Author: Matthew Silverman
Title: Best Mets
Publication Info: Lanham, Md. : Taylor Trade Pub., c2012.
Summary/Review: I received and advanced copy of this book for free through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program, who like to send me books about baseball (I wonder why). The title of the book pretty much sums things up, this is a book of lists about the best Mets players, teams, games, traditions, etc. Obviously this book is not going to have widespread appeal beyond Mets’ fans, although I’d think it best for the novice Mets’ fan looking to learn a little bit about the history of the team. Still, there are better Mets’ books out there. (see below)
Recommended books: Faith and Fear in Flushing by Greg Prince, Mets by the Numbers by Jon Springer and Taking the Field by Howard Megdal.
Posts Tagged ‘Mets’
Author: Matthew Silverman
This Sunday, I made my annual pilgrimage to Flushing, NY to see the Atlanta Braves take on the New York Mets at Citi Field. My Braves fan friend Mike was unable to attend so I enjoyed the pleasure of watching the game with another Mets fan, Chris. Tickets for the game came courtesy of another Mets fan and ticket plan holder Sharon.
So these were good seats, right in centerfield, just five rows back from the wall. It meant that Chris and I were in direct sunlight until about the 8th inning so it’s a good thing I brought sunscreen. It wasn’t terribly hot but my arms sweat a lot which seemed to also attract miniscule flying insects. Barring the sun and the bugs, it was a terrific game.
Johan Santana started for the Mets masterfully dominating the Braves for seven innings. Angel Pagan had a great game at the plate and Ike Davis smashed a home run to the batters’ eye in deep centerfield not far from our seat. The Happy Recap for the game ended with the Mets shutting out the Braves 3-0.
The scoreboard kept us up to date on the FIFA World Cup championship game which for some reason was listed as a NL game. Post game I took the LIRR to Penn Station and found a pizza joint where the Hispanic staff and a Buddhist monk were watching the game on Univision. I ate a calzone and saw all of extra time including Spain’s winning goal.
Author: Greg Prince
Title: Faith and Fear in Flushing
Publication Info: Skyhorse Publishing (2009)
Greg Prince, one of the co-authors of the Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing – the most intelligent and literate Mets blog there is – writes about his 40 years as the guy everyone knows as the big Mets fan. Part memoir, part baseball history this book explores the ups & downs of fandom in parallel with the events of his life. If this sounds familiar it’s because it is very similar in concept and execution to Fever Pitch. That is Fever Pitch the autobiographical book by Nick Hornby about his love for the Arsenal Football club, not the wholly fictional romantic comedy film about the Red Sox.
Prince’s ruminations on the Mets are a pleasure to read for the most part although he does have a tendency for repetition especially in the more navel-gazing portions of the book. As a fellow Mets fan, I enjoyed reliving the Mets good years and many fallow years from the perspective of another fan. I think this book could be enjoyable as well to someone unfamiliar with the Mets or with baseball, especially since it gives a literary perspective on the game that breaks from the mold of Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers.
If there’s one thing I quibble with in this book is Prince’s characterization of Mets fans loving the Mets but hating the players. While I think that negative attitude has become prominent in the past five years or so, historically that “win or your a bum” kind of thinking has been more of a Yankee fan ideology. Mets fans used to be opposite, the cult of the underdog, a humanistic approach to accepting the players despite their flaws and celebrating their accomplishments and commiserating with their failures. The Mets were a team the ordinary guy could identify with and thus players like Marv Throneberry, Lee Mazzili, Mookie Wilson, Butch Huskey, and Tsuyoshi Shinjo became local heroes despite never leading the league in anything.
At any rate, I find it harder to be a Mets fan these days not because of the Mets but because of the hostile and vulgar attitude of my fellow “fans.” This book gives me hope because it shows that there are still thoughtful and literate fans among our numbers.
Blogging revealed itself to me as Banner Day’s logical and technological successor. Mets fans are always dying to tell you about being Mets fans. We each fancy ourselves Mr. Met, except Mr. Met is mute and never stops smiling, whereas we never shut up and expend loads of bandwidth contemplating, complaining, and, only on infrequent occasion, complimenting. -p. 255
I don’t love the Mets because it gives me license to behave as a “crazy fan.” I don’t know whether it’s crazy to give one’s mental well-being over to the fickle physical fortunes of a batch of youthful millionaires. I don’t know whether it’s crazy to risk vast quantities of disappointment in the longshot search for a modicum of solace. I don’t know whether it’s crazy to think the angst I incur as a preoccupational hazard is, in fact, maybe its own reward. But I’m a big fan. I’m not a crazy fan. – p. 270.
