Shea Stadium: The Best Games Ever Played

Shea Stadium plateThe first baseball game ever played at the beloved Shea Stadium was on April 17, 1964 and many more were played until the ballpark’s demolition in 2008. There’s no arguing the fact that some pretty awesome Mets history was made inside the confines of Shea Stadium. I was lucky enough to receive The New York Mets Essential Games of Shea Stadium DVD set as a gift recently. I was pretty excited to check out what games they had included in the set to commemorate such a great baseball stadium. If you haven’t come across this DVD and are a fan I strongly recommend you do so. Anyway the games included in the set were:

1969 World Series Game 4 vs. Baltimore – This is a pretty awesome game, and I can’t argue with the choice here. Tom Seaver pitches 10 innings in the win. How often do you see that kind of stuff anymore? You don’t, that’s right. I think you have to include at least one game from the 1969 World Series in the set.

1986 NLCS Game 3 vs. Houston – This game comes from one of the greatest series in Mets history, and baseball history. Lenny Dykstra goes yard in the bottom of the 9th to give the Mets the win. There’s nothing to not like about including this game in the set. This is such a monumental series in the history of the franchise so I feel like this game’s inclusion is just a given.

1986 World Series Game 6 vs. Boston – Need I say more? If you’re not going to include this game on the Essential Games of Shea Stadium DVD then why even bother? This is the best game ever played at Shea Stadium.

1999 NLCS Game 5 vs. Atlanta – Ahhh the old Grand Slam single game! Although this series culminated into a disappointment for the Mets, this game itself was a pretty amazing one. 15 innings of playoff baseball is tough to top, so I say this one belongs on the list as well.

September 21, 2001 vs. Atlanta – Piazza goes deep in the 8th inning to ultimately win it for the Mets in this one. The larger significance of this game is what puts it on the list. This was the first major event to take place in New York City following 9/11. I think the emotional implications this game had make it worthy of its spot in this set.

May 19, 2006 vs. Yankees – Okay, this game is the one I really think you could make a case doesn’t belong in the Essential Games at Shea Stadium group. I’m not saying that watching David Wright get a game winning hit off of Mariano Rivera doesn’t bring a humongous smile to my face, because it totally does. I’m just saying that this is a regular season game. I have watched this game multiple times because who doesn’t like seeing the Mets beat the Yankees? I just think that if one of these games had to be cut, this would be the casualty.

These are really all awesome games in Mets history. I think that you can make a fair argument that these are the best six games ever played at Shea Stadium. However, in a future post I’d like to offer a few alternatives that I thought could have made the list. Admittedly I was only old enough to see the games from 1999, 2001, and 2006 at the time they were played. I think there are probably a handful of older games that could have been added to this DVD that I have never seen before.

I want to know your thoughts on The New York Mets Essential Games of Shea Stadium DVD set! What do you think of the six games they included? What games did they ignore that deserve to be remembered as some of the best at Shea?

Comments

  1. Baxter fan says

    For me, I go way back. In the summer of 1969, the first place Cubs (savor that phrase!) were in NY to play the Mets. Game one of the series was an afternoon game on July 8th. Fergie Jenkins and Koosman duke it out. The Mets don’t get a hit off Jenkins until the bottom of the 5th (Kranepool home run). Ernie Banks matches it with a dinger in the top of the 6th. 3-1 Cubs going to the bottom of the ninth.

    Ken Boswell leads off with a fly to center that CF Don Young misplays into a double. Donn Clendenon doubles to left, runners at 2nd & 3rd. Clean Jones doubles and both score, tying the game. Kranepool hits a fly to CF that Young misplays and Jones scores to win the game.

    After the game, Cub 3b Ron Santo publicly blasts his teammate, Don Young, for misplaying two balls in the 9th. This was one of the earliest and most meaningful comebacks in Met history.

    The next night, July 9, 1969, Young is benched. Manager Leo Durocher puts Jimmy Qualls, a young Cub with hardly any playing time that season, in CF instead. Tom Seaver throws a near-perfect game (the imperfect game), a one hit, no walk masterpiece, with the only blemish being a clean base hit in the 9th inning from Jimmy Qualls.

    You could not ask for two more meaningful games!

    • says

      Those are precisely the type of games I am talking about! I’m too young too say anything relevant about games like those, but after reading your comment I think you could definitely include them as some of the best games at Shea. I like the way they are linked together too. Interesting how one led to the other.

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