From: Jim Burns on

Going through some files, I realized I had never ran a few pieces,

"Shea: A Final Goodbye"
October, 2008

A few weeks ago, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ran a feature fancifully imagined as
if it had been written by a Yankee Stadium, congnizant of its demise. As
I spent several days at Shea Stadium during ITS final week, I couldn't
help but wonder if MY favorite old gal even knew she was dying.

The sadness and trepidation that can accompany a visit to an ailing
friend, were not new emotions for the Queens, New York ballpark:

Too many Mets Septembers have edured a fan's sense of poignant regret.

(But hope, and the lovely desire to watch a ballgame without any
grandiose expectations, or sense of entitlement, may have been one of
the stadium's, and its fans', nicest features.)

To me, anyway, Shea was always memorable, and not as just as one of New
York's last vestiges of the legendary, and futuristic, 1964 World's
Fair, with which it opened.

For this final season, I sat nearly everywhere, at times sacrificing the
choicest of field boxes, to inhabit even the most outer of stadium
echelons. (Some sections, I hadn't been
in for over three decades, and shame on me for having forgotten how
terrific the fans in the upper deck can be!)  

Its odd to realize that those highest of Shea climes will soon be only
the air above a parking
lot, and have NO equivalent in the new stadium, where over twelve
thousand seats have been eliminated.

I'm sure the Mets' next ballpark will be wonderful, but Shea was the
place where so many of us were young, and that's also simply impossible
to replace.

Jim Burns (James H. Burns)
October, 2008