Recommended books: Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, Mets by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Amazin’ Mets by Uniform Number by Jon Springer, and Playing Hard Ball: A Kent Crickter’s Journey into Big League Baseball by Ed Smith.
On Sunday I attended my second Mets game of the month, this time a road game here at home in Boston. It feels a bit odd to don my blue & orange hat for a trip to Fenway since I will root for the Red Sox against any other opponent. Yet I’ve done it many times dating back to the Mets first interleague appearance in Boston back in 1998 and the games are among some of the most interesting I’ve ever seen.
Here are some highlights:
- June 5, 1998 – Mets 9, Red Sox 2: Arguably Pedro Martinez’s worst game in his best season in that he allowed home runs to four Mets. Martinez beaned the Mets new catcher Mike Piazza early on forcing him from the game but Piazza’s replacement Albert Castillo hit one of the home runs and scored two runs in the game. Odd.
- June 6, 1998 – Mets 1, Red Sox 0: The next day I didn’t have a ticket but walked up to Fenway and got one from a firefighter for $10. You’ll never hear of anyone getting same day tickets anywhere near that price today. Tim Wakefield pitched his heart out allowing only one hit, and lost. Brian McRae walked, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out, and then scored on a balk. And that was it! Crazy.
- July 13, 2000 – Mets 3, Red Sox 4: Things looked good for the Mets at first as Bobby Jones of all people was able to keep pace with Pedro. Later on odd things happened with Carl Everett and Dennis Cook (which would come to ahead two days later with a complete Everett meltdown). A Melvin Mora error and some late-inning heroics by Brian Daubach off Armando Benitez gave the win the Red Sox. Exciting game nonetheless.
- June 27, 2006 – Mets 4, Red Sox 9: After a six year absence the Mets returned to Fenway on a day that was also the first time Pedro Martinez returned to Boston as a Met (and received a warm welcome when he pitched the next evening). In a nice touch, the fans and players saluted the 1986 AL Champion Red Sox on the 20th anniversary of the year they lost the World Series to you-know-who. There were a ton of home runs in this game, three for the Mets, but the Red Sox would score more runs by far.
- June 29, 2006 – Mets 2, Red Sox 4: Curt Schilling pretty much shut down the Mets this evening. This is the only occassion when I’ve encountered rude fans at Fenway as a trashy-looking woman and her teenage son shouted insults and threw peanuts at Mets fans in my sections (although for some reason they left me alone). This game sewed up a sweep for the Sox and at the time it looked like they were bound for the postseason and the Mets were fading, but in the end it was the the Mets who reached the playoffs that season.
Sunday’s game was interesting as well partly because a thunderstorm pelted the field with rain and hail in first inning. Fans ooh-ed and aah-ed as lighting struck buildings in nearby Back Bay. I sat in the family section in left field near the Green Monster, safely ensconced under the roof. So I had a good dry view of the heroic grounds crew as they rushed to get the already sodden field covered with a tarp. It was also amusing to watch the people in the front rows evacuate their seats. On the scoreboard they showed a video of a couple of guys lip-syncing Milli Vanilli’s “Blame it on the Rain” and dancing with the Wally the Green Monster in a rain slicker. Turns out the “two guys” are Red Sox pitchers Jonathon Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen which further proves that I can never recognize athletes when not in uniform. Anyhow, it’s pretty funny and you can watch it below:
When play resumed, things looked good for the Mets as they took a lead into the fifth inning and seemed in control of the game. And then the Red Sox batters made mincemeat of the Mets bullpen – especially Brian Stokes – and just kept hitting and hitting and hitting. Oh well, it turned out to be a lovely day and while some blokes lamely tried to heckle Gary Sheffield, I sat among some friendly fans. Which is good because we’re all squished together in that special Fenway way.
I’ve been visiting Fenway Park pretty much every year since 1997, and it just gets bigger – more seats, more concourse, more concessions, and more ads (which add some nice color) – but the seats are still narrow as can be. All the changes have been for the better improving what was already one of the best ballparks in baseball (although at least the Mets have something comparable now). I look forward to going back for a game when I can root for the Sox.
More pictures from the game in my ballgames photo album.
