Last Friday's 3-0 loss to the Phillies was, barring the unlikely event that I, living on student loans, pay the going rate on Stubhub for Mets playoff tickets (if the Mets make it), my final game at Shea Stadium. After the game, I started thinking about my favorite memories of Shea. My top 5:
5. August 25, 1985: Mets 9, Padres 3 http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN198508250.shtml
I remember next to nothing about this game, other than that Dwight Gooden pitched and that the Mets beat the Padres, that the crowd was energetic as could be, and that the jet airliners of yore were a lot louder than they are these days. I was 5 years old, and it was the first game I ever attended.
4. July 2, 2004: Mets 11, Yankees 2 http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN200407020.shtml
Kaz Matsui hit 2 HRs, and the Mets absolutely clobbered Mussina and the Yankees. Back in the dark days of 2002-2004, humiliating the Yankees was all I really lived for as a Mets fan, so it was great to see it in my first trip to a Mets-Yankees game. I got loaded on expensive Buds and heckled a lot of Yankees fans.
3. May 14, 1994: Mets 11, Braves 4 http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN199405140.shtml
To me, this was the birth of the Mets-Braves rivalry. With the new divisional alignments, they were now in the same division. John Smoltz gave up a grand slam to Ryan Thompson and proceeded to bean John Cangelosi, who charged the mound, sparking a huge brawl that later made the cover of Sports Illustrated.
2. May 5, 2006: Mets 8, Braves 7 (14 innings) http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN200605050.shtml
This was the game in which I knew that 2006 would be a special year, and that the Mets would finally defeat their arch-nemesis, Atlanta. The Mets of past years would not have come back from being down 1-0, 2-1, 6-2, 7-6 (in the 11th) and finally win at the stroke of midnight on a 2-out double over Andruw Jones' head by David Wright, scoring Beltran. I was there for all 14 innings, and never actually saw Beltran score the winning run, as I was jumping around once Wright's shot hit the warning track.
1. August 22, 2006: Mets 8, Cardinals 7 http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN200608220.shtml
Before the game, I told the friend I went with that I had never seen a walk-off HR in person. It seemed unlikely that such a thing would happen, as Albert Pujols crushed a 3-run shot and a grand slam to give St. Louis a 7-1 led in the 5th. I was almost ready to leave, but decided to see what the Mets could do in the bottom of the 5th. Carlos Delgado crushed his own grand slam, and we had a game again. In the bottom of the 9th, with the score 7-6, Paul LoDuca hit a one-out single, and Carlos Beltran followed with a laser shot into the Mets bullpen for the stunning come-from-behind win. I finally saw my walk-off HR