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  • metsfanbook
    replied
    Originally posted by The Monument View Post
    Congratulations. I'm not a Mets fan or even a Shea fan, but like it or not, it's been a part of my life since 1968 when I went to my first Yankees game. I gave it a raspberry, or Bronx Cheer, every time I passed it. This tradition continued with my own children, right up til last season. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Shea or you and your book. Your ballpark meant as much to you as mine did to me, which had nothing to do with the teams success. If you're like me, you went to games with your father as a kid, then with your friends later on. Eventually you took your own kids there and told them all about the ballpark, the team and all your experiences there. Not seeing Shea there as I drive to Yankee Stadium just seems weird. Although I disliked it, it was a part of my baseball experience. Hope your book does well, and I may even peek at it in the bookstore if nobody is looking.
    The Monument,

    This is very funny. When I was little, whenever my family and I were driving down the Harlem River Drive or The Major Deegan and passed Yankee stadium, my whole family would boo. Whenever I go by Yankee stadium (s) now, my daughter and I do the same thing. So, yes, there are parallel family cultures here. If you do check out my book, you might find it interesting to read a piece called "Subway Series," about going to see the Mets and Yankees play at Shea. I keep looking for signs of difference between the two sets of fans and keep finding similarities.

    Oh, what the hell. I'm not supposed to do this, but here's the piece:

    SUBWAY SERIES: GOING TO A YANKEES GAME AT SHEA

    On Saturday, June 28, 2008 I saw the Mets play the Yankees at Shea for the first time in my life.

    I had always avoided Mets-Yankees games. They’d always been sold out and I wasn’t interested enough to spend a lot of extra money to see them. I guess a part of me didn’t want to see Shea with a lot of Yankees fans in it. I didn’t want to see fights. I didn’t want to risk seeing enemies exulting on our turf.

    Yet since both teams had gotten off to mediocre starts, the Mets-Yankees thing was not as big a deal in 2008 as it had been in the past. I was able to get tickets on StubHub for only $13 more than face value. And so, 45 years after I exulted in the Mets’ 6-2 triumph over the Yankees in the first Mayor’s Trophy game, I finally saw the Yankees play the Mets at Shea.

    I have to tell you that I enjoyed the experience more than I thought I would, even though the Mets lost the game. It was very interesting, and a little surprising.

    The first surprise came as I was trying to find a parking space. They had let me into the lot, but tailgaters were filling up so many spots that there weren’t any spaces visible. I drove up and down a few aisles until finally some tailgaters motioned to me that I could come right into the space where they were tailgating. They were very nice and accommodating and although it was perfectly obvious to anyone paying attention, I didn’t realize until I got out of the car that these nice people who looked like ordinary Mets fans were festooned with Yankee regalia. Okay, I thought. Whatever.

    Then I walked to the stadium and was shocked to see something I was going to see all day. I saw guy in a Posada jersey with his arm around a girl in a Reyes jersey. I saw family groups where brothers with nearly identical faces were wearing shirts with antithetical logos. This was totally bizarre. How did this happen? How could it happen so frequently? I know that Cro-Magnon Man co-existed with Neanderthals for a few tens of thousands of years and we still don’t know if they interbred or if the Neanderthals just died out or were killed off by the Cro-Magnons. This reminded me of that. Seriously. I felt as if I was witnessing an ancient and impenetrable mystery. It didn’t look like normal New York diversity. It looked like the strangely intimate co-existence of irreconciliable opposites. The completely obvious fact that there were no distinguishing differences between Mets and Yankees fans except for the caps and jerseys they were wearing somehow bothered and amazed me. I mean, shouldn’t there at least be physiognomical differences? Shouldn’t we be able to see the arrogance on the faces of the Yankee fans? Shouldn’t we be able to see the eager philosophical hope and sweetness on the faces of the Mets fans? If I used some sort of selective imagination, I could see these things. If I was honest with myself, I couldn’t.

    One thing I enjoyed was the way in which the opposing fan groups gave each other an audience to cheer and boo for and at. This made me realize what a lazy experience it is, normally, to watch a game in your home stadium. You cheer and boo, but if you’re busy talking or putting mustard on your hot dog, it doesn’t matter if you don’t make any noise because everyone else is making the requisite obvious noise. But when Shea has all these Yankees fans, you feel you have to make a lot of noise when something good happens for the Mets because the Yankees fans are making a lot of noise when something good happens for the Yankees. You want them to hear you because they are trying so hard to make you hear them. It takes a lot of extra energy to go to a Subway Series game.

    And everybody seems to love the theatricality of the whole deal. There is much generally good-natured striking of violently hostile Kabuki poses. People even take pictures of staged scowling face-offs. People whip themselves up into a frenzy, holding onto $8 bottles of bad beer. One hand is always full and the other hand is waving around. And it always funny that the lout in the Jeter shirt has in his hand a cobalt blue bottle with a Mets logo commemorating the last year of Shea.

