She is Almost Gone

She is almost gone.
Pillaged like a vanquished land in the time of Vikings.
Drawn and quartered by steel dragons.
Barbaric to those that loved her.
Tragic to those that knew her.
Soon, all that will be left are some painted markers to be driven over.

Names on uniforms have come and gone.
Tears and champagne ebbed and flowed.
Styles and fads and fans have washed through.
She had stood tall and strong…the lone constant for the heartbreaks and ecstasy.

There were times she shook and quaked…She rattled with each plane.
More often than not, she was the joke of the baseball world.
There were times when she was the center of the baseball world.
One night in September, it seemed, she was the center of the whole world.

I dreamt dreams as a child of playing first base in a baseball game on her field.
I’d have to settle for playing outfield in a softball game on her field…It was better than the dreams.
I dreamt dreams as a teenager of working in an office somewhere among her ramps.
My reality was better than the dreams.
I dreamt dreams from that office of a World Series champagne shower in her home clubhouse.
I’d have to settle for a NL Championship champagne toast with my wife and colleagues somewhere beyond her outfield wall.
I can no longer dream a dream bigger than that moment of reality.
I never dreamt she’d become this nightmare that now barely stands in Flushing.

Friends I knew met their loves within her.
Without her, love may never have been found and the beautiful next generation of fans would never have been born.
Other firendships were born within her.
Countless memories she has spawned.
Countless dreams she has inspired.

She was called home, at one point in time, by every local pro team that played their games under sun and stars.
I will miss her.
I will miss the view of her from the Grand Central Parkway.
I will miss the way she rises above the tracks on the horizon on the number Seven.
I will miss that anticipation that comes with the first glance.
I will miss the way she shook when everything went the right way.
I will even miss the way her ramps echoed the silence when everything went the wrong way.
I will miss the view of green as you came off the concourse.
I will miss the smells and the chatter and the view of the city.
I miss her.

The old gives way to the new.
Perhaps, 40 years from now, I’ll be mourning her little sister.
For now, I mourn her.
For now, I mourn what she meant to me and all that loved the Mets.
She was home and hope and work and love.
She was a personal symbol of my faith…How could you witness Game Six and not have faith?
She was the culmination of my dreams.
She was comfort and agony all at once.
She was, and maybe she will always be, all of these for me.

Not even a shell of her still exists, but I can still see her in my mind.
I can still see the crowds pouring in on a bright sunny spring day.
I can still hear the vendors shouting “Hot Dogs”.
I can still feel her beneath my feet.

I still have many more games in my life to see.
Memories with my sons not yet created.
I am sure I will one day feel at home in that other place.
However, she will always be baseball to me.

Shea Stadium will alway be a home to me.

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