My friend Mike and I have a tradition each year of visiting New York City to see a ballgame between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mike grew up in Alaska watching the Braves on TBS in the Dale Murphy era when the team was pitiful. I of course spent my first 17 years within 35 miles of Shea Stadium and the next 7 near the Mets top farm team in Norfolk, VA so I’m forever attached to the Mets. Devoted to our wives and children, we usually try to slip out for a day game during the week and the schedule has been kind to us.
Here’s the history thus far:
- April 27, 2005: Atlanta 8, New York 4 – The Mets lose with the help of the Manchurian Brave Tom Glavine.
- April 19, 2006: Atlanta 2, New York 1 – Glavine pitches a much better game this time, but the Mets still lose.
- April 21, 2007: Atlanta 2, New York 7 – With Brave-killer Oliver Perez on the mound the Mets win with the help of a big inning (while I’m getting ice cream for my pregnant wife). See my blog post Another Weekend in New York for more details.
- September 14, 2008: Atlanta 7, New York 4 – Mike was unable to attend this game so I went solo to witness the Mets bullpen implode in the 9th inning. Photos from this game are at the end of my post Shea Stadium: A Personal History.
As you can see the Braves hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. The fifth installment of this tradition would be different as it would be our first visit to the Mets new ballpark with the unfortunate name of Citi Field (see my blogpost Stadium Naming Rights for more of my thoughts on that issue).
We got a lot start and encountered delays along the road so we didn’t arrive until after the game started and both teams had scored. Oddly, after having no problems parking when the Mets were constructing Citi Field in the Shea Stadium parking lot we found ourselves shunted over to distant parking by the World’s Fair Marina. Mike declared it our prettiest parking spot ever.
The first impression of Citi Field is that everything is so big, even though it is smaller both in height and capacity than Shea Stadium. The dimensions of the field are large, the outfield walls are tall, the scoreboard (and all it’s ads) is huge and the new Mets home run apple is freakin’ enormous. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda, a much-lauded entrance to the ballpark is bigger than it looks on tv and is quite impressive and attractive. I also like the exposed ironwork support beams throughout the park and the bridge in centerfield.
We sat in the left field reserved section where a long homerun could land (as one in fact did, unfortunately hit by the Braves’ Martin Prado). Seats in the outfield are one of the features I think are necessary for every great ballpark and something Shea Stadium lacked (except for a small picnic area). The other great improvement are wide open concourses so one can continue to watch the game while walking to the concession stand, restrooms, or just stretching your legs. My third feature of great ballparks is an adjacent neighborhood with shops, restaurants and bars is still missing although it is a bit startling that the chop shops of Willets Point are now just across the street from the Bullpen Gate. As Mike pointed out, you can get your car detailed while you watch the game.
The game itself was an exciting back and forth affair. Both the Mets and Braves scored a lot of runs and gave us three innings of free baseball in addition to the standard nine. Sadly, this was yet another win in the Braves column. There’s always next year! And I definitely need to return as our late arrival and need for haste to return to Boston meant that there is much of the ballpark left unexplored. My first impressions though are good. I still miss Shea, but a little less now. Frankly, in some ways I felt a little spoiled by Citi Field. We Mets fans aren’t accustomed to nice things happening to us, but I could get used to this.
See my web albums for more ballpark photos.
Fifteen years ago I attended a portion of a cricket cup match in Bermuda and have had a curiosity about the game ever since. Now I’ve discovered a book by a cricketer who loves baseball, a game I understand much better. Playing Hard Ball: County Cricket and Big League Baseball (2003) by professional cricketer E.T. Smith is an amusing and insightful comparison of the national pastimes of England and the United States. Smith visits New York in 1998 and is swept up in baseball fever and yearns to learn more about the game. In 2000 he returns to New York to watch the Subway Series rightly supporting the underdog Mets agains the dynastic Yankees.
The next spring he spends a few days with the Mets at Spring Training. Some of the more humorous moments of the book are here as Smith takes a few cuts against live pitching and the American ballplayers inevitably refer to him as a cricketeer. But it also shows that the then Mets manager Bobby Valentine has a sharp mind and actually knows enough about cricket to help Smith with his swing.
In the next section of the book Smith compares the rising fortune of his own Kent County Cricket Club in 2001 while the Mets collapse and fail to make the postseason that same year. The highlight of this book is Smith’s reflections on the Mets playing the first game in New York after the September 11th attacks. The memory of the night made me a little bit weepy as did the part where Smith quotes Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech. According to Smith, everyone cries at that speech, including himself.
