I got an e-mail from a Loge13 reader in Canada. Andrew has planned a trip to see both Yankee and Shea Stadiums before they both meet their makers. Then he asked me an obvious question that briefly stumped me:
How do I get the best Shea Stadium experience? I'm trying to soak in
all I can regarding Shea: '69, the Beatles, '86, etc., but I'm calling
on your well-earned expertise here to grant me more than the tourists'
view. What's the best thing to eat at Shea? What unique part of the
park must I see?
I have been going to Shea Stadium for decades and writing of its cultural significance for what only seems like decades. But if someone is going to Shea only once in the next 49 days, what should they do? Here is what I came up with but I know there's much more to add (Loge13 loyalists, please chime in):
- Get to Shea early. A good 90 minutes to 2 hours before first pitch.
If you're lucky, there will be batting practice. Even if they don't
have BP, some guys will be working out and oblige an autograph. And
don't let the ushers keep you from going down to Field Level before the
game if you don't have Field Level tickets. Try another gate or tell
them you're from out of town and here to pay your Shea respects. They
will let you down eventually.
- Bring a ball and a ballpoint pen to get signed. They are easier to throw to the player.
If you can't get down to the field, head over to the Mets bullpen from
the Loge section. The players and coaches often interact with the early
fans there and may throw you a ball or two.
- Walk up to the Upper Deck. Go to the last section in left field
and walk up to the last row. Now look down to the field. You will enjoy
one of the most amazing views in baseball. If you are afraid of
heights, it will also be one of the most terrifying experiences.
turn around and look at the view of Manhattan from there. Stunning.
- While you are up there, check out the Tommie Agee tribute in
Section 48. The painted #20 marks the spot where Agee hit a home run on
4/20 1969. Standing there, it is hard to believe any human could hit a
ball that high or far.
- During the game, buy a sausage with the works. It's worth doing
once. Honestly if I ate one every game, they'd be tearing me down this
year as well.
- Find Mr. Met. Get your picture with him.
- Find Cowbell man. Don't get your picture with him.
- Take a visit to Loge level, section 13. It is a glorious view. If
you are there on a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, let me know. I might
be there too.
Anyone care to share their tricks on getting into the Diamond Club?