50-9 – Shea Stadium


I mentioned in my last “50” that there was a Shea Stadium reflection. It still bothers me to this day. In fact, it  thirty-nine years ago today that it happened. Wow. Thirty-nine years. I guess I really can hold a grudge.

We had tickets to see the NY Mets play at Shea. It must have been ’77 and it was just me and my Dad. I have no recollection of who they were supposed to play. I don’t know if this was my first visit. I can remember other games, at least one, filling out the scorecard, reading the program, eating snacks. I probably still have the program in one of my boxes piled in the basement.

This day, however was July and there was a city-wide blackout that affected everything. Maybe you’ve heard about it. We must have driven; I don’t think the trains were running. How could they be?

By the time we arrived at the stadium, the decision to call the game had already been made. The stadium was mostly empty and my Dad and I walked around the cement concourse. Whatever vendors were there were already packing up. We looked down on the empty field and across; the perfect blue sky seeming much brighter from our shadowed place. The grass on the field also seemed somehow greener, brighter than normal or maybe I was seeing it through a ten year old’s eyes.

The reason they gave for cancelling (or maybe postponing) the game was that the scoreboard didn’t work, so they couldn’t hold the game. To this day, it still makes no sense to me. I mean it’s baseball. Do you really need electricity to play ball? It wasn’t even a night game. The scoreboard doesn’t work. Even my ten year old, polite, non-swearing self called bullshit on that one.

We never got back; not that I recall.

Whether it was our moving east to Long Island or my moving to ice hockey as my go-to sport (Rangers all the way!), I don’t know.

I still love the Mets and root for them always. My Dad grew up in the Bronx so his Mets affiliation was probably more for us kids than for his own feelings. You couldn’t like both, but we tried. He was such a good Dad. More than that, he was a good person. I hope I’m half as good as he was.

For now, though, Let’s Go Mets!