Mets, Fans Bid Adieu To Shea Stadium Following Elimination
|Mets Play Final Game At Shea Stadium |
After Failing To Make MLB's Postseason
TOUGH TO SAY GOODBYE: In N.Y., George Vecsey writes of the postgame farewell, "Nobody's heart was in it, not after the end of this season, in heartbreaking Metsian fashion." Nobody "has ever called Shea Stadium a cathedral," as "in style, it was more like the old warehouse or outdated movie theater that Korean worshipers have transformed into a church in the borough of Queens" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/29). NBC’s Matt Lauer said, “They lose the game, they’re out of the playoffs and then they gear up for this celebration at Shea Stadium. That’s tough” (“Today,” NBC, 9/29). In N.Y., Lenkowitz, Fenner & Goldsmith report "about half the fans stayed fora heartfelt tribute to the team's all-time greats." Mets fan Mike Drobnis: "This is one of the biggest celebrations at Shea and all the fans are leaving." N.Y. city police said that they "made 10 arrests -- nine for petit larceny" (N.Y. POST, 9/29). On Long Island, Arthur Staple writes, "Strange days, indeed. How else to report a cheerful goodbye ceremony just an hour after the Mets' 2008 season ended with such a thud?" The 50-minute ceremony ended with Baseball HOFer Tom Seaver throwing the final ceremonial pitch to former MLBer Mike Piazza. In total, "45 former Mets celebrated on the field," and the "biggest ovation may have been" for Gooden. But a few "big names were absent," including MLB Rangers President and Baseball HOFer Nolan Ryan. Mets fans "were especially upset when the Marlins celebrated the win on the field," as they started chanting, "Off our field!" Mr. Met, "who had the privilege of taking down the last 'games remaining' sign, got booed pretty loudly." Mets Owner Fred Wilpon before the game said, "I've got a lot of memories about this place, but I think it's time for it to go" (NEWSDAY, 9/29).
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: On Long Island, Neil Best reported there are "options for those inclined to take pieces of Shea Stadium home when the Mets no longer have use for the place." New Jersey-based MeiGray Group is handling sales of Shea Stadium memorabilia. The city of N.Y. and the Mets "are expected to share the proceeds 70-30, with the team's portion bound for the Mets Foundation." The Mets are "handling sales of seats -- at $869 per pair -- themselves," and while the blue and orange seats are sold out, the "greens and reds are not." Items that have not been sold by October 6 "will be sold on the Internet via auction or fixed-price sale" (NEWSDAY, 9/28).
REMEMBER WHEN: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wrote Shea Stadium, which opened in '64, "was never a beautiful place," but Mets Exec VP/Business Operations Dave Howard said, "The emotional connection to Shea surpasses the deficiencies of its design." Architecture critic John Pastier said, "Shea was modern when it opened." Dodger Stadium, which opened just two years later, "has endured far better, but the critical difference is that [former Dodgers Owner] Walter O'Malley built it solely for baseball." Sandomir noted Shea's design "might have been more memorable if not for compromises made by the city." Praeger-Kavanagh-Waterbury Project Engineer Robert Schoenfeld, whose company designed Shea, said, "The city said, 'Design and build it for $15[M] and make it convertible for two sports.'" Former Mets VP Bob Mandt said, "To convince someone that Shea looked like the eighth wonder of the world in 1964 is tough to do now. But it did look fabulous" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/28).
Mets' Citi Field Nearing 85% Completion
THORNY GARDEN: N.Y. TIMES architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote even the "most majestic cities are pockmarked with horrors," and N.Y. should "refocus our energies on knocking down the structures that not only fail to bring us joy, but actually bring us down," including MSG and Pennsylvania Station. Ouroussoff: "Demolish the Garden. As arenas go, it is cramped and decrepit. And with it gone we could begin to imagine what a contemporary version of the old Penn Station might look like, with light and airy spaces and cavernous entry halls" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/28).