— Days Without Shea —

LogeSignI told you earler about WNBC’s must-see Shea Stadium documentary, Saturday night, 7:30.

There was one memory I wish I had shared on-camera about my favorite Shea Stadium moment. That would be the first time I saw Loge13.

In the early 1980’s, my friend Dan and I were in the early days of high school. We were also deep into our Mets addiction. Every home game, we would take the bus or train over to Shea and get General Admission seast for $3. We’d sit behind home plate, near Fuzzy (the world’s biggest Mets fan) and enjoy.

By 1984, we were no longer alone in the upper deck. The Mets were getting good and we didn’t want to get shut out of post-season tickets, should the boys make it to October. We read about these partial season plans that guaranteed playoff tickets. My parents saw our interest and agreed to buy two seats in their name and let us pay them.

So in November of 1984, my Mom drove Dan and me to Shea. The ticket rep showed us aroudn the empty stadium (I think there was even snow on the field). We looked over on the third-base side of Loge, where there were seats closer to home plate. But we all decided the place to be was near Keith Hernandez. That brought us to Loge13.

I remember sitting in the empty Shea with Dan, my Mom and the ticket person. We didn’t speak, just stared out onto the field. It may sound bizarre but it was similar to watching a sleeping child. We just silently knew that we were staring into the promise of many years of great memories and adventures.

And we were right. We sat there through great pennant runs. We cried on Bob Murphy night. We cried every time Anthony Young lost another game or Doug Sisk entered a game. We made tons of new friends, including Ron Hunt to my left and the Bayside boys in front. We watched our kids grow up. We watched friends die (including ticket plan holders).

And most important, I spent decades going to some great games with my parents. I probably know more about them than I would have because we had so much time together, watching games go by. It helped that the Mets stunk for most of the 90’s so there was lots of dead air to fill. I never would have known that my dad wanted to be a radio announcer growing up or many great stories about his life growing up on Riker’s Island (long story) if it wasn’t for Shea Stadium and Loge13.

All that was in the promise of those seats that November day. Good memory. Enough of that. Opening Day is coming. Watch the show Saturday. Enjoy the bonus clip.

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