Shea Stadium was the home of the New York Mets for 45 seasons (1964-2008). Now, 10 years after they Mets left, many magical Shea moments like the Miracle Mets of 1969 and the Amazin’ Mets comebacks in the 1986 World Series are still remembered. But most Mets fans can only remember the most painful moments at the stadium they referred to as “a dump, but our dump.” Here’s a look back of some of the worst moments at Shea Stadium history:
Oct. 19, 2006 – This series should of been over, the Mets offense just did not switch on as slugger Carlos Beltrán predicted it would. Did the Mets take the foot off the gas too soon? Who let Steve Trachsel pitch in game three was the question coming to everybody’s mind? The Cardinals who crawled into the playoffs with 83 wins should have of been playing golf already.
Cardinals homer Joe Buck who was broadcasting for FOX covering the post season was greeted by the Flushing Faithful with chants of F**K Buck throughout the series.
During game six, Shea Stadium was shaking like it did in the 1980’s to the chants of “Jose, Jose, Jose” and “Lets Go Mets.” Before game seven, FOX gave fans white towels to wave because they looked great on TV. Shea was not same place it was the night before.
In the decisive Game 7, the Mets sent Game 4 winner Oliver Pérez to the mound against Jeff Suppan. The Mets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when David Wright drove in Carlos Beltrán in the first with a bloop single into right field.
The Cardinals tied the game in the second when Ronnie Belliard hit a sacrifice bunt that scored Jim Edmonds from third.
In the fifth, with runners on first and second and two gone, Albert Pujols came up to the plate. Even with Chad Bradford warming up in the bullpen, Willie Randolph decided to stay with Pérez.
He got Pujols to pop out. Pérez ran into some more trouble in the sixth with a runner on and one out, when Scott Rolen hit a long fly ball to left field.
The ball cleared the fence but Endy Chávez brought it back with an amazing catch. He snow-coned the ball, jumping from the edge of the warning track to grab what looked to be an easy home run.
He then threw the ball in to first base quickly to double off Jim Edmonds, who had rounded second on his way to third, to end the inning. He received two curtain calls from the Shea crowd.
With the score 1-1 in the top of the ninth, Yadier Molina hit a deep fly off Aaron Heilman, in the same general direction as the one Rolen hit in the sixth.
This one was too high to allow Chávez to make another circus catch, and it went for a two-run home run, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead with only three outs in the bottom of the ninth separating them from a pennant.
However, the Mets would not go quietly. Rookie closer Adam Wainwright yielded singles to Jose Valentín and Chávez leading off the ninth.
Pinch hitter Cliff Floyd who did not play the whole series because of injury, struck out looking. Game six hero Jose Reyes lines out, questioning why did Willie Randolph sent Floyd up in a bunting situation. Reyes line drive out would scored one run and move the tying run to 3rd base.
Wainwright walked Paul Lo Duca to bring up Carlos Beltrán with the bases loaded and two men out. All involved, including the capacity crowd at Shea, were acutely aware of Beltran’s history against the Cardinals, and the tension mounted accordingly.
Down 0-2 to the rookie Wainwright, Beltran looked at a called strike three, a curveball on the outside corner at the knees, and the ballgame was over. Shea was hushed in shock on what just happened. Beltran who’s big post-season years earlier earned him a big contact with the Mets just gave fans a memory of him they would never forget.
The Cardinals went to visitors locker room and sprayed champagne in celebration while mocking the Mets fans with the chant of “Jose, Jose, Jose.” The Cardinals swept the Tigers in four games in the 2006 World Series as the Mets would fall short of the post-season the two seasons with historic collapses.
The Cardinals went on to sweep the Tigers in four games in the 2006 World Series, and the Mets would fall short in the post-season with historic collapses in two straight seasons.