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.
On February 3, 2009 Benjamin Swagerty
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