Take Me Out

Took the boys to see the Mets at Shea Stadium on Tuesday night. Ben’s third grade teacher, Mr. Wallick (a rabid Mets fan), set this up as an optional class trip during the last week of school. I hadn’t been to Shea for about 20 years – since I lived in Sunnyside Gardens, Queens as a teenager. That was when the Mets were both exciting and good. The Mets of Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, and Dwight Gooden. Sure, half the team ended up on drugs and/or in jail. But there was some great baseball at Shea in the late 1980’s.

I was glad Ben and Zack got to catch a game at Shea before it’s razed at the end of the season. The hulking Citi Field rises like the Phoenix out of the ashes of a parking lot beyond center field. And while some will be sad to see Shea go – previous home of the Jets as well as the Mets and host to the Beatles and The Who – it’s one of the ugliest stadiums I’ve ever been to. When you sit in the nose bleed section, as we did the other night, you’re closer to the airplanes landing at LaGuardia than the action on the field. I’m still suffering from the lack of oxygen. Mix the thin air with an $8 beer and even the very flat Mets seem exciting. Actually we were seated in the “Family Section” (no alcohol allowed) so I didn’t even have this to help me through.

The Mets lost 11-0 to the hapless Seattle Mariners. Both teams had fired their respective managers the week before. The highlight of the night was watching both Jerry Manual and Carlos Beltran get tossed by the home plate ump for arguing balls and strikes. But still, it was a beautiful night, the boys can cross Shea Stadium off the list of ballparks they’ve been to, and I got to relive my high school days sitting in the cheap seats. It almost made up for the pain of trying to get everybody up for school the next day.


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