This Saturday at noon, what is left of Shea Stadium will be celebrated by the denizens of Baseball-Fever and all who wish to join them. They're meeting at noon on the Northern Boulevard side of the street, at the plaza where the traffic circle sat, if you're interested. The occasion will be marked by walking around, taking pictures and remembering that there used to be a ballpark there. So bring your camera and a few Kleenex.
I've been morbidly attracted to the photos the Feverites, Stadium Page and others have been posting with diligence since the evening of September 28. Shea was the focal point of my life 'til now, so I suppose its demolition is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It's hard not to look, probably harder than it has been to look. The only time I really felt as if something inside me was being demolished was when I saw the Gate E entrance teetering on the brink of extinction. Let's meet at Gate E, I liked to say. Now Gate E was being permanently shuttered into oblivion.
The Gate E slice of Shea is gone now and I really don't want to gaze up close at what little remains, even if this weekend is probably just about it for Ol' Blue. I was out there in mid-October when the shell of Shea was still intact but many of its guts had already been pretty well hollowed. I don't need to see any more. I appreciate what the organizers are doing — it's very sweet — but, man, I don't want my last glimpse of Shea to be its stump. I wasn't that thrilled that I got a peek of it in post-September 28 form. That's not how I want to remember it.
That, of course, is not how I'll remember it.