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Farewell to Shea Stadium!
February 02, 2009

In the Friday paper, the New York Times has run a story about a Farewell to Shea celebration on Saturday.

This is bitter-sweet for me, as I spent many an afternoon and night at the Stadium, in the company of my parents, brother, and friends.

It was were I started collecting autographs - usually on batting practice balls retrieved from the far right field seats; or on game day programs when I was able to get a rookie year Nolan Ryan, or at the end of career for Willie Mays.

For my parents it was an inexpensive treat for their two sons, accessible easily by subway from our Astoria apartment. In the late 60s and 70s, Shea was also safer than Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

I was not a fanatic, but I did get to go to several season opening days when the stands were full, and in the 1991-1993 seasons, had a weeknight Tuesday-Thursday subscription, which in late September, often saw less than 7000 in the stands, and the club would close the top two levels early in the game to save from operating all the concessions and cleaning more of the place.

For one season they issued Mets Money in denominations of 1-5-10 dollars, and when there was an play area under the big scoreboard, there was an aluminum token for events. Those are about the only numismatic items I can associate with the stadium.

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Recent Comments
On February 3, 2009 Benjamin Swagerty said
George, I have fond memories of this stadium as well.  I was able to watch a Mets game there several years ago.  I have been able to watch professional baseball games in three different stadiums, and I look forward to being able to add to my "collection" of visited stadiums.  I arrived by subway as well...scared me to death!

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About the Author
George Cuhaj has been with the Krause Publications numismatic team since 1994. He is editor of the various editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins and the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. Prior to joining KP, Cuhaj was employed by the American Numismatic Society and Stack's Rare Coins, both of New York City. He is a Fellow in both the Royal Numismatic Society and the American Numismatic Society. He also is a life member and past board member of the International Bank Note Society. Cuhaj was elected an Allied Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society and has had his medallic work exhibited internationally.

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