I was recently enjoying one of the discs in the superb six-DVD set The New York Mets Essential Games of Shea Stadium  when it occurred to me it was essential that I immediately attempt to give you a copy, especially since we are having our end-of-year Shea tribute blowout right now.
Some months back, the good folks at A&E Home Video gave me a couple of Essential sets to give away. Seeing as how it is filled with six great games from the history of Shea, I wanted to come up with a great way to award the first of them.
I finally have. Given that the DVDs’ theme is essential games at Shea, it was essential to me that I ask you, the Faith and Fear reader, about games at Shea — not the games in the Essential collection (which, for the record, are the original telecasts of Game Four of the ’69 World Series; Game Three of the ’86 NLCS; Game Six of the ’86 World Series; Game Five of the ’99 NLCS; the post-9/11 game of September 21, 2001; and the Subway Series comeback game of May 19, 2006), but some random games I have attended and blogged about since we started doing this in 2005.
After all, every game you ever attended at Shea was essential, right?
Here are the parameters:
1) You have 20 questions, five apiece from each season we’ve been in business.
2) The answer to each question lies in something I’ve posted directly after attending the game mentioned, either on the date of the game or the next day.
3) You can find the answer by a) exploiting the architecture of this blog; b) finding the post in question; and c) reading it a little.
4) You need to provide as specifically worded an answer as possible, as in giving me the exact phrase I wrote in the original post where the answer lies. For example, if I ask what somebody yelled at a particular game, give me what I put down in the post from that particular game, not just “they yelled something annoying”.
5) E-mail  your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not post your answers in the comments section here. Those will not count.
6) First contestant with all twenty painstakingly correct answers wins the set, to be sent out in hopefully less time than it took me to finally do this.
7) If nobody gets everything right by Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM EST, then the first contestant with the most correct answers will be judged the winner. All decisions of the judge regarding accuracy and specificity will be final.
If you’re the kind of Faith and Fear reader who is hanging with us on the Sunday night after Christmas, you deserve first shot at this. And if nobody wins right away, and you’re stuck at work the Monday between Christmas and New Year’s, this will give you something to kill time with.
If you don’t have this set, you’ll want it. If you have it, you’ll want to give it to somebody. If you don’t win it here, I strongly recommend looking into acquiring it by more conventional means. With Shea gone, it makes for even more powerful viewing than it did when it was just six great games.
There is another set in the wings, to be offered in another contest at a time and place to be determined, but almost certainly sometime before the next ballpark opens.
Good luck and thanks for playing.
WE HAVE A WINNER on Sunday night. You guys work fast! Will provide details and answers later Monday. And to paraphrase Jack Donaghy, you can still host this quiz in the privacy of your own home, but somebody got all the answers in correctly and has won the Essential Games of Shea DVD set. We’ll have another to give away sometime soon. Thanks all for participating.
1. At which stop — one I took as maybe a sign of what we could look forward to — did Jason’s and my 7 train stall after the game of April 22, 2005?
2. What are the three identities Kaz Ishii assumed for five innings in the game of June 10, 2005 before spending a few minutes on the basepaths?
3. Which pitcher was identified as a knucklehead by the Eight Men Out-minded narrator after the game of July 2, 2005?
4. What proved to me that the hot dogs from the Kosher hot dog stand beat Nathan’s hands down during the game of July 20, 2005?
5. Willie Randolph Bobblehead Day took place on September 18, 2005. Name the other five promotional Days the Mets held that very same day.
6. Identify the Pirate whose foul ball grazed my thumb during the game of July 3, 2006.
7. What did some dude draw on the front of a plain white t-shirt on the occasion of Jose Lima’s start of May 7, 2006?
8. A raspy yeller in a Wright shirt sat in my section on September 24, 2006. What call and response did she initiate during a brief shower?
9. What did Professor Reyes earn his doctorate in during the game of August 6, 2006?
10. What, according to me, required a pass from the fans attending the game of June 16, 2006, and why was that pass required?
11. What bopped around with glee and dropped out of sight to jeers before reappearing magically during the game of April 14, 2007?
12. Who sat nearby my friend Dan’s seats in Loge on August 12, 2007?
13. Despite my Shea kitsch tolerance level running extraordinarily high, what item did I note I could do without after the game of May 14, 2007?
14. By whose royal graces did Jake Peavy leave the game of August 22, 2007?
15. September 10, 2007 was Citi Night; what did the yelling guy a couple of rows behind me yell relative to that designation?
16. A loopy woman sitting behind me during the game of May 31, 2008 had her vocal cords obviously fused together with what?
17. Once the 2008 Mets vaulted themselves into legitimate contention, what did I mention, following the game of September 23, 2008, I could I forget about turning Shea Stadium into during its final month?
18. Given the Chicago accent of the guy sitting behind me during the game of August 23, 2008, what specifically did I expect a call for?
19. Fans expressed their displeasure with the playing of “Sweet Caroline” during the game of April 12, 2008. What was the overbearing New England mainstay to whose turn of fortunes I compared it?
20. Given that the Mets were losing 9-0 in the night portion of the Subway Series two-ballpark doubleheader of June 27, 2008, what couldn’t turn Jim and me back into the Sunshine Boys we’d been before 8:10?