Sending out Shea with a nostalgic rideBy
Shea Stadium, pre-blue paint, looms over the 7 train. (Photo courtesy of NYC Subway)
When the Yankees said their good byes to Yankee Stadium last Sunday, the MTA honored the House that Ruth Built with a Nostalgia Train ride from Grand Central to Yankee Stadium. Tomorrow, with the Mets primed to send off the regular season portion of its time at Shea Stadium, the MTA will again be running old train cars from Grand Central out to Flushing.
While Shea doesn’t have the same cachet as Yankee Stadium, it has long played an integral role in New York City history. When the Dodgers wanted a new stadium on the site of the Atlantic Yards, Robert Moses proposed the current location of Shea Stadium as a compromise. For a whole lot more on Shea Stadium, both inside and out, check out Paul Lukas’ ode to the stadium on ESPN.com.
Meanwhile, for railfans and baseball fans, the 7 has long represented the Mets. It was back in 1999, in a Sports Illustrated interview when John Rocker said, “Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.” Never again would any New Yorker degrade the 7.
The MTA plans to run the nostalgia train just once at 11 a.m. It will run local, arriving at Shea by noon on Sunday. The cars include a 50-year-old R12 and a 1964 World’s Fair Car. The latter cars were service as recently as six years ago as the creaky red birds that run on the IRT. All in all, it’s a nice way for the MTA to recognize the 44-year history of Shea Stadium.