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View Full Version : RIP Shea Stadium (1964-2008)


Fenway
09-20-2008, 09:11 PM
The Mets have their final regular season homestand in Shea and those final games will decide if Shea lives into October.

The NY Daily News remembers how it all began...
http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/09/21/amd_intro-william-shea.jpg
Bill Shea throws out first ball at stadium named after him...he died in 1991

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2008/09/20/2008-09-20_shea_stadium_mets_first_miracle.html

chisoxfanatic
09-20-2008, 09:35 PM
With the way things have been going for the Brewers, their possibilities of hosting October baseball are very strong.

Fenway
09-20-2008, 10:42 PM
About 20 years I was involved in a cable baseball show that aired in both Chicago and Boston and we wound up covering games at both Shea and Yankee the same day.

By then Shea had taken on a MTV quality of loud canned music and the contrast between the 2 parks was extreme.

The Mets played the Expos and the Yankees were playing the White Sox that night. Two things stand out from the night game. A White Sox pitcher was on the field next to us and suddenly he hopped the rail and sat in the first row in uniform. I caught him on tape saying 'why would anybody pay money to sit here to watch us'? and he was not kidding. Then an usher came down demanding to see his ticket. Hysterical.

Later I got to meet Bob Sheppard in his booth that he shared with Eddie Layton the organist. Sheppard sat at a little desk with an old style reading lamp and had his back to the field but while reading he would look at a small black and white monitor. He was very friendly and he asked me to say hello to Sherm Feller the late Boston PA announcer.

I don't rember the exact date but just before the game the Yankees traded Ricky Henderson away and his teammates were overjoyed.
Had to be 1988 or 89.

MUsoxfan
09-20-2008, 11:19 PM
By far the worst stadium I've ever seen a baseball game in

whitesoxwilkes
09-21-2008, 08:38 AM
I'll be there tomorrow night. Already went to both NY parks earlier in the season to say goodbye, but I managed to luck into a primo seat to watch the Mets hopefully whomp on the Cubs.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2230/2495343977_d8d7442508.jpg

LITTLE NELL
09-21-2008, 08:55 AM
Good riddance to one of the last baseball/football stadiums from the 60s and 70s. I think Oakland will be the last one standing.
Got to see a game at Shea back in 1967, sat in the the 3rd deck and thought I was watching the game from the moon. Good news it was free because I was in the Air Force. The next week I saw a game at old Connie Mack Stadium in Philly, what a dump that was.

viagracat
09-21-2008, 10:02 AM
Never been to Shea but I do remember all the complaints over the years about it being one of the worst facilities in baseball. I also remember the sound of the planes that passed overhead as they were landing at LaGuardia.

There will be October baseball there this year. Milwaukee screwed the pooch when they dropped that heartbreaker to the Cubs last week. Those are the kind of games in the stetch that end seasons, and that one did for the Brew Crew.

Irishsox1
09-22-2008, 11:31 AM
Shea is by far the crappiest MLB stadium I've ever been to. Everything about the stadium was poorly planned including the location right under the flight path.

Good by Stinksville!

mpshans
09-22-2008, 11:47 AM
Going to Mets game in the 80's as a kid I didn't know any better, but having been away for 15 years and a little perspective I can attest personally to how awful Shea was. My wife (A lifelong Sox fan) and I went to a game a couple of seasons ago when we visited my parents in NY and ended up sitting with terrible obstructed view seats. Simply terrible.

TDog
09-22-2008, 12:04 PM
Shea Stadium will best be remembered for a Beatles concert.

Lundind1
09-22-2008, 12:09 PM
It seems that the new ballpark will be much nicer than Shea. I don't see the attachment to this place that fans have with other parks in the Majors. I can't wait to see the new place open. Yes there are memories there, but there will not be the pomp and circumstance surrounding the closing of this place as opposed to say the other team in the Bronx had last night.

