Today In Mets’ History: Shea Stadium Christened

It was all ceremony for the Mets on this day in 1964 when Bill Shea, credited for bringing National League baseball back to New York, christened Shea Stadium.

Shea poured bottles of Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal, which passes near the former sited of Ebbets Field, home of the Dodgers, and the Harlem River, which passes in front of the former sithyof the Polo Grounds, home of the Giants. The Mets also played in the Polo Grounds in the first two years of their existence.

The Mets always honored their combined Dodgers-Giants heritages beginning with their team jersey colors of Dodger blue and Giant orange. Those colors were also incorporated at Shea Stadium with blue outfield walls – most teams used black or green – and the only team in the majors to have orange foul poles.

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One thought on “Today In Mets’ History: Shea Stadium Christened

  1. It was really exciting back than. At the age of 14 and as a child being exposed to the New York Baseball scene as it existed in the mid-50’s . From our apartment house on the corners of W.167-W.168 Street I could run down to the Stadium Motor Lodge each summer morning to see the ballplayers staying there. When the Mets arrived on the scene in 62, they brought back Casey and often he would give impromptu press meetings in the area just off the bar. It was so natural to be a Met fan, Casey made kids feel that way. He talk baseball with anyone who was willing to listen and I believe he enjoyed it most when talking to the kids. The Summers of 1962 and 1963 were special again down at the Stadium Motor Lodge, just as they had been before 1958. To me it seem like a lifetime ago and while the Mets struggled to win it didn’t really matter. National League Baseball had return to New York City, to our neighborhood called Highbridge. Going to Shea for opening day wouldn’t be as easy but I wasn’t going to miss it for anything in the world. While I’d never completely lose my love for the Yankees, the Mets and Casey had won me for a lifetime. Casey taught us about Baseball, but more importantly how baseball was just like life itself. You had to give it your all and than some in baseball and if you did that in life you were going to be a winner. Standing on the platform looking down on the beautiful new Shea Stadium is etched in my mind. I didn’t need to be inside (although I was dying to get in). It was the crowd, 50,000 or more the excitement that it was all real. The new ballpark, the New team and the broken dreams of so many New York Baseball fans whose hearts went to San Francisco or Los Angeles. The opening of Shea was healing a city and any young boy could feel it. Old men with Giant and Dodger caps and shirts on. Now it was really real. The Mets had their home in Queens and to me it was fitting, Manhattan had the Giants, Brooklyn the Dodgers and the Bronx had the Yankees, Queens would have their team ..the New York Mets.