But I know it’s about two older guys who decide to do all the crazy things they’ve always wanted to do before they die.
Not my kind of movie, but I’ll steal the idea and provide the list of 20 things I want to do and see at Shea this Saturday, my final trip to the glorious stadium.
1) Buy a program and yearbook immediately after entering the stadium.
2) Meet Mr. Met! The team never had the mascot out there in the 1970s and 1980s when I was able to attend games. After seeing photos of the new and improved Mr. Met – and being subjected to other mascots good and bad in other ballparks – I must have an audience with the ball-headed one.
3) Head to the Clubhouse Shop and find the awesome penny squishing machine for my daughter.
4) Boo Derek F. Jeter when the starting lineups are announced.
5) Eat a ballpark knish. People in the Midwest have absolutely no idea about knishes.
6) Boo Derek F. Jeter when he comes up to bat. Every time. It’s the right thing to do.
7) Somehow get into the picnic area beyond left field. I’ve never been out there, and it’s the closest Shea has to bleachers.
8) Eat a ballpark pretzel – but only if it’s cooked over charcoal. I have no reservations that it will be warmed by the charcoal, but it at least should smell better than the ones spinning on racks under heat lamps.
9) Boo Derek F. Jeter every time he makes a routine play then rolls around in the dirt in a shameless attempt to get on ESPN’s Web Gems.
10) Find that spot in the right field upper deck where Tommie Agee’s epic blast is marked. (Read the comments below to learn that there's a reason I've never found the marker in right field. And that's because it's in left field. Color me embarrassed.)
11) Make my way down to the field level seats deep in left to get as close as possible to the retired numbers for a photo. Then buy a frame when I get home for No. 41.
12) Walk up to a Yankee fan – any fan, it doesn’t matter – and say “Deep down, you know he’s over-rated, right?” That fact that they will know I am talking about Jeter without even saying his name shows that they know the truth.
13) Participate in a “Jose Joooosseee Jose Joooooseeeee” chant.
14) Sneak into the Diamond Club to see the Mets Hall of Fame, pay homage to the Seaver bust.
15) Buy one of those souvenir mini-bats with Mike Piazza on it, find a Yankee fan in a Clemens jersey and pretend to throw it at them, then say, “NOW YOU KNOW HOW MIKEY FELT, PUNK!”
16) Find the one they call “Cow Bell Man.” I hear it’s not wise to engage in conversation with Cow Bell Man or even look him directly in the eyes. But I’m just curious to see what this guy is all about.
17) Walk up to a Yankee fan – any Yankee fan – and say, “So, is this the year he tests positive?” They’ll know who I’m talking about.
18) Refuse to sing along with “Sweet Caroline” when it’s played on the PA. I like the song, but it’s lame to steal a Red Sox tradition.
19) Have my new camera ready on the video setting for when the Mets hit a home run and the glorious apple rises from the top hat in centerfield.
20) After the game ends, I want to stay for a moment and look to the spot in left where Cleon dropped to one knee with the final out in his glove, the mound where Seaver bowed and the place behind first base where Mookie’s dribbler rolled past.
I want to see and the spot midway up the scoreboard where Mo’s blast hit – and the area below it where Robin’s “grand slam single” landed.
I want to look at the foul territory where “Mettle” briefly ran to remember that as bad it is, it’s not as bad as it was.
I want one more look at the outfield wall where Endy leapt and the dirt around second where Pete and Buddy brawled, and the infield grass to speculate when and where Jesse’s glove finally landed and the area near home plate where Say Hey said “Willie, say ‘Good-bye’ to America.”
I want to burn all of these places into my memory, as if to stick them into my backpack with the program and yearbook and camera. Then, finally, I can say, “Good-bye” to Shea.
It's been 17 years, so if there's something that's developed at Shea since then and you think I need to do it, let me know!