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Capacity: 55,777
Shea Stadium

 

Area of fair territory: 113,000 sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: Above average.

 

Fences: 8 ft

 

Elevation: 55 feet

 

TICKETING
Inner Field Box $37
Outer Field & Outer Loge Box $30
Mezzanine Box $30
Loge Reserved $26
Mezzanine Reserved $21
Upper-level Box $21
Upper-level Reserved $12
Back rows, Loge & Mezzanine Reserved $12
General Information

Address:
123-01 Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11368
For ticket information call: (718) 507-TIXX

Who Plays Here: New York Mets (NL)
First Opened: April 17, 1964
Surface: Bluegrass

Architect: Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury
Construction: n/a
Owner: City of New York

Cost: $28.5 million


Shea Stadium


History

   After the departures of the Dodgers to Los Angeles and the Giants to San Francisco in 1958, New York created a baseball commission to bring another team to the Big Apple.  Appointed chairman of the Baseball Commission by then New York mayor Robert Wagner, William ALfred Shea tried unsuccessfully to get the Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates, or the Philadelphia Phillies to move to New York.  He then tried to organize a third major league, the Continental League, in 1958, with a franchise for New York.  The new league recruited the support of Branch Rickey and Senator Estes Kefauver, and proceeded to establish franchises in Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas-Ft. Forth, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, and Toronto.

   MLB didn't want a friendly relationship with the new league, and after a special ruling by Congress exempting baseball from anti-trust laws, the Continental League had to compromise.  They eventually reached a deal with Shea, allowing a new franchise to from in New York, and the league died before a single game was played.    In 1960, National League owners decided to expand to 10 teams and awarded franchises to Houston and New York.

   Shea Stadium opened in 1964 and is one of the oldest ballparks in the majors.  Originally, the Mets were to play only one season at the Polo Grounds, the former home of the New York Giants. However, construction of the new ballpark fell behind schedule. Shea Stadium cost $28.5 million to build and took 29 months from its groundbreaking on October 28, 1961, to its dedication on April 17, 1964.

   It was originally to be called Flushing Meadow Park, but a movement was quickly launched to name it in honor of Shea.  The stadium contains 24 ramps and 21 escalators.  It was also the first stadium capable of being converted from baseball to football and back using two motor-operated stands that moved on underground tracks.

 

   Shea Stadium is the noisiest outdoor ballpark in the majors because it is in the flight path of La Guardia Airport. The story goes that when the city scouted out stadium sites in 1962, they went during the winter, when flight paths into La Guardia are different, so they never anticipated the aircraft noise.  The Mets new stadium has a target completion date of 2004 and will seat 45,000 for baseball. The new facility will feature a retractable roof, 78 luxury suites and a roll-out natural grass field.

   

 

Shea Stadium Firsts:
Game - April 17, 1964 vs. Pirates
Batter - Dick Schofield
Hit - Willie Stargell
Home run - Willie Stargell
Stolen base - Joe Christopher
Strikeout - Roberto Clemente
Shutout - Al Jackson
Error - Bill Mazeroski
Night game - May 6, 1964
Extra-inning game - May 31, 1964

 

Analysis

   Allegedly, the spacious ballpark has the worst visibility in the majors for hitters - add that to its long alleys, deep center field and large foul territory, and it is an excellent pitcher's park.  What's more, swirling winds conspire against extra-base hits, and the roar of jet engines can disrupt hitter's concentrations.  The park's dimensions don't look menacing - 338 down the lines and 378 to the alleys - but the wall drops back quickly from the foul poles and results in a lot of fair territory.

Defense: The smooth, comfortable grass doesn't require outfielders to possess blazing speed to run down line drives.  The spacious outfield makes it important to get a good jump on the ball, though the poor lighting makes this the toughest challenge for outfielders.  Infielders don't have to deal with hot grounders or bad hops.

 

 

 

1998-2000

2000

Error Index: 105 101
Infield-error Index: 103 97

 

2001 STATS, Inc.

 

 

Who benefits: Pitchers love it here, especially ground ball pitchers.  Lefties do especially well, perhaps because of wind patterns, and right-handed hitters suffer disproportionately.  The biggest beneficiary has been Al Leiter, whose home ERA was a run better last year.

