The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Memories Of Shea - The Field, Dugout and Darryl
I went to Israel with my father for three weeks during July 1990. I was 17 years ago, just having graduated high school.
I must have been pretty bored, because one day I came with him to the office at which he was working, and typed a letter to the sports editor of The Jerusalem Post, suggesting that they hire me to cover U.S. sports.
A few days later, I had the job.
When I got back home, I wrote to all of the New York sports teams requesting press credentials. I also applied for credentials to the MLB playoffs and World Series.
The last place Yankees treated me great, basically welcoming me to come anytime and to bring a guest along too. It was a pleasure watching the game from their press box, which included a full concession stand with everything except a cash register and a line. The Mets, who were in a tight pennant race with the Pirates, begrudgingly told me I could cover one game during the 1990 season and apply again in 1991. MLB approved me for playoff coverage.
September 2, 1990 was the game I chose. It was a Sunday, the day before Labor Day. Yeshiva wouldn't start until later that week.
I'd been an avid Mets fan since the late 70's, since I was around five.
I took the train from Boro Park and got to Shea nearly an hour before batting practice. The train was surprisingly crowded with people going to the U.S. Open.
I sat by myself in the Mets dugout. I walked on and around the Shea field and behind the batter's box.
It never occurred to me not to wear my yarmulke.
During batting practice, I watched and listened to the players on both teams mingle and schmooze. I remember Darryl Strawberry talking with Brett Butler. Strawberry would be a free agent after the season. It sounded like he said something to Butler about not coming back to the Mets. Darryl noticed me eavesdropping and gave me a look. I stepped away.
I don't remember much about the game. I remember that the Mets won, that Mackey Sasser had a big hit, that Tommy Herr had just been acquired from St. Louis and led off and started at second base, that watching the game from the press box wasn't so great, and that the Mets gave me a box with the media guides of every team in baseball. Those media guides are still in my old room in my parents' home.
The Mets didn't win the division and I didn't travel to cover the playoffs or World Series. Strawberry left for LA after the season. This was the last time I saw him play at Shea as a Met.