This was written in response to the Shea Stadium farewell this past Saturday. It was written by Jamie Warner. Well said, Jamie.
If you aren’t moving forward, you’re just standing still. Sometimes, still is exactly what we’re searching for. Photographs are moments in time that are still forever.
The memories and the emotions they evoke are enduring but, the moments are transient and fleeting. We carry those memories wherever we go and the savored stillness serves as a beautiful reminder of things not worth forgetting. Passing Shea Stadium recently, the scene was still but, far too tragic for photographs.
In my lifetime, I have spent countless afternoons under the sun and over the grass at Shea Stadium. I can’t count the number of night games, when the sky is that perfect pinkish hue with the jets thundering over that circular perfection that draws you immediately from the MTA boardwalk.
I have savored the sounds on the diamond, the calls of the vendors in the stands and most definitely, the familiar voices of those that have shared the excitement of Mets games with me over the years.
My favorite nights at Shea, win or lose, were always those evenings in the summer, when the weather was just right for a short-sleeved Mike Piazza t-shirt or a Robin Ventura jersey. Perhaps it was warm enough for a Jay Payton jersey (Yes, I sheepishly admit I still have one…) or a David Wright shirt.
The names always changed, but the home was constant.
The teams may have been inconsistent; they may have fumbled more often than they exceeded expectations. But, they were my team, our team. And, we watched them with a near religious devotion in our stadium.
As the argument wages between Senators over the conscience of big businesses spending federal bailout money to maintain their naming rights to Citifield and as such discussion is considered by our new President, Shea Stadium is crumbling. Change is a necessary part of life.
The name will change, whether it’s Citifield or Bob Murphy Stadium (a name I wholeheartedly support, but I doubt we’ll hear of it in contention). The venue will change.
I’ve had my last view of Shea Stadium. The blue stadium with the purple hue, the circular perfection with glowing, neon images of baseball silhouettes, representing players long gone, but never forgotten – still reminders of those that came before.
I had my last view of my beloved Shea on September 28, 2008. I took my last still photographs on that day as I shed a tear in remembrance of all that came before (Jay Payton, excluded). And, now, I begrudgingly look to the future.
“New Team. New Time. New Magic.” Have you heard that somewhere before? It appears we can add new stadium to the mix. But, it isn’t a new home. Not to me. Not yet. It will take years of happy memories, summer evenings, and WINS to convince me its home. We’ll always have Shea, if not in Flushing, in our hearts.
I aim not to eulogize an old friend, but strive to remember and hold tight to the happy memories Shea has given me by virtue of the team I love.
This reasoning is why I could not take photos of a crumbling stadium, a place that was once my home away from home; a place that afforded me escape and an opportunity to fall in love with a timeless game that has intertwined itself in every possible facet of my life.
Music is a powerful reminder of moments and memories that are fleeting as we age. Therefore, I pose the question: If we were to create a soundtrack of our life at Shea, of YOUR life at Shea, what could we include on that soundtrack?