Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ode To A Hunk Of Concrete

Fun facts about old Veterans Stadium:

The Mets were a lifetime 121-152 there, while they are 6-6 all time at the new Citizens Bank Park.

Veterans Stadium was the scene of many memorable Mets losses, including: a 26-7 thrashing on June 11th, 1985, when Calvin Schiraldi and Joe Sambito each gave up ten runs. (Schiraldi and Sambito pitched for the Red Sox in 1986 and, well you know the rest.) Amazingly, Doug Sisk pitched 2 and 1/3 innings and gave up ZERO runs.

The Mets also lost three straight there in September of 1986 when the Mets were only one victory over Philadelphia away from clinching the division title.

The Mets also lost 6-5 on June 18th, 1989, and after the game the Mets and Phillies, no doubt after much alcohol imbibement by Mets management, made a trade which sent Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell to Philadelphia for Juan Samuel. The vision of Roger McDowell at the Vet after the game in his Mets gear explaining to his family that he was traded is a vision which haunts me to this day. Dykstra went on to lead the Phillies to the 1993 N.L. Pennant while (allegedly) on steroids, while Juan Samuel led the Mets to 86 games of worthlessness (allegedly).

Also, on July 25th, 1990, the Mets won a memorable game against the Phillies, where they had a 9-0 lead after six innings, and a 10-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth. Phillie and future Met Tommy Herr led off the inning with a single, and ended the inning with the score 10-9 by lining out to shortstop Mario Diaz with the bases loaded to end the game. Mets legend Bob Murphy completely lost it in the broadcast booth proclaiming "The Mets win! They win the damn thing 10-9!"

On October 6th 1991, David Cone struck out 19 Phillies while battling accusations of sexual misconduct. The Mets won 7-0, but Cone was traded the following season, no doubt after much alcohol imbibement by Mets management.

Also, on May 29th, 1994, the Phillies defeated the Houston Astros 4-2 at the Vet. It's only significant because it was the closest I had ever come to seeing a no-hitter in person. David West pitched six innings of no-hit baseball, and Heathcliff Slocumb pitched 2 more no-hit innings before entering the ninth inning. The Astros broke up the no hitter and scored 2 in the ninth, but Doug Jones got the save for the Phillies win. It was also the day that it was so hot, a woman fainted and hit her head on the concrete. Metstradamus and friends thought we had witnessed a death in the 700 level in center field, but luckily she was fine. However, there was no no-hitter.

And on Sunday, March 21st, 2004, Veterans Stadium, courtroom, rats and all, was gone. If the stadium had a soul, then it's burning in hell right about now.

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