Other chapters of the book focus on sporting dynasties, statistics, and sports literature -which Smith believes is vastly superior in the US than in England, at least prior to Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. Smith is less flattering on a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the ideas of baseball as representing national character. Yet he balances this with equal bunk stated about cricket. In the end he concludes, baseball and cricket are great games but have no inherent morality or character other than what people bring to it. Smith also observes about how much more international cricket is compared to baseball although this was written before the coming of Ichiro and Japan’s back-to-back victories in the World Baseball Classic.
This is a good, fun book for sports fans and those who are interested in cultural exchange. I can’t say that I’ve learned much about cricket though as those passages are written for an English audience leaving me completely befuddled.
It is a surprising comparison. America, which so values individuality and self-expression, has produced sports which are massively reliant on the intervention of coaches and managers, and a culture which demands players to adhere to their demands. But in England, and in English-invented games worldwide, the players have hung on to more of their self-determination.
Authors: Smith, E. T. (Ed T.), 1977-
Title: Playing hard ball / E.T. Smith.
Published: London : Abacus, 2003.
Description: viii, 213 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Notes: Originally published: London : Little, Brown, 2002.
ISBN: 0349116660 (pbk.)
One of the best observed … but not official … national holidays occurred this week, and I almost neglected to write about it. I refer of course to my annual post waxing rhapsodic about Opening Day in Major League Baseball. It’s a day of hope and possibility, and since my two favorite teams won yesterday and today, hope flourishes. Since rain delayed Opening Day at Fenway until today I can also be excused for my delay.
I’m not one for hot stove league discussion, and Spring Training barely excites me, so opening day kind of snuck up on me. I do feel ashamed that I didn’t watch a single of the World Baseball Classic because I really enjoyed the premiere edition of that international competition back in 2006. I guess there are many things that kept me away from making dates with MLB TV on my computer. But not any more. I expect that my teams will be in the playoffs this fall and I will watch how they get there over the next months.
Here are my 2009 season predictions or as they should be more properly termed, wild guesses. One need only look at my 2008 predictions to see that my magic ball is broken. I only was correct for two of the division champions (although two other teams I picked made it in as wild card winners) and I confidently stated that the Detroit Tigers would be World Series Champions. If only.
|NL EAST||NL CENTRAL||NL WEST|
|New York||Chicago||Los Angeles|
|Philadelphia (WC)||Milwaukee||San Francisco|
|AL EAST||AL CENTRAL||AL WEST|
|Boston||Minnesota||Los Angeles of Anaheim|
|Tampa Bay (WC)||Cleveland||Oakland|
NL Division Series: Cubs defeat Phillies, Mets defeat Los Angeles
AL Division Series: Angels defeat Rays, Red Sox defeat Twins
NL Championship Series: Mets defeat Cubs
AL Championship Series: Angels defeat Red Sox
World Series: Mets defeat Angels
The recent hullabaloo over CitiGroup’s 20-year contract to name the New York Mets new ballpark has reminded me of some ideas regarding stadium naming rights. Corporate naming of venues is a trend already unpopular with sports’ fans but not really all that new. After all, the oldest surviving ballpark in baseball was named to promote the owner’s Fenway Realty Company. So I’ve put together a list of guidelines for stadium naming rights that may help future sports franchise, building management, and potential sponsors.
- First, if the company owns the team and/or stadium, then naming is a no-brainer. It may even pay off in the long run as fans in Chicago would be aghast if Wrigley Field ever changed names while in St. Louis, the Busch name transferred over to a new ballpark even though the chewing gum and beer companies are no longer tied to these franchises.
- If the company doesn’t actually own the team, they should at least be a major employer with a long history in the city or region where the stadium is built. Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts are good examples. Although if your company processes nuclear waste you may want to consider other options of advertisement.
- If a stadium has been known by a certain name for years, fans will still call it by that name regardless of your attempts to rebrand it. San Francisco’s Candlestick Park has been labeled numerous ghastly corporate names over the years but fans still call it Candlestick Park, and it is once again officially so. A better approach is portmanteau renaming like Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver or the classy callback of TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, although those names fail on other grounds. Specifically:
- Companies in the banking, telecommunications, and energy industries are right out. These industries are too unstable for the long-term naming that sporting venues deserve with their frequent mergers, failures, and often ridiculous renaming of these companies. I’d also rule out any company with .com in their name since they should know by now how to distinguish between what’s a proper name for a company and that company’s url.
