A year for so many great things, including, as all New York Mets fans have been reminded so many times this year, the opening of their beloved home, Shea Stadium.
While Shea has often been overshadowed by the largesse and 26 World Series titles of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, this scrappy, underdog Queens-based ballpark has seen two Fall Classic wins, including the impossible 1986 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Like Yankee Stadium, Shea will permanently close its doors after this season, making way for the new Citi Field that has risen next to it in the enormous Flushing Meadows parking lot.
So, with the hopes of an October lease extension keeping the Mets fans up every night, let's compare what life was like in the world 44 years ago when Shea's doors first opened to now, with the wrecking ball of progress looming.
In 1964, Sony introduced the first video cassette recorder.
In 2008, Major League Baseball ushered in the era of video replay.
In 1964, Pablo Picasso painted his fourth "Head of a Bearded Man."
In 2008, Jason Giambi of the Yankees thrilled superstitious baseball fans all over the world with his throwback moustache.
But it hasn't all been about baseball over the last four and a half decades. Some truly important things have happened in the world.
For example, in 1964, the African country of Malawi gained independence from Great Britain.
And in 2008, pop star Madonna continued to try to adopt babies from Malawi.
In 1964, the most powerful earthquake in American history (9.2 on the Richter scale) hit South Central Alaska.
In 2008, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin caused tremors in the political world by being named the first female Vice Presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party.
In 1964, Jimmy Hoffa was found guilty on bribery charges and sentenced to eight years in prison.
In 2008, O.J. Simpson went on trial for armed robbery.
There have been significant advances made in literature, music, film and pop culture as well.
In 1964, Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" was posthumously published.
In 2008, Joey Chestnut successfully defended his Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest title over Takeru Kobayashi by winning a five-hot dog "eat-off" after tying Kobayashi by downing 59 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
In 1964, "Tom Jones" won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In 2008, you can catch the Welsh soul-singing sensation known as Tom Jones at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In 1964, the Beatles wowed the world with their appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
In 2008, Heather Mills wowed the world by winning a divorce settlement of $48.7 million from her ex-Beatle ex-husband, Sir Paul McCartney.
In 1964, "Peyton Place" debuted on ABC, making it the first prime-time soap opera.
In 2008, the New York Giants won a soap opera of a Super Bowl over the New England Patriots under the leadership of Eli Manning, whose brother's name is Peyton.
From Nolan Ryan to Tom Seaver to Jerry Koosman to Craig Swan to Pat Zachry, from Joe Torre to Lenny Randle to Hubie Brooks to Mookie Wilson to Lenny Dykstra, from Kevin Mitchell to David Cone to Mike Piazza to Johnny Franco to Matt Franco, and today, with David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana leading the charge, Shea Stadium has provided more than enough thrills for Mets fans to keep up with the Yankees.
And through it all, the purplish, neon-lighted, big, round ballpark with the Big Apple home-run prop and 737s buzzing overhead has stood there gallantly and watched history go by.
Next year, Citi Field will begin the same journey.
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.