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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Mets fans top 10 moments at Shea

Anyone that takes the time to write out their top 10 memories deserves to get a blog post, so here is John Scat's top 10 moments at Shea.

Nice work Scat, good list.

10. Date unknown, 2000: It was a Sunday day game and I have no idea who the Mets were playing but it must have been of relative importance because Christopher Russo was broadcasting from the WFAN box. On the way to my concession stand I decided to walk inside the stadium along the Loge level to get a glimpse of batting practice. As I walked below the WFAN booth I stopped to listen. When I heard it go to commercial I shouted out, “Hey Mad Dog!” Russo stuck his head outside the booth, waived and shouted back “How ya doing buddy!!!” 9. July 11th 1999: Another Sunday day game and the Mets were going for a series sweep against the Yankees. I was working concessions for the game at the Kosher stand in the right field corner on field level. I don’t remember much about the game but we were required to get to the stadium extra early for the Yankees games. Waiting for the stadium to open I took a seat in right field and watched John Franco throw batting practice to his son, who was using the right field corner as the backstop. His son fouled one off into the stands not too far from me. Faced with the decision of keeping a batting practice ball or giving it back I decided to throw it back to Franco. I threw a perfect strike to Johnny. He thanked me. Unfortunately, Mets lost 6-3. 8. July 16th 2008: Billy Joel’s Last Play at Shea…almost. Only the second time I felt the Upper Deck rock. The national anthem and Take Me Out to the Ballgame never sounded so good. It was a great night that couldn’t be spoiled by a Mets loss. 7. May 19th, 2006: I had never been so unexcited to go to a Subway Series game. It was a Friday night and the pitching matchup of Geremi Gonzalez vs. Randy Johnson really made me wish I was home watching the game on the couch with some pizza. It started as anticipated with the Yankees scoring 4 runs in the top of the first. Delightfully, the Mets responded in the bottom half with 3 runs and later tied it at 6 in the bottom of the 5th. Darren Oliver and Aaron Heilman combined for 5 scoreless innings of relief and Billy Wagner struck out the side in the 9th. The great Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and two on David Wright hit a drive to deep center well over Johnny Damon’s head for the walk off victory. 6. October 4th 2006 NLDS Game 1: Got to the ballpark for my first ever playoff game expecting to see Orlando Hernandez pitch. Amazingly he hurt himself in warm-ups and John Maine took the mound. My biggest memory from the game was Jeff Kent and JD Drew being tagged out by Paul Lo Duca at home plate on the same relay throw. After Mota blew the game by giving up 3 runs in the 7th, the Mets took the lead back in the bottom half. Wagner tried to blow it the 9th but the Mets held on 6-5. 5. April 11th 2005: Unlike some people, I didn’t get to cut school to go to Opening Day back in high school and Michigan was a little too far to come home during college so this was my first chance to go to a Home Opener. It was also the first time Mets fans got to greet Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran. Pedro got the loudest pre-game cheer I had ever heard and was winning over the crowd with his dugout antics. The pregame excitement ended early as the Astros scored in the top of the first. That would be all Glavine would allow over 6 innings and the Mets took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th. But the Astros scored one in the 7th and took the lead with two more in the 8th. The day became memorable as the Mets scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th. John Franco gave up runs 4 and 5 in that inning on a single by Cliff Floyd. It was the only batter he faced in his first return to Shea. The scoring ended there as the Mets won 8-4.
4. June 11th 2005: Down from my usual bird’s eye view in the Upper Deck I got to watch this one from Field Level. Mets were trailing 2-1 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th when Marlon Anderson tied it on a thrilling pinch-hit Inside-the-park Home Run. It appeared to be for nothing when the Angels scored an unearned run in the 10th thanks to an error by Doug Mientkiewicz. But the bottom of the 10th proved to be more exciting than the 9th. Reyes led off with a single and Mike Cameron followed with a walk that put the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on with Beltran and Piazza coming up. Carlos and Mike both struck out swinging leaving it up to Cliff. Floyd hit a bomb over the right center field wall creating a great scene at Shea. 3. September 28, 2008: To add my own personal experience from the last game at Shea, I was sitting way up in the Upper Deck all the way out in right field. I couldn’t see the scoreboard and therefore couldn’t see the score of the Brewer’s game. I could only judge by the reaction of the crowd. Not being used to the view from my seat combined with the desire I had for Church to hit a home run I thought he got enough of it to drive it out. Instead, I had a perfect view of the last out in Shea Stadium history. 2. June 30th 2000: Trailing the hated Braves 8-1 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning they closed my concession stand in the Upper Deck. That allowed me to stand inside Section 11 to witness the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen. Single, fly out, single, ground out, single, single, walk, walk, walk, walk, single and the game is tied 8-8. Up steps Mike Piazza for the second time in the inning. He hits a laser beam down the left field line that bounces off the retired numbers. I am jumping up and down high-fiving complete strangers. And to think I was being paid to watch that. 1. October 19th 2006 NLCS Game 7: I don’t have to tell you the details of this game but sitting in the Upper Deck out in left field I actually saw the ball going into Endy’s glove, and I’ll never forget how the Upper Deck shook afterwards. There is no way they would lose now, right? Endy would add to the legend when he came up with men on in the bottom half of that inning, right? Cliff Floyd was going to do his best Kirk Gibson impersonation, no? But when Carlos left the bat on his shoulders I learned how quiet 56,000 people really could be. Everyone filed down the ramp in silence and disbelief. I took the train to Port Washington. When I got into my car at the train station I couldn’t stand to listen to WFAN. So I switched from AM to CD and the first song that just happened to play was “Bitter End” by the Dixie Chicks. And it goes “It’s not alright, I can’t sleep tonight, Knowing you should have played on, On and on.”