So that’s my take a sensible approach for stadium naming rights. As for CitiField, despite what some congress members have to say, I do believe that despite the support of taxpayer money, CitiGroup has the right to spend their advertising dollars for as long as they remain a company. If the deal does fall through though, I think Gil Hodges Field has a nice ring to it.
Today, my son Peter & I took a tour of South Station, a continuing education for members of Boston By Foot (one of the reasons why you should become a member). I love railroad stations so it was fun to poke around and see old artifacts, granite pilings, and even the exclusive Acela waiting room.
Unfortunately, railway stations are crowded, noisy places so I didn’t learn much to report back. South Station is also difficult to photograph. There are so many people and iPod ads in the way. The highlight of the tour for me was a story from a BBF docent who remembers riding in his friend’s aunt’s private train to go to New York for Mets’ games (the aunt of course was Joan Payson). There’s a good history of the building online at the South Station website.
I thought about catching the commuter train to Forest Hills, but just missed it. Instead we walked along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and enjoyed the Greenway’s ignagural event. It strikes me that the Greenway makes an excellent location for a street fair, so I hope other events like this will be held in the future. Peter enjoyed boogieing in the grass to the Jewish-Cuban sounds of Odessa Havana. After that we went home for a nap.
Beloved Mets mascot Mr. Met signs autographs during a 1997 game at Shea Stadium.
Yesterday, the Mets lost to the Marlins and brought an end to their 2008 season as well as the William A. Shea Municipal Stadium. The Mets will begin the 2009 season in a retro-ballpark modeled on Ebbets Field, but Shea Stadium will always be home for me. People criticize Shea for being a “concrete donut” but I think it has a lot more charm than the truly awful multi-use stadiums that followed it in Cincinatti, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. I think it compares well to Dodgers Stadium, although Dodgers has the advantage of an open concourse so one can still watch the game while going to the concessions stands and it has a full seat of outfield bleachers. On the other hand, Shea Stadium has much better public transit connections and a decent park nearby to wander around before a game. The big shame about CitiField is that for all its retro-ness it will still be in the middle of a parking lot and not a true neighborhood ballpark.
A Polaroid photo from the September 20th, 1986 Mets game against the Phillies at Shea Stadium. I’d hoped the Mets would clinch the NL East division title at this game but they’d already done it several days earlier. The grass was still all patched up from Mets fans storming the field and tearing the turf in celebration.
Undoubtedly, Shea Stadium is the venue where I’ve attended the most sporting events in my lifetime. As a kid, I would go to Mets & Jets games with my family. The Jets games were especially interesting since we’d sit in the temporary wooden (splintery) bleachers in the end zones (roughly behind home plate and in front of the scoreboard in the baseball configuration). The seats by the scoreboard were particularly remote from things like restrooms and concessions. At one game I complained to my father of thirst and rather than go all the way to the concession stand and wait in a long line, he gave my some of his beer (which I didn’t like but it got me to shut up). I fell for the great Mets teams of the 1980′s there and returned in good years and lean in the 90′s and 2000′s. I have memories of going to games with my late father at Shea and more recent memories of attending games with my wife (and even my son in-utero!).
Banner Day 1987. That’s right! A scheduled double-header and if you were artistically talented enough you could parade around the field with a bed sheet between games. And all for six bucks!
Here are a dozen memorable games from my Shea history.
- June 14, 1980: Giants 6, Mets 7 — This is the earliest game I can remember at Shea (and how could anyone forget it) but I probably went to some Mets & Jets games in the late 70′s too. We’d just returned from a vacation in California and my sister was wearing a San Francisco t-shirt, so we gave her a hard time but an older woman told us we were nice kids for wearing our Mets hats. The game ended on a walk-off 3-run homer by Steve Henderson. I kid you not when I say I’ve never been to a sporting event where the fans went completely insane in joyous celebration. No wonder I became a Mets fan.
- October 5, 1980: Patriots 21, Jets 11 — I don’t remember the game so much but afterwards my father (or was it my uncle?) knew some people having a tailgate in the parking lot. Some of the players actually came to the tailgate and I got to meet the Jets strong saftety Ken Schroy. I think it is not a coincidence that after meeting me, Schroy went on to lead the team with a career-high 8 interceptions.
- December 14, 1980: Saints 21, Jets 20 — The New Orleans Saints started the 1980 season with a 0-14 record and were poised to become the first NFL team without a win. The Jets prevented that with a loss of their own on an icey day where the winds swirled around Shea. After the game, several hundred drunken fans stormed the field and wrestled with one another in the snow.
