At least Shea didn’t have seats with teak armrests

At least Shea didn't have seats with teak armrests

Squawker Lisa, I see you are calling for Citi Field to be renamed something that rhymes with Citi. Well, I have some suggestions for names for your new stadium:

Golden Parachute Stadium
(the only people who will be able to afford to go are disgraced former CEOs)

Mitchell Report Park
(Shouldn’t “Oh, my goodness gracious” be among the DVD extras on the “Essential Games of Yankee Stadium” that’s part of our giveaway?)

The House That Kabbalah Built
(Will this be the year that A-Rod can sing “Like a virgin/In the World Series for the very first time”?)

But Lisa, I do agree that taking $20 million per year from floundering Citigroup isn’t the best timing. But if that deal does get canceled, I hope it happens AFTER the free agent season. I don’t want to hear, oh, we were just about to sign K-Rod when Citigroup pulled out, so we’re going to give the bullpen guys we already have under contract another chance to get it right. Naming rights or not, the Mets revenue will only go up in the new stadium.

I’ve been to some of the new stadiums in the Midwest, and I hope Citi Field is a beautiful new stadium along the lines of PNC Park in Pittsburgh or Comerica in Detroit. But Lisa, I was dismayed to read in your entry about the teak armrests on at least some Yankee Stadium seats, and how, according to that CBS sports column, these seats will have to be covered with a tarp during bad winter weather.

Gee, too bad neither of these pricey new stadiums contains the one amenity that could most benefit fans – a retractable dome. But I figured that at least the seats where we poor slobs will sit would at least be weatherproof. Will the seats with teak armrests come with a teak maintenance charge? Will cupholders be banned, lest beer be spilled on the precious teak? And here I thought maple bats were the biggest wood-related problem facing baseball.

* * *

I want to echo Lisa’s thanks to our friends at baseball blogs The Musings and Prophecies of Metstradamus, Was Watching, Baseball and the Boogie Down, and The Sommer Frieze for helping us get the word out about our new location, and about our giveaway.

If you haven’t already entered our A&E Essential Games DVD giveaway, you can do so here.

I was looking over the list of essential Shea Stadium games and was pleased to see that I was actually at three of them. In 1999, I got a ticket at the last minute through a friend to what would become the Robin Ventura grand-slam single game. Our seats were way out in left field, so I made sure to set the VCR to tape the game so I could have a better view of anything that I missed. I set the tape to run for five hours – surely that would be enough.

Fortunately, our seats were under an overhang, since it was raining steadily. Unfortunately, the overhang blocked our view of fly balls, so when Ventura got his hit, we had to watch what was going on in the infield to see whether the ball was caught and what happened after that.

Well, we quickly figured out that the Mets won, but as far as understanding exactly what happened, that would have to wait until I got home. It’s the only game I can remember attending in which I didn’t even know for sure what the final score was until after I got home.

The game lasted almost six hours, so I came home to a worthless videotape of the first 12 innings. (After that, when taping a game, I always set my VCR to record for the full six hours.)

At least now that we have SNY, if a game turns out to be a classic, we know we’ll get to see it again in its entirety at some point.

In 1986, I had a Saturday plan, which enabled me to get tickets to Game 3 of the NLCS and Games 1 and 7 of the World Series. I was pleased to see Game 3 included on the DVD set, since it was a great game that is overshadowed by the legendary Game 6’s of both the World Series and the NLCS.

The most memorable game I ever attended was Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, and it has only gotten more memorable over the years as the Mets have sadly not repeated the experience. But I can understand why the featured game from that Series would be Game 6.

In 1969, my father got tickets to Game 4 of the World Series. I was a little young to fully appreciate just how historic the Miracle Mets’ season was, but it was fantastic to be there. But as exciting as that game was, with Ron Swoboda’s incredible catch and J.C. Martin running out of the basepath on the winning play, I would have to go with Game 5 as the most memorable game in that Series. The DVD does include the last inning of Game 5 (as well as the last inning of 1986’s Game 7).

I did get to go to a few other games in the 1969 season, my first full one as a Jet fan. (I was not a bandwagon fan – I actually started following the Mets during the 1968 season.) One of the games I was lucky enough to attend was Tom Seaver’s “imperfect game” – the perfect game broken up by Jimmy Qualls of the Cubs in the 9th inning. Seaver was my idol growing up. And ever since that game, I’ve always wanted to be watching when the Mets finally got that elusive no-hitter.

It is strange to think that there will never be a no-hitter at Shea. If there’s a no-hitter curse on the Mets, I suppose we’d have to call it the Nolan Ryan curse. Maybe moving to a new stadium will break that curse.

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