SPIKE ROGAN'S Warped World of Sports

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Waiting on a sunny day......

Well today for my early birthday gift we were to go to NYC and see the Phillies play at Shea. My dad and one friend are Mets fans. 24 years ago my father took me to Shea for my First ever MLB game. We were front row between first and right field. I remember yelling to a young Daryl Strawberry.

I really recall other items that day 24 years ago. The visiting team in powder blue and maroon hats had some guy named Mike Schmidt. He hit a giant (well at four years old it looked massive) home run. And was cheered by many Mets fans. (boy how time has changed. If Chase Utley does that today boo city!)

Hopefully due to Hanna they will play a day night double on my Birthday instead. We have chosen not to drive to NYC only to turn around. Hanna will hit this side of America today. The rain is increasing as I write this. Accuweather says NY will get hit around 2Pm the game is 3PM.

Maybe I will buy some RC Cola and Khans franks to recreate the first days I went to Shea. Only I will not have any Harry M. Steven's paper cups with plastic wrap on top to drink the RC cola from. I was born in 1979 on Long Island New York. My Family moved to the Poconos in 1990. My dad the mets fan took me as a kid to Shea all the time. When I was real young he had season tickets to the Islanders. I went to most of the playoffs from 1980-1984 there.

I was a Mets fan until the early 90’s. In 1986 I must have attended a dozen games at Shea, it felt like 200. I was a a huge fan of Ray Knight, Lenny Dykstra (nails then), Strawberry, and Gary Carter. But as I got older Shea changed fast. Knight was gone after 1986, Carter just a few seasons behind. Strawberry became a train wreck that soon left for the Dodgers. And the day the music died when on WFAN (the very early days of Mike and the Mad Dog I think) a rainy weekday afternoon on my moms school bus radio.

“The New York Mets, have traded Roger McDowell and Lenny Dykstra to the Philadelphia Phillies for Juan Samuel.” I was crushed my last favorite baseball player now gone. My dad told me Sammy was great it may have been a good deal. The next Saturday home game we had tickets. We sat in the last row of the green Mezz section. A fight broke out and later it turned out what we missed as we lowered our heads to see past the section above. Juan got hurt, it was down hill fast from there for him.

In the summer of 1990 my folks sold their decade home Ranch in Selden Ny. I think the one bathroom house sold for over $150,000. We moved to Pennsylvania with no house as we drove there. We had to park the moving van and pick a house when we arrived. We ended up at 7078 Beaver Court in Tobyhanna. In the infamous Pocono Country Place (PCP). Our black and white TV with rabbit ears could get just a few stations. A very fuzzy WWOR 9 (no picture but sound), WNEP 16 Scranton (first TV job for Bill O’reilly), and the old Channel 17 Philadelphia had picture. We watched a few Phillies games our first few days while we lacked cable and phone. I’ll never forget hearing Harry Kalas call a home run for the first time on that old TV. And the non-stop funny stories “Whitey” Richie Ashburn told.

Heck I even got to see Lenny again! Well by 1993 I had been to numerous Red Barons games in Scranton, since we went to few games at Shea from 1990 to 1993. (1 total September 1990) and I even bought a Phillies batting helmet during the summer of 1993. I was more interested in guys like Dutch Dualton, “Mitchie Poo ” Mitch Williams, now “the Dude” Lenny Dykstra, and a nut “DJ” Danny Jackson. There wasn’t a NL fan in America who wanted the Blue Jays to repeat in 1993. The dirty dudes won over America. SNL even did a skit on them, with Farley as Krucker.

1994 would bring the MLB strike. I would only follow the Red Barons for the next 8 seasons. I only first went to the Vet in 2003 the last year of the place. The First time, was a blow out loss to the last place Ny Mets. The second and last time, was the last Saturday game at the vet. When in the 10th a unknown Chase Utley his a RBI single to win the game vs the first place Braves. it would be the Phillies last win at the vet ever!

In 2004 my father and I went to the Phillies new park together for the first time on Veterans day for a rain delayed after noon game. It was the first ever game between the Mets and Phillies there. Tomorrow will possibly be the last ever day those two teams meet there(Shea). And even though I may have been the “the fan to be-named later” in the deal with Dykstra. I will probably cry. i never got on the “diamond vision at Shea” like I did that saturday before the 9th at the Vet. But both places touched my life. Both can never be replaced. Shea is a complete shit hole and I will miss it when we park over it years from now. Just like I will cry the day They knock the Spectrum down so yuppie cocksuckers can eat and shop in south philly.

Until then I will be ....... WAITING ON A SUNNY DAY


  • Well, dang, Spike, ya got me all choked up. Just thinking about being six and in the left field stands at Crosley Field to watch my (then) hero Pete Rose and the rest of the Reds play the Giants.

    Dad had detoured us to see an old Navy buddy in Cincy with whom he'd taken in many a ballgame after the war at that old ballpark.

    He and Archie Stagge wanted to see one last game together there. Crosley would be replaced the next year with yet another of the hideous concrete donuts (Riverfront, The Vet, The Launching Pad, Three Rivers, Busch, AtlFultonCo) that dotted the baseball landscape in the 70s and 80s.

    The Reds lost. I was devastated. At six, I felt a sense of forboding, like somehow Pete hadn't come through on account of I was in the stands.

    That irrational paranoia dogs me to this day. The surest way for me to know my beloved Mountaineers will triumph is to stay as far away from the venue where they're playing as humanly possible. Sometimes it even extends to not watching on TV.

    And I honor the superstition, too. An otherwise intensely rational person, I don't fool with the unwritten rules of the Universe when it comes to sport.

    A grand recollection, Spike! Thanks for sharing it and setting the WaBAC Machine for me.

    By Blogger Bob Kincaid, at 12:56 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Sexy Witch, at 5:11 PM  

  • Happy Birthday sweetheart. I had a great time today rooting for the Phillies even though I will always be a Yankee girl at heart.

    Love you!

    By Blogger Sexy Witch, at 5:15 PM  

  • Oh, this just makes me so sorry my allergies prevented me from coming Sunday. Farewell, Shea - I loved you well...

    By Blogger Elucidator, at 1:12 PM  

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