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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Shea, Through Other Eyes

Yecch. What a mess. Not many observations about the game itself: It was one of those you're glad to see end. I was relieved that apparently wasn't Willie ordering up Kaz's singularly stupid sacrifice bunt with nobody out and runners on first and second in the second — guess sabermetrics hasn't hit Japan yet, either. And I don't think I've ever seen that many hit batsmen in a game that was basically tension-free: It was like everybody knew nobody had too firm a handle on this whole pitching thing.

I went to the game with a bunch of friends, several of whom had never seen Shea before, or had blocked out long-ago memories of it. It was interesting to see their reactions. A woman who's basically seen nothing but Fenway was impressed by the relative newness of things and the lack of bad seats. (We were in a upper-deck box behind home.) She did look somewhat alarmed when the upper deck began flexing during the brief spell of Met-fan happiness following Piazza's double, and asked worriedly if this was the stadium that things had fallen off of, or if that was Yankee Stadium. I assured her that things fell off Shea all the time, adding gravely that it used to have two more decks. The look of horror as she felt the upper deck continuing to sway was worth my ticket.

Still, two things made me wonder if we hadn't found our way to some alternate Shea. First a friend of mine figured out, about ten minutes after the fact, that the beer vendor had given her change from a $10 instead of the $20 she'd given him. Forget it, I told her, you have no shot. She returned a minute later with her extra $10. Wha? Then, leaving the game, we were intercepted by the orange netting at the street exit. My pals sputtered in disbelief; I just nodded sagely and offered a theatrical sigh. Whereupon one of my friends asked the cop holding one end of the net (he was about 14, by the way) if we could get through. “We don't want to cross the street, we want to go left,” she said — exactly the kind of perfectly reasonable thing you and I and many other folks have said innumerable times at Shea over the years, only to be reminded that the rules of Planet Earth don't necessarily apply in Flushing.

“You're going left? Why, that'll be fine,” the 14-year-old cop said with a broad smile, sweeping the net aside like a proud maitre d'. And so off the merry band of visitors went to the 7, with me stumbling along behind in amazement.

Postscript: After Cliff Floyd was brushed back by Livan Hernandez and got up to rifle a single up the middle, the scoreboard operators triumphantly fired up the celebratory cartoon for Mike Cameron. Given the afternoon's other surprises, that was kind of reassuring.

1 comment to Shea, Through Other Eyes

  • Anonymous

    your boys are fun to watch.
    but they ought to pick one uniform and be done with it.
    and it shouldn't have any black in it.