Shea family to be honored at home

Shea family to be honored at home

NEW YORK -- The Shea family's connection to the Mets, after the completion of this season, will no longer hold a prominent perch in the landscape of Queens. Shea Stadium will be gone, replaced by progress in the form of Citi Field. The namesake, too, will disappear, no longer greeting commuters a few paces south of the Whitestone Bridge.

With that in mind, the Mets will honor the legacy of William A. Shea in a ceremony before their final home opener at Shea Stadium on Tuesday. Thirty members of the Shea family will be on hand to help unveil a new Shea logo, which will hang alongside the team's three retired numbers, and travel with the Mets to Citi Field next season.

Shea, who died in 1991, was a key figure in the fight to bring National League baseball back to New York City after the Dodgers and Giants both left the city in 1957. He went as far as to work toward establishing a rival professional league before the Major Leagues granted him permission in 1960 to create an expansion franchise.

His legacy has been prominent throughout the ensuing five decades simply because of the name he emblazoned on his park -- Shea Stadium. It's one of the few remaining sports venues that never relinquished its naming rights to a corporate sponsor, but that name, along with the stadium, will disappear at summer's end.

Because of that, the Mets plan to immortalize Shea's contributions with a logo that will hang alongside their current retired numbers -- Casey Stengel's 37, Gil Hodges' 14, Tom Seaver's 41 and Jackie Robinson's universally retired 42.

Three generations of the Shea family will unveil that logo before next Tuesday's game against the Phillies, and will present Mets manager Willie Randolph with a floral horseshoe -- as they have in the opener for every Mets manager since Shea Stadium opened in 1964. Bill Shea Jr. will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 1:10 p.m. ET game.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.