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Shea Stadium: Twist And Shout

As the Mets look to open their new season in a new park, I look back on the old one.

Shea Stadium was home to many memories for many people including my very first game, a 4-0 loss to the Astros behind a complete game from Nolan Ryan. I went to the game with my father, my best friend and his father. Our memories of the game are hazy, but the disappointment of the loss lingers and in many ways brings us together as Mets fans. The game was played on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 1982 and I was eight-years-old.

Some 26 years later I would see my last game at Shea. Fittingly, it was a 9-5 loss against the Cubs. David Wright homered for the 33rd time that season and Kerry Wood recorded his 33rd save.

While I feel like I sat in every section of the park, my first game's seat was at field level behind first base and my last game's seat was a bench in the picnic area.

The tearing down of the old to make way for the new is nothing unusual for baseball. This year the famous House That Ruth Built will move in the shadow of its predecessor and that of the Polo Grounds and the kids will line up outside McDonald's not far from where Jackie Robinson made history in Brooklyn, but the memories will some how remain enshrined in the hearts of millions of fans, some broken, some hopeful, some ready to love again.

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