Friday, July 25, 2008

Deathtour~!: Shea Stadium, New York

As I was on my way back to Manhattan, a thought occurred. “Hey, it’s 3 hours before the Mets game tonight. Why not try for the New York doubleheader instead of waiting for tomorrow’s afternoon game.”

So after dropping my Yankees program in my room I headed back out for Queens and Shea Stadium, also in its final season. Flushing is also the grounds of the US Open but I decide against checking it out as I haven’t purchased a ticket to the baseball game yet. To my surprise I was able to get a ticket in the upper deck section behind home plate, which means there must be more tickets available than I thought there would be for a Mets and Phillies game.

Before walking into Shea I take a look at CitiField, the Mets new ballpark next season. It’s miles more impressive looking than their cross town rivals new digs. I love the brick finish and the arches remind me a bit of Ebbets Field. Now if only we could build a replica of the Polo Grounds.

Shea looks much like Dodger Stadium and early Candlestick, which were all built in the same era. It’s one of the few 4 level stadiums in baseball and circular design of the lower level seating were designed to swivel based on what was being played, baseball or football. Since 1983, when the Jets moved to Giants Stadium, the Mets have been the sole tenants of Shea.

Since I have a seat behind home plate I decided to sit in the very last row. You can’t sit any further or higher than where I’m sitting.

The atmosphere at this game is electric. Philadelphia is only an hour and a half by train and there a tons of Phillie fans at the game. I saw a few Phillie fans at Yankee Stadium and a couple of Twins hats here so I must not be the only one who thought to watch two games today.

When the lineups were announced Mets fans booed through the entire Phillies lineup while the Philadelphia fans booed through the entire Mets lineup. Each group of fans is attempting to out do the other.

After the Phillies went down in order in the first Bret Myers conceded 4 consecutive walks and a fielder’s choice to bring in 2 runs for the Mets without giving up a hit. A kid in front of me, who’s sitting with a friend that’s a Phillies fan, is doing a brilliant job of heckling Myers. His friend doesn’t look too happy.

The Phillies come back in the second with back to back home runs and now it’s the Phillies fans turn to heckle the Mets fans. There’s dueling chants going on right now.

Myers walks a 5th batter and hits the next one. Still no hits.

And just as I say that the Mets get their first hit. After 3 innings the Mets have 3 runs on 2 hits.

I’m getting cold up here. It looks like it might rain. According to the score board they’re in a rain delay in Baltimore so there’s a system coming through the northeast.

Jose Reyes breaks a tie in the sixth with a three run home run and the big apple comes up. Myers was taken out after five innings due to pitch count. He had settled down after the third. A ‘Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose’ chant to the tune of ‘Ole, ole, ole, ole’ breaks out. That’s cool.

Billy Wagner comes out in the ninth to save the game. Mets win and the New York teams sweep the day night double header. From here I have to ride the wave of fans taking the train back to the city. It’s still rockin’ as Mets and Phillies fans are still going at it with the chants. And right on cue it starts pouring rain.

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