Four Franchise Collision At Shea Stadium

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Shea Stadium
Shea Stadium

 

In 1975, Shea Stadium had the distinction of being home to the Mets, Jets, Yankees and Giants. It’s a memorable sports year that Adelphi University journalism professor Brett Topel captures in his new book When Shea Was Home. The below games/events are the most notable Topel picked that happened during that crazy season.

Billy Martin (left) and George Steinbrenner after the 1975 Old Timer's Day
Billy Martin (left) and George Steinbrenner after the 1975 Old Timer’s Day

Yankees Old-Timers Day
“Joe DiMaggio had it in his contract that he would always be the last player introduced at Old-Timers Day and they had to say he was ‘The Greatest Living Yankee.’ But then to have Billy Martin introduced after Joe DiMaggio as the new manager—nobody knew and the crowd went berserk.”

 

 

Joan Payson
Joan Payson

Mets Old-Timers Day
“The Mets Old-Timers Day was very good too because that was when Casey Stengel and Joan Payson, who was the Mets owner, rode into the field on a chariot. Unfortunately, both the first manager and original owner of the Mets wound up passing away that same year. As a sideline, that’s when things really started to do downhill with Mets ownership because once she was gone, that’s when they wound up trading Tom Seaver later on.”

 

Shea1975_052016_USArmyYankees Honor U.S. Army’s 200th Anniversary
“There was a game on June 10 when the Yankees were celebrating the anniversary of the United States Army and they blew the fence down with the cannon. It was one of the most bizarre moments and as a matter of fact, [former New York Yankees Public Relations Director] Marty Appel said in that blurb on the back of the book that he’ll never forget the day the Yankees almost blew up Shea Stadium.”

 

 

Doug Williams (left) and Bob Hope
Doug Williams (left) and Bob Hope

Whitney M. Young Memorial Football Classic
“Doug Williams, who went on to become a Super Bowl MVP, came in with his Grambling team. For me, what was really interesting was that not only was Williams familiar with Shea Stadium, but his brother had played baseball at Grambling with Tommy Agee, so it meant a lot for him to play there. Coach Eddie Robinson told him that everything worth anything had to go through New York at some point. I thought that was really interesting considering this was connected with a real southern school.”

 

 

Rolando T. Acosta - associate justice, appellate division, First Department
Rolando T. Acosta – associate justice, appellate division, First Department

Public Schools Athletic League Championship
“I think the high school championship was definitely a cool [game]. Rolando Acosta had pitched them into the [finals] a couple of days before and was on the mound again in the championship. He was scouted that day by Columbia University, which wound up giving him a scholarship there and not only did he go there, he played baseball there and is in the Columbia University Hall of Fame. He went to the law school there, became a lawyer, then a judge and is now on the New York State Court of Appeals.”

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