Off to New YorkSusan and I are boarding a plane at O'Hare later this morning to head east. Our destination is New York City. On Saturday, I'll be able to take a Sharpie and draw a thick line across Shea Stadium. At the end of the 2008 season, the New York Mets will move across the parking lot to the new Citi Field. Saturday is Citi Field cap day. Ever since the Mets announced plans to construct a new ballpark, I knew I needed to accelerate my plans to get there. Even though the Chicago Cubs have a poor track record there, Shea Stadium itself has a rich history.
The Mets moved from the Polo Grounds, their home for the 1962 and 1963 seasons, to Shea Stadium for the start of the 1964 season. Eventually the "Amazin' Mets" of 1969 would strip the first National League Eastern Division title away from the Cubs and defeat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. I heard a story that a New York newspaper wrote a year-in-review article at the end of 1969. The headline read, "Mets Win the Series, Man Lands on the Moon." That'll demonstrate a city's priorities.
Even if you're not a baseball fan, I would wager you know the outcome of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Yes, Mookie Wilson slapped a slow roller through Bill Buckner's legs. Good ole' #22, Billy Buck, was my original baseball hero back in the early 1980s with the Cubs. Yes, it happened at first base in Shea Stadium.
On a non-baseball note, The Beatles played the legendary concert to kick-off their 1965 North American Tour in Shea Stadium. At the time, that was the largest outdoor concert in rock history. Supposedly, Paul McCartney had his first encounter with future wife-to-be, Linda Eastman, backstage at the ballpark.
Our trip won't be entirely baseball-related. We'll hit some restaurants, museums, Times Square and the Empire State Building. Does anyone remember the book, Unbuilding? That was a book about someone purchasing the Empire State Building and disassembling the structure and moving it away. I loved that as a kid.
I'm looking forward to returning to New York. I was there in September 2000 as a stop on my baseball trip. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see much while there. We did have a guided bus tour of Manhattan, though. Since we'll be there from Friday through Monday, we'll have time to just be visitors for a long weekend.
Don't worry though, the blog won't stop.