- November 22, 1981: Dolphins 15, Jets 16 — A much better Jets memory as the team was able to rally in the fourth quarter and score a win against the hated Dolphins. This helped the Jets gain a spot in the playoffs, the first time any team I liked would participate in postseason play in my lifetime.
- Some game in 1985, could be August 24, 1985: Padres 1, Mets 5 — Mets fans remember Ray Knight as the hero and MVP of the 1986 World Series, but in 1985 Mets fans loved the light-hitting Knight as much as they love Luis Castillo today. I was fortunate to go to a game where Knight had multiple hits, drove in the majority of the runs, and topped it off with a great defensive gem. Unfortunately, I don’t remember when the game was or who the Mets played but it may be this game against the Padres.
Mets legend Mookie Wilson throws batting practice before a game against the Phillies on September 8, 1997, my first game at Shea after a decade away.
- June 8, 1998: Devil Rays 0, Mets 3 — Prior to the game a man introduced himself to me as a Japanese sports reporter and asked “Preach to me the Mets pitching rotation?” The Mets had just acquired Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo and I figure he wanted to know the rest of the Mets starters. I listed them off and he repeated them. It took a lot of self-control to not laugh when I said “Rick Reed” and he repeated “Lick Leed?” Lick, er, Rick pitched a great game that night going 6 2/3 innings until Wade Boggs hit a double to become Tampa Bay’s first baserunner of the night. As an added bonus, the Mets new catcher Mike Piazza hit his first home run at Shea as a Met.
- August 21, 1998: Cardinals 0, Mets 1 — This was the summer of Mark McGwire chasing, and finally surpassing, Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in a season. In the second game of a double-header, however, Armando Reynoso was the star striking out the mighty McGwire three times.
An Irish step-dancer takes the mound where Seaver and Gooden once pitched on Irish night in 1997.
- Aug. 12, 2000: Giants 2, Mets 3 — Irish Night at Shea, and one of my all-time favorite Mets made a big blunder. Benny Agbayani lost count of the number of outs and threw the ball to a fan after only the second out. Somehow, he actually got the ball back from the fan and threw it back into the infield to keep the runners from circling the bases. Following the game, the band Black 47 played a raucous set.
- October 15, 2000: Cardinals 6, Mets 10 — The first and only playoff game I’ve ever attend and also Susan’s first game at Shea. We sat in the notorious back rows of the Mezzanine where the Upper Level cuts off the view of the field creating a letterbox effect. At every exciting play (and there were many) those of us in the back row jumped up to cheer and then ducked down again so we could see the action.
The Mets and Braves line up for introductions on Opening Day in 2001.
- April 9, 2001: Braves 4, Mets 9 — This was the only time I ever attended a home opener, which was a special one since Mr. Met and Ralph Kiner raised the 2000 National League pennant flag prior to the game. Tsuyoshi Shinjo tried to make up for the Mets not signing Alex Rodriguez with his first home run in the US, and Mike Piazza added two more homers.
- August 9, 2001: Brewers 3, Mets 4 — The now defunct MetsOnline.net Fan Forum got together for a game in the picnic area, the small set of bleachers in left field. It was a weekday afternoon game and it was something like 102°, most definitely the hottest game I’ve ever attended. It was fun to meet fellow Mets fans some of whom are still good friends of mine. I made a double-header of the day and saw the Brooklyn Cyclones play that night in Coney Island. On a sad note, this would be the last day I’d see the World Trade Center with my own eyes.
- April 21, 2007: Braves 2, Mets 7 — My Brave fan friend Mike and I made a tradition of going to see the Mets and Braves play at Shea once a season every year from 2005-2007. This game was the only one of the three in which Tom Glavine did not hand his former team the game on a silver platter. Instead Oliver Perez dominated the Braves and Mets scored most of their runs while I went to get ice cream for my pregnant wife. You can read more about this game in a previous blog post.
I attended my last game at Shea on September 14, 2008 versus the Braves. It started out well with two David Wright homeruns and nice pitching by Perez, but ended the way far too many 2008 Mets games ended: a blown save of the ridiculous variety! My pictures from that final game capture a few of the great landmarks of Shea.
- The Top 25 Shea Stadium Moments (WFAN)
- Shea Stadium leaves a mark as ‘ballpark for the rest of us’ (Christian Science Monitor)
- A Goodbye to Shea Stadium from the Cockpit (New York Times)
Previously: If the Mets Were the Yankees