    Throughout the afternoon, in the familiar stands of my beloved Shea, I heard Yankees fans chanting “Lets Go Yan-kees!” a chant that seemed to create a natural space for an answering chant of “Yankees Suck!” The Yankees fans were only able to muster a weak “No” after “Lets Go Mets!” in the space in which younger fans like to put the “Woooo!” We definitely had a more effective and persuasive counter-cheering situation, even if it did not exactly reflect well on us.

    Around the seventh inning, it began to rain and everybody took shelter, just like Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals, in the cave-like promenade behind the stands. There were endless lines for the bathrooms. People streamed by, slapping the hands of those who had the same colors and logos, ignoring those who didn’t. It was hot, steamy, and close, and there were claps of thunder that rattled the long echoing space filled with sweating bodies and the sounds of talking and laughing and shouting into cellphones. Right next to me was a group of three mothers, two in Mets and one in Yankees outfits, and a big mixed-loyalty brood of their young. One of the men associated with this group, a guy with a Mets jersey who was apparently the husband of the woman in the Yankees jersey, showed up with two blue bottles in his hand, drinking from both of them in a way that would only have made sense if he had had two mouths. A domestic quarrel ensued, a foot and a half from my head. “I called you four ******* times!” “I didn’t ******* hear the phone! It’s too ******* loud!” “You should have been listening for the ******* phone!” “I can’t take any more of this ******* ********!” As all this was going on, my daughter was beside me texting on her phone. And people kept up the chants and the silliness. I had worried that a quarrel between a Mets fan and a Yankees fan might have led to something unpleasant but no one was paying attention and this was obviously a couple having an intimate fight in each other’s face. So I just stood in wonder at the scene which eventually floated away at some point. And gradually things grew lighter and you could see the bay and Manhattan off in a hazy orange distance, everything looking indescribably serene and calm beyond the streaming crowd on the promenade and the people smoking illegally off at the last edge of the stadium.

    When it was light enough and dry enough for the game to resume, Sonia and I walked up into the bright bowl and saw that the lights were turned on and that they were beautiful reflected on the white tarp covering the infield. Wiping off our seats with tissues, we heard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the stadium sound system and excitedly turned to see a big fuzzy rainbow over Flushing. Was it a symbol of the season? You know, when reality pulls something like this, I become full of cynical fear. That rainbow, I knew, was not really a sign of the revivification of the Mets. It was just a rainbow and if the Mets were going to win this game, Jose Reyes wouldn’t have been picked off at second with David Wright at the plate.

    Play resumed. Sonia and I left our pleasant seats in the breezy Upper Deck at the end of the eighth inning because the Yankees contingent had become dominant since too many Mets fans had gone home, after a rain delay, and with the Mets behind 3-2. We went down and watched the last inning in an area of the Mezannine where glum and tired Mets season ticket-holders sweated under the overhang to no purpose. I got to see Mariano Rivera’s cutter in person. There were a few Yankees fans down there but only a few, including a woman in a Williams jersey who did some kind of weird little dance every time one of Rivera’s pitches got by a Mets batter. When the game ended, the Yankees fans gyrated and I felt for the first time all afternoon how much I disliked them and how much I wanted them to go away and not come back. Still, I thought, it was the Mets who lost that game, and all by themselves. The craziness of the season was continuing.

    But at least I saw this very strange thing: this unending, century-old family quarrel that will continue as long as there is baseball. This fissure in the city that is not a real division so much as an occasion for enjoying the pleasure of battle and contempt without any real meaning. This exciting excuse to get all worked up and to chant and gyrate and be pleased to see rainbows. Oh what fun it would be, I thought, if both teams could turn it around and the season were to end with a big dramatic New York smash-up, in the final year of the two old stadiums.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Monument
    replied
    Originally posted by metsfanbook View Post
    My own ballpark book, The Last Days of Shea was published yesterday.

    Howie Rose, the Mets' broadcaster and historian says of it: "To me and millions of others, Shea was beautiful. I loved it when it had blue and orange steel plates on the outside and I loved it at the end. My memories of the
    place will last forever. In this wonderful homage, Dana Brand ties together our experiences of Shea, in a celebration of a place that, in memory, will always be far more substantial than most historians will care to admit."

    If you're interested in memoirs of specific ballparks, you might want to check it out. Thanks.
    Congratulations. I'm not a Mets fan or even a Shea fan, but like it or not, it's been a part of my life since 1968 when I went to my first Yankees game. I gave it a raspberry, or Bronx Cheer, every time I passed it. This tradition continued with my own children, right up til last season. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Shea or you and your book. Your ballpark meant as much to you as mine did to me, which had nothing to do with the teams success. If you're like me, you went to games with your father as a kid, then with your friends later on. Eventually you took your own kids there and told them all about the ballpark, the team and all your experiences there. Not seeing Shea there as I drive to Yankee Stadium just seems weird. Although I disliked it, it was a part of my baseball experience. Hope your book does well, and I may even peek at it in the bookstore if nobody is looking.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Monument
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
    Does anyone have The Ballparks by Bill Shannon and George Kalinsky? It was published in 1975 and as far as I know it was the first book devoted to ballparks.
    It was one of the first books that I bought with my own money, and along with Joe Durso's Yankee Stadium book in '72, it's one of the reasons I've been a ballparks buff all these years. Still one of the best out there, though it did Tiger Stadium short shrift.