DaveFeelsRight
09-22-2008, 12:11 PM
I've never been there but I could tell that it looks like a massive dump.

chisoxfanatic
09-22-2008, 12:14 PM
It seems that the new ballpark will be much nicer than Shea. I don't see the attachment to this place that fans have with other parks in the Majors. I can't wait to see the new place open. Yes there are memories there, but there will not be the pomp and circumstance surrounding the closing of this place as opposed to say the other team in the Bronx had last night.
They're not even closing it out on ESPN next Sunday night. Instead, they're having a regular matinee. That tells you something.

DaveFeelsRight
09-22-2008, 12:20 PM
They're not even closing it out on ESPN next Sunday night. Instead, they're having a regular matinee. That tells you something.It gonna be one hell of a party when Wrigley and Fenway close down! :gulp:

hillbilly
09-22-2008, 12:23 PM
That place is a pretty big dump. Worst ballpark I've ever been too. Couldn't even sit through an entire game. Couldn't see any fly balls with our seats and the obstcucted views.

Fenway
09-22-2008, 12:31 PM
It was even worse for football

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1137/1434886631_3d685133e9_o.jpg

Fenway
09-22-2008, 12:33 PM
Back in 1964 the scoreboard was a modern marvel

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/mags/qf/c/PopularScience/8-1964/med_mets_Scoreboard.jpg

MeteorsSox4367
09-22-2008, 12:55 PM
Fenway: Thanks for the picture of the Jets (or Titans?) playing football at Shea. I'd almost forgotten that the field ran from the plate to center field.

seventyseven
09-22-2008, 01:15 PM
Prior to moving back to Chicago, I lived in NYC for 3+ years over 2003-2006. As a baseball experience, I actually preferred Shea than Yankee stadium.

Perhaps it had to do with the fans. Yankee fans feel they are superior because of their team -- almost like they are entitled to sit in the Stadium and watch, and you should feel privileged too just to be there with them.

Mets fans, on the other hand, are just as passionate, yet more in the lets-have-a-few-beers-and-go-to-the-game sort of way. I found the environment at Shea more relaxed, and the fans simply enjoying the game, without all the 26 world championships mystique and BS.

Plus, the hot dogs at Yankee Stadium were ****ing terrible.

Fenway
09-22-2008, 02:15 PM
Fenway: Thanks for the picture of the Jets (or Titans?) playing football at Shea. I'd almost forgotten that the field ran from the plate to center field.

They became the Jets in 1963 while still at the Polo Grounds and moved to Shea in 64.

My biggest gripe with Shea was being so close to LaGuardia and the new park will still have the same problem.

Mets fanbase is similar to the White Sox in the sense that thir fanbase is Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. The have no fanbase in Westchester or Connecticut.

Chez
09-22-2008, 04:21 PM
When I was a kid, one of my friends moved from Chicago to Long Island. I went to visit him a few summers and we would ride the Long Island Railroad to see the Mets play at Shea. One summer the Yankees were playing at Shea (due to rennovations at Yankee Stadium). We sent to see the Yankees play the Red Sox in a doubleheader. The Red Sox swept the Yanks but I remember the Yankees brought in a smallish, skinny lefthander out of the bullpen to mop up the end of the second game. He threw hard. Real hard. I'm pretty sure it was his major league debut. His name was Ron Guidry!

2906
09-22-2008, 04:37 PM
They became the Jets in 1963 while still at the Polo Grounds and moved to Shea in 64.


I was reading some articles from an old scrapbook about the Mets and Jets move to Shea Stadium from the Polo Grounds. At the time, Shea Stadium was perceived a paradise because of the easier access and parking. Further, the Polo Grounds was an aging facility, 52 years at its demise after 1963. And the area of upper Manhattan around the Polo Grounds site was in decline.

December 14th of this year will be the 45th anniversary of the last event at the Polo Grounds, a football game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets that was reportedly witnessed by a paid crowd of well under 5,000.

When we went to a White Sox - Yankees game at Yankee Stadium last year (sponsored by the NIU Alumni Association), we took the subway to the former site of the Polo Grounds. Upper Manhattan, between 155th and 157 Streets off 8th Avenue. It's a series of tall apartment complexes, named Polo Grounds Towers. There's a plaque on one of the buildings describing a bit of history and a home plate plaque. Also, the sandlot is named Willie Mays Field.

