It’s over. Shea Stadium is officially demolished. We all want to equate the stadium to an old friend, maybe one that had seen better days, one that would be sorely missed. To me, the most chilling moment was that last game, that last walk out. All the pictures, all the drive-bys, all the reports since then have felt empty because without baseball Shea was just a building.
Shea Stadium died five months ago. That’s when it contracted that terminal illness that we all knew would take her life within months. Yesterday it finally happened; Shea Stadium took it’s last breath. To me, it was a relief. Finally she’d been put out of her misery, having her innards photographed and displayed for everyone to see, her illness discussed across the world.
I ask that you remember her as she was in her glory days, and not in her sickness. Don’t remember the final tumble of those ramps, or the demolition of the scoreboard. Remember the fans rushing the field after that first championship, even if you weren’t there. Remember Ventura’s Grand Single, Pratt’s home run, the glove that never came down, Seaver, Strawberry, That amazing June comeback against the Braves in the 8th, or whatever your favorite moments were.
She’s in a better place now, in our minds, on our blogs, on our highlight reels. Take a month, or 53 days, to mourn. A new friend waits on the horizon. One you don’t quite know yet, one you’ve only exchanged the briefest of words with. You may be skeptical you can ever get along, or that you’ll ever love again, but you will. It has tough foundations to fill, but rumor is it’s up to the task.