— Days Without Shea —

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.

- Then 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?

Shea Stadium on August 6, 2008

[August 12, 2008 10:00 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ilan - Telluride, CO said

Hey Kingman,
I'll be making my trip to see good old shea for the last time next week. I'll be at all the Braves and Astros games and will swing by loge 13 Wed or Thurs to say hi.

[August 13, 2008 3:02 PM]  |  link  |  reply
G-Fafif said

Faith and Fear readers offer their advice to Andrew here.

[August 13, 2008 9:06 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Andrew said

I gotta say, Mets fans are proving themselves a damn friendly bunch.

Thanks a ton.

- Andrew from Canada

[August 14, 2008 10:11 AM]  |  link  |  reply
AJP said

It's fun take pictures of the General Manager's office. Go to the field level behind Home Plate. Walk towards first base . On the right past some food stands is a mirrored window. If you look thru or over the mirrored part of the last window, you will looking directly behind Omar Minaya's desk.

[August 14, 2008 10:13 AM]  |  link  |  reply
AJP said

Getting into the Grill Room is easy. There is a unmarked and unguarded back entryway. Go to the Mezzanine and descend the Gate C ramp one level. Once on Press/Club level you will see a door which is always open. Walk past a kitchen entry and then make a right before the men's room. You will now be in the Grill Room. You can scoot up to the bar or seat yourself in the resturant. Be advised if restuarant is crowded or the staff is in a bad mood you may not be served.

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