Written 3/31/2008 for the 2008 Opening Day
There is a season of hope in front of us. A season to root on one of the best hurlers in baseball. A season that should bring redemption for a shortstop. A season that could produce two MVP candidates and possibly the best rotation in baseball.
It is a season that inspires hope. It is baseball. It is why we are all fans. It marks time and carries hope with each pitch and each swing.
It is also a special season…One to say goodbye to our old friend, Shea. Those that don’t love her, laugh at her. They call her names and make jokes about her. However, she was ours and we loved her like our own homes. If we, as fans, are family, she is our home, homeplate was her hearth and the apple in the top hat was that gift that our strange uncle gave to us that has sat on the bookshelf for so long, that we just don’t have the heart to get rid of, and in fact, removing it would make the house feel less like a home.
She is a place were miracles are born and we all know those moments…Special moments that no other stadium has. She may not be as old as that other place across town and she may not have all the championships of the most holiest of cathedrals. But I dare anyone to find a stadium that has witness as many miracles that she has and we know them all like they happened yesterday. The miracle of 1969. The 1986 playoff run culminating in Game 6. The Grandslam single. Mike Piazza on 9/21/2001. The moments and memories are too numerous to recount here, but anyone that has sat and watched her shake in the throws of a rally knows what she means to us.
She has seen her moments of deep pain. No hitters that didn’t belong to her. Rallies that fell just short. Homeruns that took the wind out of her. And a season that was lost in 1/3 of an inning.
In her time, she was more dependable than any other cathedral in the city. Host to the evil empire and both football teams, she was gracious and welcoming. She invited in bands and singers and legends that span sports and music. No one can boast her resume.
We will say goodbye to her and we holdout hope that she has one more glorious October in her before it’s time to welcome our new friend. Perhaps the old girl will have the greatest housewarming gift she can give to our new friend…a World Championship Flag.