— Days Without Shea —

Thanks to Loge13 pal John for pointing out this story today.

On the next Atlantis space shuttle mission, one of the astronauts is bringing with him a home plate from Shea Stadium. I'm not sure how we'll be able to play the remaining games at Shea without a home plate but that's another story.

Astronaut Michael J. Massimino grew up a Met fan and will also be honored at Shea Stadium tomorrow. If Massimino is a true Met fan, perhaps this is part of a larger plan to relocate Shea to outer space, one piece at a time. Don't laugh - these NASA guys are smart.

Of course, the other possibility is Massimino is a partial season ticket holder and is simply getting a preview of how he will watch games at Citi Field next year. A trip to the Hubble telescope may be cheaper than a full season plan anyway (when you throw in the parking).

Here is the full post from Newsday:

Michael J. Massimino is a Mets fan in a high place.

And soon to be even higher.

When he blasts off next month aboard NASA's space shuttle Atlantis, he'll be taking a piece of Mets history with him. An Oceanside native and lifelong Mets fan, Massimino will have a home plate from Shea Stadium. "One of the things we can do on space shuttle missions is take items from organizations that are meaningful to us," Massimino said.

A mission specialist, Massimino will venture outside Atlantis for a spacewalk to fix the Hubble Space Telescope.

Massimino's cherished memories include family visits to Shea. Next year, the Mets move to CitiField, not far from where Shea stands now. "I remember the first game I went to," said Massimino, 45, of Houston. "It was 1970, against the Pirates."

Massimino plans to be in the crowd at Shea Saturday, when the Mets face the Florida Marlins. The team will honor Massimino for his devotion, said Jay Horowitz, Mets spokesman.

The idea grew out of the Mets-Yankees rivalry. Another astronaut flew dirt from Yankee Stadium into space. Massimino called the Mets and said, "We can do better than that." A few weeks later, he received a package with Shea's home plate.

Massimino will also bring swag from his elementary school, John Street School, and Frank S. Carey High School, both in Franklin Square, and a shirt from Columbia University, where he was an undergrad.

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