Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza, the two greatest players in franchise history, walked out of Shea Stadium to close the historic ballpark last fall. They’ll team to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.
Opening Day won’t be the time to do so, but sometime this summer, the Mets should take a day to honor Mike Piazza by retiring his No. 31.
The remaining section of Shea Stadium fell this morning. Click on to Hot Foot for the video.
SHEA: Honor its legacy.
There is one remaining wall of what was Shea Stadium that’s still standing. I know it won’t happen, because such decisions are never made on the fly, but I’d like to see it remain standing. It would make a great gesture to the past.
However, the Mets could still honor their Shea history by outlining a replica of the playing field in the parking lot and denote where some of the most memorable plays occurred with statues. Such of Seaver on the mound when he struck out 19 Padres, or Buckner, or the Swododa and Agee catches, of Cleon catching the final out of the 69 Series.
In Atlanta, the Braves have a replica of an outfield wall and mark where Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record, so it’s not like this hasn’t been done before.
PHOTO: Bill Menzel
Spent a good part of this brisk afternoon touring Citi Field, but the memory of the day was to peak inside to see the dismantling of Shea Stadium. Most of the seats are out. Headed to rec rooms throughout the tri-state area, no doubt.
There’s rubble throughout, with a patch of green in what used to be short left field. The action montage that lined the facing the loge level is all but gone. There is one word, “Believe,” from the montage that remains, and a Subway Ad in the right field corner.
The grass has been in Citi Field for a couple of weeks now, and you can tell this will be a magnificent place to watch the game. You’re right on top of things.
Two things the Mets promised you can plainly see. That would be the leg room between the seats and room in the concourses.
Preserve Shea memories
You can still see her, Shea Stadium, when you drive to LaGuardia. Pretty soon, she’ll only be in photographs and memories.
What is now Shea Stadium will become a parking lot, which is how these things work, but I wish there would be a way to prevent an old Volvo from leaking oil on the site where the ball got by Buckner, or where Cleon Jones caught the final out of the 1969 World Series, or where Tommie Agee made those catches, or the mound where Tom Seaver excelled for so many years.
Go ahead, make it a parking lot, but on those spots and others, block off the area and preserve it with a plaque, or small statue, or something that reminds future generations something special happened here.
I called Mets the other day and asked them their plans, and was told they don’t know what they plan, yet. I just hope they don’t get so caught up in the new place that they fail to preserve some special memories.