The only thing left from the Polo Grounds is an old abandoned stairway from 8th Avenue up the bluff, beneath which the Polo Grounds sat. The stairway, which is now fenced off and crumbling, used to lead down from the street to the Polo Grounds ticket booths. On the first landing there's a plaque which says something like "John Brush Memorial Stairway, courtesy New York Giants" (can't recall exactly).

We spent maybe 15 minutes there. Not what I'd call a place to linger.

I wonder what they'll do to commemorate where Shea stands.

DumpJerry
09-22-2008, 04:50 PM
Shea Stadium will best be remembered for a Beatles concert.
:yup:

doublem23
09-22-2008, 04:52 PM
Shea Stadium will best be remembered for a Beatles concert.

I disagree.

http://www.mysticvoodoo.com/gallery/black-8.gif

Sox4ever77
09-29-2008, 01:49 PM
My favorite memory of Shea, was when Piazza hit the HR vs the Braves, in the first games in NYC after 9/11.

palehozenychicty
09-29-2008, 02:13 PM
For me, it'd have to be Game 6 and 7 of the '86 series. It was the first time I remember seeing baseball on TV. I even begged my dad for a Mets hat afterward.

Max Power
09-29-2008, 02:34 PM
I wonder what they'll do to commemorate where Shea stands.

I'm guessing it will get the Comiskey Park treatment: transformed into a parking lot with a plaque at home plate.

I wanted to get to a game at Shea, but the timing didn't work out. My cousin, who joined me for a game at Yankee Stadium, said she preferred games at Shea because it was more laid back and fun.

chisoxfanatic
09-29-2008, 02:40 PM
My cousin, who joined me for a game at Yankee Stadium, said she preferred games at Shea because it was more laid back and fun.
I was talking with a Mets fan a couple months ago who did both stadiums in one trip earlier this season, and he claimed the same thing. He said that Mets fans are more of the working class type and actually hang on every pitch of the game.

Railsplitter
09-29-2008, 07:26 PM
Still at Flushing Meadow. Where did they come up with that name (Flsuhing, that it)? Is it a corruption of a Dutch term?

palehozenychicty
09-30-2008, 08:49 AM
I was talking with a Mets fan a couple months ago who did both stadiums in one trip earlier this season, and he claimed the same thing. He said that Mets fans are more of the working class type and actually hang on every pitch of the game.


If there's a team that parallels the Sox in MLB, it's the Mets. They have a very rabid, knowledgeable fan base that is concentrated in a specific area, namely Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The team has went through a lot of heartache since it's inception. Their moments of glory, however, are some of the greatest in MLB history.

nysox35
09-30-2008, 03:28 PM
If there's a team that parallels the Sox in MLB, it's the Mets. They have a very rabid, knowledgeable fan base that is concentrated in a specific area, namely Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The team has went through a lot of heartache since it's inception. Their moments of glory, however, are some of the greatest in MLB history.

Totally agreed...also the "#2" in its city comparison. The thing I've always said though, is at least they are #2 to arguably the greatest franchise in sports. The White Sox on the other hand...:D:

Fenway
09-30-2008, 03:47 PM
It has been a brutal 24 months for Mets fans.

In 2006 they were upset by St Louis in the NLCS.

The last 2 years they have lost the final game at home to be eliminated after having a large lead with 17 games to play both years.

One stat leaps out at me. If baseball was only 8 innings they would have beaten the Phillies by NINE games.

Fenway
09-30-2008, 03:56 PM
Still at Flushing Meadow. Where did they come up with that name (Flsuhing, that it)? Is it a corruption of a Dutch term?

Don't forget that New York City and State was originally settled by the Dutch.

Where you really see the Dutch names today is around Albany.

Railsplitter
09-30-2008, 06:30 PM
Don't forget that New York City and State was originally settled by the Dutch.

Where you really see the Dutch names today is around Albany.
The names Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and even Harlem are of Dutch origin, which is has me wondering about Flushing. Why should the other five buroughs get the Dutch terms and Quenns get left out?

Flushing Meadows is a name that inspires -dare I say it- toilet humor. :wink:.