She was one of the original multi-purpose doughnut stadiums.
The #7 train ran right past Shea Stadium.
The stadium for the US Tennis Open at Forest Hills was right across the street.
Interesting thing about the foul poles: they’re orange. The only place in MLB where you see that. I didn’t know this until 2016 when one of the groomsmen at my daughter Kara’s wedding, a Queens guy, told me that the reason the Mets use the colors orange and blue is a tribute to the two MLB teams who left New York in 1958. The orange is for the Giants, the blue is for the Dodgers.
When a Met hits a home run the Big Apple in center field slides up into place. This one was for a Carlos Delgato dinger in the 2nd inning off Carlos Silva. Carlos off Carlos.
Caitlin and I went to Shea the night after her first work day in NYC.
First game: August 30, 2000. I was in New Jersey for a consulting visit at WMGQ/Magic 98.3 in New Bunswick. Basically to do a “seagull report.” That’s where you fly in, eat something, shit all over everybody and fly out. No one at the station invited me to dinner, so I decided to take in a Mets game. Drove through the Lincoln Tunnel…always a frustratingly slow crawl…parked at the Port Authority garage (site of a failed bombing attempt in 2017) and took the #7 train to Shea Stadium. This is the same train where Braves pitcher John Rocker complained about the diversity of riders. It is very diverse, as is NYC everywhere, but Rocker got in trouble for needlessly complaining about it. The ride was just fine. Shea was less so.
I had an excellent box seat looking down the first base line that I bought on the internet. First time I had done that. It was a solo spot designed for a wheelchair.This was stop #12 on my World Ballpark Tour. Astros at Mets. Shea was pretty basic, and each section was separated by chain link fences so you couldn’t walk all the way around. Crappy concessions stands. Planes flew low and noisy overhead on a regular basis. The New York Jets originally played at Shea and it was easy to see why they picked the name Jets.
Future horrible Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo played 2b for Houston. Hall-of-Famer Jeff Bagwell, whom the Sox stupidly traded for Larry Andersen in 1988, played 1st. The Mets won 1-0 on a Benny Agbanayi passed-ball steal of home. Agbayani later played for Boston in 2002 and wore #50, as he did with the Mets, because he’s from Hawaii. At the 7th inning stretch they played “Cella Luna.” Quick game. It only ran 2:25. Shea was not great, but better than I expected given that it typically ranked as one of the worst Major League Ballparks. I have never actually had a bad time at a ballpark.
Second game: June 18, 2007. Twins v. Mets in Interleague play. It was Caitlin’s first day working in NYC after graduating from Providence College. We drove to She and parked for$14. $3 cheaper than at Yankee Stadium and less than a third of what it costs ($45) to park at a private lot a few blocks away from Fenway. Citi Field, the new Mets ballpark, was under construction in the parking lot next to center field.
New York won easily, 8-1, shutting out the Twins until the 8th. This was also a quickie, running only 2:38. I drove Caitlin to her apartment and then hauled-butt to JFK for the flight home, which I made with no problem.