Goodbye Shea, and Goodbye baseball. Come see some videos of the Demo of Shea Stadium!
March 20, 2009 by MarkM
It has been a nice ride Shea. I remember going to into your ugly gates, with excitement as I would run to my seats. I remember sneaking down to field level, on the chair that was at the loge’s 16 front row. Man so many memories I have. I have watched the game of baseball change over the last 10 years and I have realized several things. It was never the building that made the game fun to be at. The important thing was never the level of “Seats” I had. That was the kind of stuff in the end that never made any real difference to a me, because some of my most memorable moments happened while I was sitting in the Upper Decks, where it is said that, “no one who is anyone would ever be caught dead at”.
Something in the Stadium had changed over those final ten years, as I stated before. The more games I went to, the more I realized that the real fans were being pushed out. The game inside Shea had stopped being played for the fans and the community that they created. Shea stopped being great place where fathers and sons, and husband and wives could build a lifetime of memories. That whole idea had began to deteriorate, right in front of my eyes. The community as well as the the building, beam by beam began to rust. This was problem to which there could be no repair. Baseball had sold itself out in New York searching for the Big $ Corporate accounts. I soon realized that if I was sitting on field level, I would always the loudest person cheering. It seemed like these new “Fans” did not even care what was going on or how the game is played. It really upset me knowing that so many kids are not learning the game, they way we all once did. Fathers, now, can’t afford to pay the $1,300 price tag to get seats to bring the kids out to the game, so they can see baseball heroes, in the flesh.
When I think about it, kids seem to be less interested in playing ball after school. It’s really comical, now a days, they are even trying to bribe children into going outside with T.V. ads. Why have PSA’s changed so much? Since the 80’s they went from attempting to keep kids off of crack, to the new agenda of trying to motivate kids to get off their butts. I am pretty sure there is a connection here. Yep, baseball is no longer in the hearts of kids. It is without a doubt a dying sport, and its all because they sold out the heroes of yesterday. Also, before you comment on this article, I ask you to please not give me the steroids users or jerks aren’t good role models nonsense. I only say this because I grew up on Strawberry and Lawrence Taylor, and whether or not they were good people I idolized them, and strived to be like them. I not only learned what it felt like to fail attempting to be like them, I also learned how to win with grace and lose with humility because of them. These are just some of the lessons Major League Baseball and the “New PC America” is stripping from our youth.
My Father always told me stories about the way things were. My father grew up in Brooklyn and he was one of those neighbor kids who loved baseball. They used to play it all the time, in the public ballparks without adult supervision, something that today must be organized. There used to be a bunch of kids that he would go with and try to get tickets to dodger games sometimes after school. My dad would catch up with them every now and again, when he didn’t feel like going to the park. Back then he could get in using only change. A couple of nickels, some dimes, it didn’t really matter to him. As long as he could see the game. T.V. wasn’t in the picture back then, he would always tell me.
He used to speak about how beautiful the front gate was to that stadium, and how, back then, they had real fans in every seat! They even had a live band for music instead of some big clunky loud speaker. Man, my dad could make it seem like it was so much better they way it used to be. People had to interact, there was no other options. My Pop lived and breathed the Brooklyn Dodgers. At the age of 73 before he passed, he could still remember the times his father brought him to the infamous stadium after school and watch the dodgers in Ebbets Field for 45 cents a seat. This Park that symbolized so much to my father. My pop grew up on the Brooklyn Dodgers. There was a community, and a Identity around that team. They created and cultivated a true community around the team from Brooklyn and It was the atmosphere, the excitement that kept him coming back, he said. That atmosphere has been long dead in Major League Baseball.
I mean if you really think about how different things were back then it’s amazing. Ebbets Field was thought of as one of the best ball parks in the world, in it’s early days. The Polo grounds were a very dark and dreary place that was rented to the highest bidder. It wasn’t like Ebbets field. It wasn’t a fan’s ballpark. At least that what my dad would have said. It’s somewhat true, it didnt the have the identity that Ebbets had with it’s fans. Ebbets was the Dodgers home, and that includes their community of fans.
Let’s just take a couple of seconds to think about this. Ebbet was constructed and opened in 1913. Its original capacity was 23,000 seats. It was made with Brick, glass and Iron by hard working Brooklyn construction workers, who without a doubt felt connected to the game of Baseball. It costed around $750,000 at the time. I hope that everyone realizes what costed $750,000 in 1913 would cost $15,549,366.33 in 2007, if you adjust for inflation. Now this is where most citizens think, “ok yeah thats why tickets cost so much now.”
But lets look at what it costed to go to a game back then. Well in 1938 to catch a night game at Ebbets it was $1.65 including tax, to sit in the lower stand in section 6, 3rd row. This is without a doubt a Infield seat. with a rather high price tag at the time. Ok, so if you do the math, you’ll realize that these same seats in 2009 would cost you 31.20 if you adjusted for only inflation. Ok, lets check out comparable seats in Citi-field. The Delta club section 18 is an infield seat in around the same location of the Ebbets field seat only in the New great ballpark of Citi-field. As I am sure you all know the new stadiums are most club/box seating, obviously for the fans and not for big Companies (Sarcasim). Anyway, those tickets for the Mets vs. Padres game on April 15th are going for $218.00 each. Please note that this isn’t opening day. The adjusted $31.20 dollars ticket is a little far off the mark from what they are charging now, isn’t it? My big question is where is all that extra money going? The team owners all have a simple answer to that, which is complete bs. “Its going to the players salaries!”. That is total nonsense. It is just a deflector answer to hopeful make the public less aware of the amount of money that these club owners are trying to squeeze out of you, the fan. Today they have much more money channels that are bigger and more profitable that they didn’t have back in the day. T.V. Deals, merchandising, advertising on website etc. They don’t care about the environment anymore of today’s baseball parks. All they care about is how much money they can produce for the owner.
My oh my, how have things changed from back in the day at 55 Sullivan Place, along Montgomery St and Bedford Ave. They are trying to confuse us with the a lour of yesterdays ballparks, when the baseball that was played back in the days of Ruth and Robinson is long dead.
Shea Stadium Demo Videos: