Mets want more memories at Shea
New York can extend time at stadium with postseason berth
NEW YORK -- More than four decades of baseball have funneled into seven days and seven games, which the Mets will knock off their calendars one by one. Come Sunday, there will only be one regular-season game left to play before the Mets wave their final farewell to Shea Stadium, their home since 1964.
Then, they hope, they will quickly wave hello.
Sunday's goodbye does not have to be the last time the Mets play at Shea Stadium -- and as long as they win enough games this week, it won't be. The Mets are primed to make the playoffs, and to host at least one -- and potentially as many as 10 -- October games at Shea.
But Sunday, regardless, will be a farewell of sorts. The Mets will play their final regular-season game at Shea Stadium, hosting the Marlins in a game that could have playoff implications -- and that undoubtedly will have historic ones.
The Mets expect scores of former friends -- teammates, coaches and others -- to attend Sunday's farewell ceremony, and will announce a complete list of dignitaries early this week. Some will be expected -- think Tom Seaver and Keith Hernandez -- others, perhaps not. But it's a good bet that if their names are synonymous with the word "Mets" in baseball history, they'll be standing inside Shea's walls come Sunday.
And that's just the schedule for the final afternoon. The Mets have plans for Shea Stadium all week, which -- they hope -- might at some point include a playoff-clinching victory over either the Cubs or Marlins.
"We've got to give Shea Stadium a nice send off," manager Jerry Manuel said. "We have the opportunity. It's right in front of us."
The farewell begins on Monday, when the Mets host the Cubs and begin counting down the "Greatest Moments at Shea Presented by Nikon" results, as voted on by fans at Mets.com. Throughout the week, the Mets will reveal the winners, in conjunction with in-stadium vignettes at Shea.
All the while, the Mets will continue selling pairs of plastic seats from the 44-year-old stadium. Orange and blue seats have already sold out, but green and red seats remain available for purchase.
The backdrop for all this -- and, of course, the reason -- is Citi Field, looming over Shea Stadium's left-center-field wall. The Mets will move into their new state-of-the-art ballpark next April, leaving a home that has played host to two World Series champion teams, a Super Bowl-winning Jets team and concerts ranging from the Beatles to Billy Joel.
It will be an emotional farewell, certainly, but that won't stop the Mets from attempting to drag it out even longer. They are on the cusp of making the playoffs for the second time in three years, which would in turn give them some more quality time at Shea. And simply being there, the Mets hope, can help them to achieve that end.
"It's a huge home-field advantage going back to New York," third baseman David Wright said after Sunday afternoon's game in Atlanta. "Fans are going to be into it. They're going to be rowdy."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.