In order to properly honor Shea Stadium, to whom this blog is dedicated, I will list my 9 most memorable games at the well-storied stadium. Feel free to post your favorite moments in the comments section.
9) April 3, 2006 Home Opener. Mets open up versus the Washington Nationals, Tom Glavine pitches a swift 6 innings and leaves leading 3-1. Heilman throws 2 innings, lets up 5 hits, and only 1 run. But the big memory is Billy Wagner making his Mets debut, and on the ride home to CT, we some how cross 3 bridges (thanks GPS; it was set to avoid tolls, that didn't work), and got to listen to Mike and the Mad Dog talk about Wagner's entrance song "Enter Sandman". "Mike, he can't play that song, he just can't do it. not in this town Mike, he can't do it. thats Mariano's song. Not in this town." Oh how I never thought I'd miss those 2 working together. That was the 8th opening day in a row I had attended, a streak that ended last year. Went to the game with Mike Medina
8) 2007 Home Opener, April 10, Mets vs Phillies. After Jimmy Rollins opened his big mouth the prior off-season and said the Phillies were the team to beat (although they hadn't won a darn thing at that point), this turned into the rivalry it is today. Mets scored 7 runs in the 8th inning, highlighted by a J-Roll error, and he was then serenaded for 8 straight batters with "Jimmy Rollins, Jimmy Rollins, Jimmy Rollins". David Wright broke the game open with a bases clearing double during the 8th. Mets win 11-5. Went to the game with Rory
7) April 17, 2006, Pedro wins his 200th career game. Pedro was the 2nd pitcher in the history of the Mets to accomplish the feat as a member of the Mets (Orel Hershiser was the 1st). Delgado hit a HR (off of Jorge Sosa), and Pedro pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed 3 runs, but Duaner Sanchez and B Wagner came in to close out the game. Mets win 4-3. Pedro comes out of the dugout and gets a standing ovation from those remaining in the crowd. Went with my brother, Stonaha, and Leandra.
6)September 22, 2001. 2nd game in New York after 9/11. Had goosebumps head to toes entering the stadium, with the star spangled banner and God Bless America. Mets won 7-3, but the game didn't mean much. Have never seen/felt the country as united as it was on that day. Mets moved to 3 1/2 games back after this win, but never got closer than that. Steve Traschel got the win and Benitez the save. Went with Amy.
5) Saturday June 15, 2002. Mets vs Yankees, but this was the 1st time Roger Clemens would pitch/hit at Shea Stadium after the Piazza fiasco. It was one of the most highly anticipated pitches and Estes threw it behind Clemens; he sent a message (even tho he wasn't on the team in 2000), and both benches were warned. Clemens got roughed up on the mound, as both Estes and Piazza took him deep, and Mets win 8-0. Went with Katie, Tim and Jess.
4) May 29, 2007. First opportunity to see the phenomn Tim Lincecum. He was unhittable for the 1st time through the line up, striking out Beltran on 99 mph fastball. I truly thought the Mets were going to get no hit. Delgado hit 2 bombs (1st hit was in 4th inning), including walk off HR in the 12th inning. Benitez was booed as he trotted in from the bullpen, yet I stood up and cheered, realizing he was going to allow us to win the game. Benitez balked in Reyes (who ran home with his hands waving in the air like a small little leaguer), the 2nd balk of the inning. Willie still hadn’t learned Shoenweis can’t get righties out and almost lost the game in the 10th. Bonds pinch hit in top of the 10th, and he got booed so viciously I was scared for his life. He walked on 5 pitches. Went with Scat and Rory.
3) Mets vs Phillies June 7, 2007. Mets were down 2-0 going into the bottom of the 6th, and Cole Hamels was dominating the Mets. With 2 outs in the 6th, C Delgado breaks through with a HR, followed by a controversial HR by D Wright, and then Pauly Lo Duca completes the BACK-BACK-BACK HRs, (1st time since D Strawberry, K McReynolds and K Hernandez did it also vs the Phillies), led to one of my favorite text messages "PROTEST THAT" (Charlie Manuel was tossed on the D Wright HR call and played the game under protest). All this was for naught, as we lost 6-3 in extra innings (Pat the Bat owned B Wagner and hit a HR to lead off the 9th inning, amd then Schoenweis lets up 3 er in the 10th). Went with Medina.
Although the final 2 memories have negative feelings associated with it, they are and always will be fresh in my memory.
2) Game 5, 2000 World Series, October 26, 2000. Bernie Williams hit a HR in the 2nd inning for the first hit of his World Series (off Al Leiter), and the Mets responded with 2 unearned runs in the 2nd to take the lead. Mets held the lead until the 6th when Jeter took Leiter deep. Remained tied until the 9th inning with 2 outs, Posada walks, Brosius singles, and Luis Sojo singles to center, both runs score as the ball his Posada as he slid home and the ball went into the dugout. Mets have a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th after Benny Agbayani walks, and I'm still convinced Mike Piazza got all of the ball to send the game to extra innings, but it was too high or something, and the ball easily falls into Bernie Williams glove. Will never forget having to watch the Yankees celebrate on our field. bad day to be a Mets fan. Went with my sister.
1) Sunday Sept 28, 2008. Last game ever at Shea. Went with my brother, and met up with Scat, his dad, and Medina and his brother before the game. Brutal loss. The Mets entered the game tied for the wild card with Milw. and had a 50 min rain delay to start the game, so the game started at the same time as Milw and Cubs. Cubs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and the place was as loud as if the mets scored. It was scoreless until the 6th, when Ollie Perez let up 2 runs and left with the bases loaded. Beltran hits the biggest HR in his Mets career and ties the game at 2. In the 8th inning of the Brewers game (scoreboard watching), Braun drives in 2 runs and makes it 3-1. Mets crowd goes silent, knowing the mets need to win to force 1 game playoff. Jerry Manuel gets outmanaged by bringing in Schoenweis to start an inning, which allows Wes Helms to pinch hit for Mike Jacobs and Helms greets him with a HR. Manuel comes out, makes a double switch, and Schoenweis gets booed out of the stadium (Schoenweis was crying and needed to be consoled after the game). Luis Ayala then comes in and promptly lets up another HR, this one to Uggla. Church had a chance to tie the game in the 9th, but fell about 30 feet short of the fence. Loss 4-2. Post game ceremony was very nice, with the marlins celebrating on the field and fans yelling “off the field! Off the field” Very emotional and they did a nice job, although Seaver bounced the last pitch in shea to Piazza. Good bye Shea, you will always be home.
Hope you guys have as good of memories as I have of that stadium. Feel free to post your favorites that you went to.