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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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The Countdown Starts

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 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.

5 comments to The Countdown Starts

  • Anonymous

    I'm far too stupid to have understood exactly how this thing worked, so although I love Shea Stadium roughly the same as LIFE ITSELF, I have contributed nothing. Nothing except steely determination and unwavering devotion to the ballpark equivalent of Greg Maddux (by way of Bret “The Hitman” Hart, by way of Roy Hobbs)… “the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.”

  • Anonymous

    I also didn't initially understand how this was supposed to work, and contributed exactly as much as Laurie. But thanks for all the great ink! By the way, after you tune into Greg's Internet Interview at 8, go to mine at nysportstalk @ 9:40. Then watch Top Chef!
    Go Shea Stadium! Whoo hoo!

  • Anonymous

    What happens if the Wilpons break character and actually have a countdown this year? What happens to this list?

  • Anonymous

    Our list gets done first. They are free to copy.

  • Anonymous

    We were there in spirit, Jon… surely that counts for something, even if we are morons! *sniff *