I congratulated Mary Ellen on her purchase, to which she blithely replied, “Someday I will bring the Shea organ in from my garage into my house too. At this point I sort of half-begged, half-demanded that Mary Ellen let me interview her. Here’s how it went down: Uni Watch: Tell me a little about yourself. He got to be a guest on Johnny Carson”¦ UW: Talking about bamboo?! Membership Update: A nice little surge-let of membership orders just before the August break (including Masao Okazaki’s treatment, shown at right) has put us only three enrollees shy of cracking the 800-member mark. Raffle Reminder: Speaking of which, all membership enrollees will get three bonus chances to win the college football helmet from Gridiron Memories that I’m currently raffling off. Meanwhile, Shane Victorino tried the S100 on Thursday night, but Rawlings didn’t send him a double-flap model, so we got to see the rare sight of Victorino going single-flapped. Further details in the last section of this page (with thanks to Bernie Langer). He just wrote “Shea Stadium — Original Blue Rectangle.” UW: Yeah, that doesn’t really tell the full story.
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I’ve written about them several times over the years and had always been told that they’d been discarded shortly after they were removed in 1980. Through the simplest means imaginable, as it turns out: She bought it on e Bay less than two months ago. Or to put it another way, one of my holy grails was up for auction right under my nose and I didn’t realize it. My father was known as “The Bamboo Man” in the 1960s. As for me, I’m super-duper happy to know that one of the Shea panels escaped the scrap heap, and even happier to know it’s in the hands of someone who deserves it and will take good care of it, even if that someone isn’t me.
That bruise on my ass is where I’ve been kicking myself for the past few weeks. ” Wait a minute — she also had the organ from Shea? He sold bamboo from our house in Upper Saddle River, and he became this quirky ’60s icon to some people. But hey, Mary Ellen, if the Hall of Fame doesn’t want that panel, I know someone else who’ll gladly take custody of it. (Good spot by Dylan Buell.) ”¦ Here’s more on David Wright and the S100.
”¦ Major thrift shop score by Jeff Santos, who found some authentic — and maybe game-used — Phoenix Suns throwback shorts at a Goodwill store in North Attleboro, Mass. ”¦ Bobby Cox once again wore the wrong cap on Sunday (with thanks to Joseph Stuhrenberg).
”¦ Prince Fielder’s belly is now so big that it’s generated its own force field.
I think maybe he didn’t title the auction properly.
I can’t believe I got it for barely half of that — I thought for sure I’d be outbid.
” Mary Ellen didn’t respond to my repeated requests for a quick phone chat, so we maintained this odd system in which she sort of parceled out little morsels of information to me. Did you go to Shea during that first season in 1964? I don’t recall specifically, but my father took us to Yankee Stadium and to Shea, and I remember how Shea had those confetti panels on the outside. They threw ’em in the trunk of their car and drove home with them. UW: What about the orange one that the seller’s buddy took — does he still have it? I called her up and she said, “The person we purchased the house from used to work at Shea Stadium, and they took the organ when the Mets were getting rid of it in 1979,” which I think was the last year Jane Jarvis played there.
Maybe she was testing me, making sure I was worthy. He’s a professor or teacher in California now, and the panel was in his parents’ garage in Queens, and they were finally giving him the ultimatum — “You’ve gotta get rid of this thing.” UW: When did put the listing up on e Bay? MEC: I asked his mother that, because I figured I’d buy the orange one too. It would’ve been great to have a blue one and an orange one together. And I bought something from the dedication at the stadium’s groundbreaking — it’s a Lucite block with a shovel embedded in it.  UW: So was this the original organ at the stadium? Mary Ellen also gave me the contact info for the guy who sold her the panel.
”¦ Steve Luft notes that the Blackhawks have changed the design of their red line.