  This is an especially good place to groom young pitchers, because they can challenge hitters without consequence.  That's exactly what happened in 1969, when Tom Seaver (age 25 - 25-7, 2.21 ERA), Jerry Koosman (age 27 - 17-9, 2.28 ERA), Nolan Ryan (age 22 - 6-3, 3.53 ERA), and Tug McGraw (age 25 - 9-3, 2.24 ERA) and Jim McAndrew (age 25 - 6-7, 3.47 ERA) formed the best young rotation in baseball history and won the World Series.  A few other teams have put together such great young rotations - the 1985 Blue Jays come to mind, as do the 1993 Atlanta Braves.  Maybe the 1967 White Sox, though they were led by two 30-year-olds (Joe Horlen and Gary Peters) or the 1974 Oakland Athletics.

   The Mets again put together a first-rate young rotation in 1986, when Dwight Gooden (age 21 - 17-6, 2.84 ERA, 200 K), Ron Darling (age 25 - 15-6, 2.81 ERA), Sid Fernandez (age 23 - 16-6, 3.52 ERA) and Bobby Ojeda (age 28 - 18-5, 2.57 ERA) formed what I believe was the best rotation ever.

 

Who gets hurt: Power hitters, especially righties with alley power.  Last year, the park suppressed lefty power more than righty power for the first time in 7 years - and even then, not by a significant amount.

   The park doesn't really harm any one category of hitter because of its symmetry.  Mike Piazza fares much better on the road - in 2000, he hit .377 Avg-21 HR-60 RBI-.701 SLG on the road, .269-17-53-.525 at home.  In 1999, he was .282-15-56-.536 at home, .323-22-68-.610 on the road.  Same deal for 1998 - his average was 39 points higher on the road.

   Edgardo Alfonzo also suffers at home.  In 2000, 1999 and 1998, he has hit 41, 45 and 95 points better on the road respectively - cumulatively, he has hit 32 HR at home and 37 on the road in those seasons.  His slugging average has 42, 115 and 139 points better on the road in the last three seasons. 

 

Location

Flushing, NY: Center field (E), 126th Street; third base (N), Whitestone Expressway/Interstate 678 and Flushing Bay; home plate (W), Grand Central Parkway; first base (S), Roosevelt Avenue; in Queens, near Flushing Meadow Park, site of the 1939 and 1964 Worlds Fairs, just southeast of La Guardia Airport.

 

Park Factors

 

 

  Run HR Avg L-Avg R-Avg L-HR R-HR H 2B 3B
1992 90 91 97 96 98 96 86 97 98 97
1993 96 98 97 93 101 96 99 98 85 88
1994 109 105 103 104 102 118 97 104 86 112
1995 89 102 99 104 94 124 88 99 90 130
1996 82 79 94 91 96 89 73 94 79 73
1997 101 88 101 101 102 112 77 100 107 100
1998 97 96 96 107 90 104 91 95 96 143
1999 90 81 95 97 93 95 83 93 84 75
2000 89 86 95 93 96 80 87 94 95 41

 

 

1998-2000

2000

Walks: 97 92
Strikeouts: 104 107

 

Seating Chart

Shea Stadium seating diagram

Dimensions

Foul lines: 330 (marked, l964), 341 (actual, 1964), 341 (1965), 338 (1979)

Power alleys: 371, 378 (current)

Center field: 410 

Backstop: 80

Foul territory: Very large.

 

Fun Facts

  • Lowest triples factor in NL in 2000
  • Lowest doubles factor in NL in 1999
  • Right-center scoreboard is one of largest in the majors, 175 feet long and 86 feet high with Bulova clock on top, about 25 feet behind the outfield fence.
  • The Beatles played before 53,275 fans in August 1965 and again in August 1966.
  • The New York Yankees played there from April 6, 1974, to September 28, 1975 while Yankee Stadium was renovated.

     


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