Inside Shea!written by Leon Hartman, age 9
My friend Leon, my uncle Jesse and I went to Shea Stadium, home of the NY Mets baseball team for a behind-the-scenes tour. Anyone who is a season ticket holder - that is, has a seat for every game - was invited; on our tour there were about thirty people.
First we went to the football locker room, which the N.Y. Jets used to use before they moved to the Meadowlands. (back when they were good!) We saw a football helmet for every team in the league - the Bengals and the Saints were the best looking because their colors stood out.
Next we went over to the t.v.studio, where we saw all the r.v. screens they used when they film the Mets, and the millions of little buttons that control the DiamondVision scoreboard. The three of us got to go into Kiner's Korner, the studio where they film the Mets postgame show, hosted by the famous Pirate player and Mets announcer, Ralph Kiner. We actually got to sit in his seat!
After that, we headed downstairs to the field. I looked out to see the field, but I didn't see it, it was totally covered with ice and snow! I asked the tour guide, named Cristin, "How do you get rid of the snow?" The answer was simple."It melts." People actually ice skate on the field!
Our next stop was the Met's clubhouse, where we took photos of the 1969 World Series Trophies. We saw new uniforms hanging in the players' cubbies, for Bobby Bonilla, Bret Saberhagen and Pete Schourek - each one had a special patch commemorating the 1969 Met's 25th anniversary. I wandered off a little bit and saw a table filled with shaving cream and razors (so the players can have a nice cleanshaven face for the game(, and the office of Dallas Green, the manager, which has a little refrigerator, a monster t.v. and about thirty Mets hats hanging on the wall.
Up at the press box level, we saw the fancy luxury suites. Sports Channel has one that cost $300,000! And they still have to pay for food and drinks!
Last stop on the tour was the Grill Room, where we had a treat of some cookies and coke. At the souvenir stand we bought my dad a Mets hat - so he wouldn't feel so bad about missing the tour. In the Window's Room, there was a question and answer session with Ed Lynch, a former player who is the assistant General Manager, which wasn't that interesting, but then we heard that someone was giving autographs back in the Grill Room and we raced in to see Mets centerfielder, Ryan Thompson sitting there. Leon and I gave him our hats to autograph and he did, and that was the best part of the day!
On the way out of the stadium, everyone got a keychain with the Mets logo on it, a great end to a great day!
originally published in the Spring 1994 issue of ZuZu.