From BR Bullpen
- BUILT: work started October 28, 1961; park christened April 17, 1964
- DEMOLISHED: work started October 14, 2008; ended on February 18, 2009
- First Hit: Stargell (Home Run)
- First Single: Bob Bailey
- First Double: Ron Hunt
- First Triple: Roberto Clemente (April 18th, 1964)
- First Run: Stargell
- First RBI: Stargell
DIMENSIONS: 338 down the lines, 381 to power alleys, 410 to dead center
HITTER'S OR PITCHER'S PARK?: Pitcher's, though not as much as commonly believed
LOCATION: Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York City, New York
GOOGLE EARTH: View Shea Stadium in Google Earth
Shea Stadium was named for William Shea, a prominent New York lawyer who was able to procure a National League team for New York, the New York Mets, in 1960. The Mets began play there in the 1964 season. Football's New York Jets, who had also played at the Polo Grounds, were the second-longest running tenant. Shea Stadium was one of the larger stadiums in MLB, in part because it did double duty for both baseball and football (the Jets left after the 1983 season).
Shea Stadium hosted events other than baseball and football, though -- soccer games, boxing matches, pro wrestling, and religious gatherings. It also entered the annals of rock history for being the venue of many blockbuster concerts, starting with a Beatles gig on August 15, 1965. It has hosted the All-Star Game once, on July 7, 1964.
Six players hit regular-season homers at Shea for both the Mets and Yankees: Bill Sudakis, Elliott Maddox, Darryl Strawberry, Robin Ventura, Shane Spencer, and Tony Clark. Interleague play enabled the latter three to do it, but Strawberry’s achievement came amid unusual circumstances. On April 15, 1998, the Yankees had to play a "home" game at Shea because a 500-pound concrete and steel beam had collapsed at Yankee Stadium. When Strawberry took one deep in the fifth inning, stadium operators partially raised the Home Run Apple before lowering it again.