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What’s my name? It’s in the ballpark

Kidsday reporter Shea Rodriguez on Shea Bridge, a

Kidsday reporter Shea Rodriguez on Shea Bridge, a walkway behind centerfield at Citi Field. She and the path were both named after the Mets' old stadium. Credit: Meredith Kennedy

My name is Shea, and I have an interesting story behind my name.

Before I was born, the Mets played the Atlanta Braves on June 30, 2000. In front of my mom sat a very obnoxious Braves fan doing the tomahawk chop, a chant with an arm movement that Braves fans do. Fed up with him, my mom threw her beer at him, and she got escorted out of Shea Stadium. Little did she know that although the Mets were losing by seven runs, they would come back and score 10 runs in the bottom of the inning to win the game, and that this game would be known as one of the Mets’ greatest comebacks in history.

That same year, the Yankees played the Mets in the World Series, and there was a close-up of her during Game 5 on national TV. My dad is a Yankees fan, and the series was tough on their relationship, but they obviously made it through as I’m here to tell the tale.

Four years later, while my mom was pregnant with me, her brother pointed out that her due date was just two days away from the anniversary of her ejection from Shea. The story was infamous in the family. My parents decided that if I was born on June 30, and a girl, they would name me Shea.

Two weeks before I was born, my mom was watching TV, and a commercial came on promoting the upcoming Subway Series of the Yankees against the Mets. During the promo, they showed a clip of a big Yankees fan, then a clip of my mom at the World Series game from 2000, banging her drum and waving her towel. I was not born that day, but two days later on July 2, but my mom and dad named me Shea, carrying that story of my name with me every day.

People usually just assume I have my name because my family are huge Met fans. Although that is true (except for my dad), I wouldn’t be named what I am without that story, and it’s now one of my favorite stories to tell. Let’s go, Mets!

Valerie Hanley’s seventh-grade class, Our Lady of The Hamptons Roman Catholic School, Southampton

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