    Leave a comment:


  • DarioMet
    replied
    Originally posted by metsfanbook View Post
    My own ballpark book, The Last Days of Shea was published yesterday.

    Howie Rose, the Mets' broadcaster and historian says of it: "To me and millions of others, Shea was beautiful. I loved it when it had blue and orange steel plates on the outside and I loved it at the end. My memories of the
    place will last forever. In this wonderful homage, Dana Brand ties together our experiences of Shea, in a celebration of a place that, in memory, will always be far more substantial than most historians will care to admit."

    If you're interested in memoirs of specific ballparks, you might want to check it out. Thanks.
    Your book could be shipped soon to Italy

    Leave a comment:


  • metsfanbook
    replied
    My own ballpark book, The Last Days of Shea was published yesterday.

    Howie Rose, the Mets' broadcaster and historian says of it: "To me and millions of others, Shea was beautiful. I loved it when it had blue and orange steel plates on the outside and I loved it at the end. My memories of the
    place will last forever. In this wonderful homage, Dana Brand ties together our experiences of Shea, in a celebration of a place that, in memory, will always be far more substantial than most historians will care to admit."

    If you're interested in memoirs of specific ballparks, you might want to check it out. Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • dabigyankeeman
    replied
    Are there any good DVD's that show off multiple ballparks? Not just one, like one about Yankee Stadium, but dvd's of all or most of the ballparks in the majors.

    Leave a comment:


  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by ghostofelvis View Post
    lawrence ritter's lost ballparks has been a favorite...

    tcb~
    This one is very high on my list and I have a good number of park books.

    Leave a comment:


  • brooklyndodger14
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
    Does anyone have The Ballparks by Bill Shannon and George Kalinsky? It was published in 1975 and as far as I know it was the first book devoted to ballparks.
    I have the original edition and I believe it was re-published about 3 years ago though I never saw that version.

    Kalinsky was the "Gary" of his time with some great color shots including the dustjacket wraparound photo of the Yanks' Bob Turley pitching at Ebbets Field during a Subway Series.

    Dennis
    BrooklynDodger14

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Dunaier
    replied
    Does anyone have The Ballparks by Bill Shannon and George Kalinsky? It was published in 1975 and as far as I know it was the first book devoted to ballparks.

    Leave a comment:


  • minorfan
    replied
    I was going to suggest Dodger Dogs to Fenway Franks: The Ultimate Guide to America's Top Baseball Parks by Robert Wood - which is one of my all-time favorites - except only Dodger, Fenway and a couple others are the only stadiums still in use from 1989. I guess I'll suggest it for the nostagia value, if anything.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bobby_Ayala
    replied
    Originally posted by ghostofelvis View Post
    lawrence ritter's lost ballparks has been a favorite...

    tcb~
    I like the Montreal and Los Angeles chapters. Wrigley Field in L.A. was superb. Loved that tower.

    Leave a comment:


  • ghostofelvis
    replied
    lawrence ritter's lost ballparks has been a favorite...

    tcb~

    Leave a comment:


  • MLB4LYF
    replied
    About three years ago my neice gave me "The Ballpark Book" Revised Edition, and I've been enjoying it ever since. It's current up through the 2003 season.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bobby_Ayala
    replied
    Originally posted by PLowry View Post
    I am a baseball researcher and writer. I wrote the book Green Cathedrals about ballparks, and argued that dual purpose football/baseball stadia, like Riverfront in Cinciinnati, Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Shea in New York, Veterans in Philadelphia, Busch (II) in St. Louis, etc. etc. destroy the soul of the game, and I am thrilled to see new retro stadia that have a character of their own, like Petro in San Diego, PNB in Pittsburgh, SNBC or whatever they call it this year in San Francisco, Minute Maid Park in Houston. I also have written a 2200-page manuscript on the longest games, in all categories, which will probably be printed around 2009 or 2010.4
    Originally posted by mrakbaseball View Post
    The author of Green Cathedrals Phil Lowry may or not be a Baseball Fever member. His username is PLowry.
    He is, as seen above. He hasn't logged on since March however.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Dunaier
    replied
    Originally posted by Bobby_Ayala View Post
    To be fair, that version of the book was published in 1992 and New Comiskey had just opened the previous year.
    True, Nonetheless, I don't think it was appropriate for Lowry to handle it the way he did. Not in what's supposed to be a reference book.

    Leave a comment:

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