I remember reading many years ago a story about an emperor or king in ancient Rome who built a statue that would last forever, but the only thing that survived was the base and the tribute to this king was faded. No one remembered him or heard of him.
The same can be said about Shea Stadium which finally (SADLY) has been taken down. All the brick and mortar (and hot dogs and beer and players and fans and seats and memories) is gone and the aforementioned is now on the tongues of the multitude of fans who had the privilege to view America's signature past time in a heralded venue.
(Click the link in the title for the Associated Press story).
In case you can't tell, I was a big fan of Shea. Saw my first game there (a rainout against the Pittsburgh Pirates). My neighbor, Mr. Geis, took my dad and I and his son along. He promised to make up the game. Never happened. He moved a few years later.
Instead, I probably went to Shea about 100 times...
When the Mets had a day game, and I had vacation time, you could be sure that I would take in a matinee once or twice a year. The only paper I would have in my hand was a score card while my fellow colleagues at the office were laboring over reports and other relevant documents. (Oh, don't think I am taking a snooty approach, I paid for it the next day with a workload in triplicate).
Many other memories in high school - hopping in the car at the spur of the moment, pooling $ together for gas, tolls and parking and within 45 minutes of deciding to go, our asses were in seats rooting loud for the blue and orange.
Today is the finality of Shea. While I wasn't there to see the last structure collapse, I do look forward to a solid season for 09 and beyond.
I wish I remembered King WhatsHisName's name from Rome. I would have loved to tell him about the splendor of Shea Stadium and the many battles the Mets won (and lost) on the green diamond. However, his statue is no longer around and probably was carted away with additional rubble.
Shea Stadium is dead. Long Live Shea! Long Live the Mets.