The long-rumored Faith and Fear Shea Stadium Final Season Countdown is taking its swings in the on-deck circle. We articulated the concept here, but there are a few things worth noting besides (because stuff is always more fun when somebody explains it to a fine pulp).
• That figure or group you're sure is deserving of recognition? The one more deserving of it than whomever we are recognizing at the moment? Please indulge our sense of drama and stab at delineation with patience. Chances are he/she/they will get his/her/their due soon enough.
• There is no more wonderful Mets book to own than Mets By The Numbers (buy it if you haven't, already yet), just as there has been no more vital Mets Web site since 1999 than mbtn.net. Our caps remain permanently tipped in the direction of creator Jon Springer and co-author Matt Silverman, who together have covered the whole who-wore-what vibe so thoroughly and brilliantly that we ourselves are not worried about matching the numerals from our mythical right field wall to the digits on anybody's actual uniform. We know there are numbers closely associated with particular Mets, but for our counting-down purposes, we will not necessarily be anchored to that angle.
• While this is a virtual countdown, we opted to make it as real as possible. We took into account the 81 games the Mets are playing at Shea in 2008: the opponents, the dates, the occasions. If somebody appropriate for number-peeling seems a good bet to be in the house for a particular series, chances are that somebody will get the call during those days. We thought about who might be available and who might not be. We want this to be the ideal celebration of Shea Stadium, the one we're not remotely confident Shea will be given, so we want it to take place within the realm of reasonable possibility. That said, there are exceptions to every rule.
• Unless otherwise indicated, you should hear Shea Stadium public address announcer Alex Anthony introducing each guest of honor.
• The one question we were asked repeatedly by those in a nominating state of mind was, “Does somebody have to be alive to qualify?” The answer was maybe. That answer stands.
• We received many terrific reader suggestions on who should be included in our countdown, and several of them found their way onto the final list. Thank you to everybody who cared enough about Shea Stadium to have contributed thoughts and ideas to this admitted flight of fancy.
The countdown commences Wednesday and will keep rolling until we have accounted for all 81 home games and the lifetime of a ballpark. So keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the loge.
Tonight at 8, the The Happy Recap is scheduled to host four bloggers — from the Eddie Kranepool Society, Mets Merized Online, Mets Geek and, yes, Faith and Fear in Flushing — for a chat on the upcoming season and all things Met. Please join us there if you get the chance.