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From BR Bullpen
Bill Shea was a New York native who held several positions before he gained an expansion team for the city of New York in 1960.
Shea, a lawyer who graduated from Georgetown, was a one time owner of the Boston Yanks of the NFL. In 1957, mayor Robert Wagner asked him to chair a committee to return the National League to New York.
When requests for expansion were declined, Shea, along with Branch Rickey, announced the formation of the Continental League in 1959. The Continental League would be a third major league and would begin play in 1961.
The thought of a third major league moved the National League to discuss expansion. Two teams were to be added for the 1962 season. With New York virtually assured of one of the clubs, Shea abandoned the idea of the Continental League. The New York Mets played their first game on April 11, 1962.
In 1964, the Mets played their first game in their stadium in Flushing, Queens. The new stadium was dubbed Shea Stadium after their patriarch, Bill Shea.