Not only is there no Shea Stadium without Bill Shea, there is no New York Mets without the man.
No New York revival in the 1960’s after the stunning departure of National League baseball from the city.
There would also probably not be a New York Jets, New Jersey Nets or New York Islanders (debate amongst yourselves how their individual and collective absences could effect 20th century western culture).
William A. Shea was born June 21, 1907. We have written a few posts about Bill Shea before so if you want the history, go here.
If you want to read about how Bill Shea took on the nuns of Queens, go here.
For Shea’s centennial, we quote from Jimmy Breslin’s “Can’t anybody here play this game.”
In any analysis of the Mets and how they came about, you must always start with one man, an attorney named William A. Shea, who has offices on East 42nd Street.
Shea has dark hair, blue eyes and the square jaw of a guy who would know how to punch back. Which he certainly does. He was an end and a basketball player at Georgetown in the late 1920’s and today  at 6 feet and 195 pounds, he is still in shape.
He is all big business. But Shea is anything but one of those stuff, pipe-smoking corporation attorneys. This is a guy who knows. He is married to the former Maynora Saw, whose father, Tom Shaw, was the biggest bookmaker in the New York racetracks back in the twenties. Bookmaking was legal then. Shea himself operated a minor-league football team for a couple of years in the forties and was associated with Ted Collins in a National Football League in Boston.
Shea is one of those people you find, but not too often, who is willing to do something for his own and knows how to do it. His own in this case is people who live and work in New York. It is Shea’s town, and nobody fits into the town better than he does.