By Dana Brand
As everyone knows by now, the Mets, beginning August 25, are going to start selling 16,000 pairs of seats from Shea to the general public at the cost of $869 a pair. This number is designed to remind Mets fans of the two world championships the Mets won, in 1986 and 1969. This pricing will be a handy mnemonic device for fans who have difficulty remembering in which seasons the Mets won the World Series. If we win this year, perhaps they'll add .08 cents to the total. That would be extremely helpful.
Am I going to buy a pair of seats? Are you? No, I'm not. Here are my reasons. They are not the original seats. The original seats were the wooden ones that got replaced in 1980. I have never accepted the plastic seats as real, just as I have never accepted the fact that when I sit in the Loge, the seats are blue and not orange. The upper deck is green, the mezzanine is blue, and the field boxes are yellow. I know this as I know my own name. I have to stop and think before I can tell you what the colors of these seats have actually been for the past 28 years.
Another reason I'm not buying them is that $869 is a lot of money. For that amount of money, you could bring your family to a game, park your car, and have a couple of hot dogs and beers. Also, with 16,000 sold at $869, I wouldn't bet on any appreciation anytime soon. This is a collectible sale for the kind of person who stocked up on Billy Beer.
Another reason I'm not buying is that my wife would kill me. That's a legitimate concern. Stadium seats aren't really cut out to be garden ornaments. They're more like garage ornaments.
But the main reason I am not buying seats is that I don't do relics. It may be cussed of me, but I think of memories as these things that are behind my eyes: dim, watery, imprecise, and absolutely authentic. They are in and of my soul. They do not have substance, location, or weight. I can put them in a book and the book can be bought, I guess, but if you buy the book, you don't have my memories. You have your own and that is all you will ever have. You cannot own a part of the Mets except by living through them.
When Shea comes down, I want my memories and my tears. I don't want two orphaned, homeless, pitiful seats in my garage.
Dana Brand's book Mets Fan is out and available from Amazon and other booksellers as well. For more information, see metsfanbook.com.