— Days Without Shea —

Sheainterior_062807Full disclosure: we lament the passing of Shea, but most of our angst is based on an emotional attachment to a touchstone of our collective youth, mixed with anger that for us partial season-ticket holders, we are getting the shaft in Citi Field.

Polluted with that hostility and sorrow, it’s a challenge to work through the issue and envision a solution.

That’s why it’s good to have friends like the folks over at Faith and Fear in Flushing. They have come up with an idea that just might work:

Build Citi Field. But don’t tear down Shea. Keep both stadiums.

Do yourself a favor and read this post. You will become a believer.

Why not two stadiums? As Greg points out, The Mets will be hosting an All-Star game in a few years. How great would it be to have a stadium for the home run derby and one for the game?

Parking? Who cares! I can hardly park at Shea now and it’s not too bad. If the city is tearing down the Iron Triangle anyway, just put more parking there.

The most novel part of the idea: it’s not new. Cleveland had two stadiums for years. But Greg invokes an even better precedence:

How about a better, closer-to-home — physically and spiritually speaking — example? How about those Boys of Summer certain modern-day owners obsess over enough to build them a permanent shrine? Yes, the Brooklyn Dodgers of Fred Wilpon's youth did not play all their games at sainted Ebbets Field even when Ebbets Field was their home. In 1956 and 1957, Dem Bums played one game per N.L. opponent, seven a year, at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. It was essentially a scheme by Walter O'Malley designed to get New York's attention and show hey, you wanna see us play more games west of the Hudson? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Roosevelt Stadium was part of a shakedown which, depending on your view, either didn't work for O'Malley (because the Dodgers wound up in Los Angeles) or worked like a charm for O'Malley (because the Dodgers wound up in Los Angeles). Either way, it was one team with two stadiums. And we already know, because we're reminded constantly, that the Brooklyn Dodgers were the balls in this town.

CitiShea isn't nearly as nefarious as EbbetsVelt. It's got all the Dodger dust with none of the posturing. The Mets aren't leaving town. If anything, they'd be putting down the most solid roots you can imagine in Flushing Meadows. They'd have two homes on the same block. Now that's big love.

And there is no end to the events that could be held at Shea post-2008. In June, we wrote about how the Mets did not live up to their obligation to let local school groups play the PSAL baseball championships at Shea, diverting the kids to KeySpan Park instead. That problem is solved. Heck, move the Triple AAA team up here from New Orleans.

I’m telling you, this could work. Thanks Greg. Do not let the CitiShea idea die.

[July 11, 2007 10:01 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Dan said

I've been looking for an e-mail address to contact you on here, but I can't find one, so I figured I'd leave a comment.

Because of the theme of this site, I thought you'd be interested to know I've been taking pictures documenting the Citi Field progress every week or two. My pictures are up at http://community.webshots.com/user/citi_field/

I'll post another batch of pictures after I get back from Shea on Saturday.

[July 11, 2007 11:02 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Anonymous said

It's an intriguing suggestion that probably won't come to anything. For one thing, maintaining Shea would be expensive - it's got 43-year-old bones, after all. And then, there is that issue of the parking spaces. But I hope that they do something to keep the memories alive. Putting home plate under plexiglass would be a cool idea - imagine parking right on top of home plate! They could keep an outline of the diamond, the pitcher's mound, the dugouts, etc. on the surface of the parking lot, so you could walk through a piece of baseball history. Shea must not be forgotten!

[July 12, 2007 9:02 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Kingman said

Cool photos, Dan. You can reach me at kingmanATblogsbyfans.com. I might put the link in a post so more folks see them.

And anonymous, I've got 30-plus year old bones and they don't require too much maintenance. Just some proper care and feeding. It's not like the city is putting much money into Shea lately dollar-wise. I like the plexiglass idea. But as Greg at Faith&Fear wrote, it'll be sorta sad to park over the oultine of old Shea.

[July 12, 2007 10:37 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Couple of things;

- The parking lot thing exists at the new Comiskey, it's kinds cool.

- Keeping Shea is a knucklehead idea. There is no chance of this happening, you guys are wasting your time.

[July 12, 2007 10:50 AM]  |  link  |  reply
James Vazquez said

Kingman, cmon do you really believe this will ever happen? In this day and age where everyone is in it for the money?
Lets be honest here, we all have fond memories of Shea, the 69 Series, Buckners 86 bobble, the Pratt homer, but lets keep it real here, Shea is a DUMP and always has been! It has the charm of a pesty fly circling your head. Places like Fenway and Wrigley will remain,the are American icons, but I'm happy to see this place go, its a terrible ballpark and always has been, a space aged relic left over from the Robert Moses era. I could see Yankee fans being upset, their building even without all of the history and being somewhat of a dump itself still has the intimite charm that Shea never had.

Sure the days of innocence and cheap ticket prices is over when Citi Field arrives, but I will embrace it because its going to be a beautiful park the Mets have long needed.
I can't wait to see the big blue spaceship come down! It has memories, but lets build new ones next door.

[July 12, 2007 2:13 PM]  |  link  |  reply
kingman said

Dump is such an ugly word. I prefer aesthetically challenged. EXTREMELY aesthetically challenged.

The bigger issue is that less fans will have the chance to build new memories in the new stadium. Because less fans will have the opportunity to get into the new stadium. We hope the Mets will make a better effort to accommodate long-time partial season plan holders by transferring their allegiance to the new field. Otherwise, we're just getting dumped on, so to speak.

[July 12, 2007 3:54 PM]  |  link  |  reply
James Vazquez said

Ok, the politically correct word would be aesthetically challenged. :) VERY aesthetically challenged! lol

Now when you say less fans, maybe for the playoffs or interleague games against our cross town rivals will 45,000 seats matter, but when the Mets are playing for instance the Pittsburgh Pirates 5,000 empty seats looks a lot better then 15,00 empty seats. I don't see the seat issue being much of an issue other than the price, and even if they added 20,000 more seats in Citi your tickets are going up in price anyway in a new venue.

Yes I agree I hope the Mets can find a way to accomodate the long time fans. Although like anything nowadays you can just see the real fans getting priced out and dumped on. Good luck trying to get a field box near the price one paid at Shea.

Like I said before, Shea holds a lot of memories for many people including myself and in the perfect world it would be great to keep things as is. But I just don't see how it could ever be feasable to keep two stadiums up, and why take away from the aesthetic beauty that will be the eventual Citi field by having a falling apart and decrepid stadium next to it sitting there and doing nothing but rusting away? The city could spend its money so much better elsewhere improving schools and infrastructure, putting more cops on the street, hiring more city workers, as opposed to keeping a vacant stadium together because of its nostalgic value (which is none in my eyes). They have the perfect opportunity now to take an area of NY thats been an eyesore for decades and really turn it into something spectaculiar.

As far as the Iron Triangle controvesy goes, I'm torn.
While I would like nothing more then to see that disgusting scrap heap of an area go away, I'm very against our government taking away land from private ownership to be handed back off to private ownership. Thats not what public domain means and its un American.

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