I attended my first professional sports event at Shea Stadium. It was a baseball game of course, and it was the NY Mets of course. In those sixties days, there were nearly no Yankees fans in Brooklyn. All of us, children of fathers who had followed the Brooklyn Dodgers, automatically had allegiance to New York’s new National League team, the one that replaced the NL team that Walter O’Malley ( may he burn in hell ) transferred to California on day in 1958.
We still had black and white TV in our house, so I was somehow astonished at the fact that Shea Stadium was multicolored. The greenness of the grass was astonishing to me. I guess I expected it to be grey, as it was on TV. Shea Stadium was just the most beautiful place I’d ever seen.
Over the years, I’ve seen probably 200 games at Shea Stadium, maybe more. With family and friends, and at a couple of times solo, I’ve seen the Mets field good teams and bad times. I even saw the Rolling Stones play there once – a tremendous show. All the fun ended earlier this week. A five month demolition was completed, and Shea Stadium is no more.
The Mets will be playing in a new stadium next year, named Madoff Field or Citibank Bankruptcy Stadium or something. It will be filled with luxury boxes and $10 cups of coffee and there will be armed guards and foaming dobermans to keep the ordinary people out.
But one, there was a Shea Stadium and it was full of life. A lot of great things happened there.
Above, a scene from the Beatles’ earthshaking concert at Shea Stadium in 1965.