Thursday, August 28, 2008

So Long. Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen. (and again)

August 7 - my last visit to Shea Stadium. Only Met fans like Shea Stadium and even some of them are down on it. I like it. It's not an exciting work of architecture or full of historical resonance, but just as someone can be fond of the cookie cutter suburban home where they grew up I'm fond of Shea Stadium. It needs a refurbishment it's never going to get, but still I love being there.

I can still recall how excited I was when I walked through the gates as a young boy. I can recall how giddy I was when I was able to make my own way there when I returned to NYC as a college student - only 1'45" each way on the subway and $6 to sit in the upper deck! Even after I moved to Ireland I always tried to get there once on each visit to NY. All of my children have been to Shea numerous times.

I knew when I bought the tickets months ago that August 7th would be my last game at Shea. The new ball park is rising in Shea's parking lot and Shea will be the parking lot come next April. August 7th was always going to be a special day. And the Mets won in dramatic fashion, which made it even more special. Only the second time I ever saw a game end on a game-winning home-run. The first was April 9, 1985, a game Met fans still remember.

Great day, August 7. It was hard to leave. Looking around as the happy crowd filed out memories just flooded my head. Memories of being there with my father, mother, brothers, friends from college, my wife and children and also, memories of being there on my own. I thought about the two Jet games I saw there thanks to parish bus trips. And all the games at Shea that I watched on t.v.

Only I couldn't leave it there and went back to NY for one last final game on August 19. Again the Mets won in fairly dramatic fashion. Two great games, two great days, more great memories.