Sox. I think our “A” team will be playing. It will be fun to check out the stadium, after all don’t we own some of it…us tax payers? I probably won’t be back to patronize the New Shea until I get over my anger. I’m going Saturday for the simple fact of baseball history. So my kids can say, “my mother saw the 2nd ML game at, whatever it will be called by the time my kids have kids. I will be back of course if it’s to see a Red Sox v Mets World Series Game. Yes, for that I’ll be back for sure!