Closing The Book

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One Last Icy look

There are places in your life that become more than just physical structures, but rather standing monuments that mark different periods of your life.  In Flushing Meadow, what’s now torn metal and dirt was once a monument all of us shared.  With each change in its look, came a new chapter in our lives.

Now THIS is a collapse

Today I found myself standing in 4 inches of mud, capturing some of the last images of what used to be our summer playground.  It was never aesthetically beautiful, but what lay between the bleachers was deeper than physical appeal, it was 35,000 hearts all pulling for the same thing.  It was pride in ourselves, reflected through blue and orange pinstripe uniforms.  It was the pride we have in being New Yorkers projecting across a diamond.

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Say what you will about Shea Stadium, but it held all of us for years and years.  It deserved a better send off than being unceremoniously pulled apart by hard hats in the dead of winter, but it is what it is.  I wasn’t alone; there were ladies with pocket cameras, old men in Mets caps staring at the rubble, cars stopping and plenty of people coming to pay their respects to whatever period of their life Shea represents. 

I'm not a great speller, but I KNOW this is wrong

 For me Shea is standing in the visitor’s bullpen tunnel with my little brother in 82’, not wanting Nolan Ryan’s autograph because he wasn’t a Met (I hadn’t learned about Jim Fregosi yet).  It was pulling my dad back into the stadium during game six with one out because this time I would NOT let him beat the traffic. It was standing with my dad over the Red Sox bullpen, yelling at Bob Stanley.  It was the utter ecstasy of the wild pitch. It was finally giving in and leaving early, only to find that between the seats and the car, Mike Soccica had hit a home run that ended the 80’s.     It was cutting school and giving the box seat ushers $20 to let me in.  It was my youth and I could fill a stadium with these stories a million times over.  I’m sure you could too.

The scoreboard… what’s left

New memories will be obviously made, but every so often, when I take a loan out to watch a game at CitiField… I’m going to close my eyes and pretend I’m in the parking lot…. where my memories are.

They tell me it’ll be down by next Friday… bring some snow boots and go relive your youth one more time.  I don’t encourage everyone to risk their body and snake around the inner workings of a live job site, but park near it… look at the small untouched pieces and wait for game time… if just for a minute.

This used to be my playground

I knew the front office was a little hollow, but this is ridiculous
I knew the front office was a little hollow, but this is ridiculous

Posted By Nik Kolidas


5 responses to “Closing The Book

  1. A life time spent there from the first at age 7 with the family in the upper deck. My mother was sure we would fall . I never sat upper deck again.

    To the last, I walked quickly to the exit, filled with disappointment. Never looked back.

    In between 41 years of love and a million memories.

    Never did see a great game, saw a lot of good ones, a lot of stinkers. Never mattered.

    123-01 Roosevelt, forever, Shea Stadium.

  2. I’m from Chicago and stopped by several years ago to see a Cubs game @ Shea. The place has to have alot of great memories for you to miss it, because from my point of view, it was a hole… I understand the whole “I’m from New York thing” and all the pride you guys have in all things New York. But as an outsider, it wasn’t one of your better buildings. Surely you guys have better places to be proud of, right? Of course, most New Yorkers don’t realize how beautiful the rest of the country is so it’s hard to blame them for overrating themselves.

  3. “Surely you guys have better places to be proud of, right?”

    It was never pride in the building itself; it was pride in the passion and knowledge we brought to that ballpark. It was not just the Mets office, but it was our baseball office and where we as fans did out “business”.

    Certain ballparks are legendary for reasons other than esthetics. I’ve been to Fenway and you feel the history when you walk in… but it’s way down on the list of beautiful buildings.

    Being a fan of Wrigley, you of all people should know how a fan base can grow an attachment to an old building.

    “Of course, most New Yorkers don’t realize how beautiful the rest of the country is so it’s hard to blame them for overrating themselves.” We’re not underrating anyone else, we’re just proud of what we bring to the table. It’s not an “I’m better than you” critisim, but rather an appricateion for the type of uniquness this area can bring.

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