161 games, 5 months of highs and lows, joy, sadness, elation, anger, despair, all were meaningless on the night of September 27, 2008. You gotta believe, the quote that all Met fans hold onto way too tight was the sentiment that we all felt before the last regular season game at Shea Stadium. One game is all we needed. We held our fate in the palms of our hands. A win would have guaranteed at least another game against the CC Sabathia-less Milwaukee Brewers. The possibility that all in attendance would witness the Mets clinching a play-off berth was commonplace in Flushing on the afternoon of September 28. We all forgot who we were.
A rain delay was nothing to stop tens of thousands of optimistic Met fans from flocking to the ball park. Many realists came to witness the last game ever to be played at Shea Stadium. Truth be told, the atmosphere was electric. None like any sporting event I have ever been to. Unfortunately, electricity if not properly channeled can go awry.
Oliver Perez – Scott Olsen. Advantage Mets, right? Not in the biggest game of the season, at least. The game went by swiftly until the 6th inning when all in attendance received a rude awakening as the Marlins put two runs on the board. Oh shit! We all remembered. We are the Mets. Carlos Beltran in the bottom of the sixth answered with a two run blast in the bottom o
f the inning. The stadium was walking on air, with the thousands eagerly watching the scoreboard as the Cubs had a 1-0 lead over the Brewers.
Then all went wrong. I had always had a slight feeling that this ball club was cursed. Now I know it.
The hated Wes Helms hit a pinch hit solo home run in the top of the eighth off of Scott Blowenweiss. After receiving the Booing of his life Schowenweiss walked off the field for the last time hanging his head in a terrible shame. It was then Luis Ayala faced none other than Dan Uggla. Through the anxious chatter, I heard what seemed to be the wrath of God himself come off of Uggla’s bat. There was no doubt about that shot. With that Karmic blast, so deflated the spirits of all supporters of the Metropolitans, fans and players alike. Almost simultaneously the Brewers took a 3-1 lead.
This was the time when all realized what they were truly there for. To witness the last baseball game ever played at Shea Stadium. But how screwed up is the fact that the final nail in the coffin of the ’08 Mets and the 46 year old stadium, that has seen the likes of the Beatles, and the infamous Buckner error, be hammered down by Locker Room’s public enemy number 1? *This is not an Uggla posting.* The last outs of the game were recorded with the strobing of thousands of camera flash bulbs. I admit I wanted to catch the last out on20film. AND I DID!!!
The relentless boos rained down long after the players left the field. A few Florida Marlins ran onto the field to collect dirt from the historic stadium. Enraged, the stadium bellowed with a thundering chant of “GET OFF OUR FIELD!!! GET OFF OUR FIELD!!!” As I met up with Stars and Boogie for the post game closing ceremony everyone was booing at everything. It was said that the Pope himself would have been booed if he dared walk on that field. With the announcement that the ceremony would begin in five minutes the entire stadium became enraged. BOOOOO!!! Shea Stadium this night contained the angriest mob that would make soccer hooligans look like catholic school girls. As the police horses marched onto to the field and the P.A. announcer Howie Rose addressed the crowd, he was met with a chorus of boos.
Closing Shea Stadium had been built up for the entire season and the ceremony was less than mediocre. It opened with Billy Joel on the big screen playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Mr. Joel was not in attendance. Then many legends who also were nowhere to be seen were announced. Howie then told us to hold on to our hats for a pyro-extravaganza. After which a couple of bottle rockets were set off by people on the roof, and two handfuls of confetti rained down and unfortunately blew out of the top of the stadium. Then everyone was told to go home.