A look back at Shea Stadium

NEW YORK — It’s been nearly a decade since the wrecking ball sealed Shea Stadium’s fate.

While gone, the venerable ballpark is certainly not forgotten. Though Citi Field — an Ebbets Field-inspired design — may have replaced Shea, the memory of the ballpark remains for the diehard Mets fans.

The famed “cookie cutter” stadium opened in 1964. The Mets moved into Shea Stadium in 1964 after playing their first two seasons at Manhattan’s The Polo Grounds.

The New York Jets played at Shea until 1983 when they left the city and started calling New Jersey home.

Any list of the greatest moments at Shea is likely to include:

  • Game Six of the 1986 World Series when Mookie Wilson hit a slow-rolling ground ball that found its way through the legs of Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner; the Mets won the game 6-5 and would go on to win the World Series
  • In 1969, the Mets won their first World Series, knocking off the Baltimore Orioles in five games, achieving one of the greatest upsets in World Series history
  • In 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the stadium on a rainy October day, but the rain stopped the minute the pontiff’s popemobile entered the stadium
  • In 1973, O.J. Simpson became the NFL’s first running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season
  • In 1965, The Beatles kicked off their North American tour at Shea

The images above were taken in 2008 during Shea’s last season.

About Todd DeFeo 824 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.