Metropolitan Memorial Park BUILT: 1969
Tidewater Virginia DEMOLISHED: 1993
6,12,14 Richard Freeman / All others:Joel@Halls Nostalgia
This is Metropolitan Memorial Park... aka the Met... home of the famed Tidewater Tides.
The Met was the Triple-A International League affiliate of the New York Mets from 1970
(when it opened), until it closed in 1992. The ballpark was located near the Norfolk airport and in many times throughout the game, time had to be called while the planes passed overhead. It was an excellent preparation for Shea Stadium where Boeings would come in low around the stadium bound for LaGuardia Airport temporarily halting play. While the stadium was built in 1969 it wasn't ready for play until 1970. The Mets' Tidewater Tides played the 1969 season at Lawrence Stadium in Portsmouth while the stadium was being completed. Lawrence Stadium was torn down soon afterwards. Met Park was an unusual facility. It was really made up of 3 separate parts... 2 baseline bleacher type sections and a rather large windowed building behind homeplate with very limited seating in front of it. Each baseline featured a single tier deck with a cantelevered overhang that made the stadium look almost identical (down the lines) to Puerto Rico's former home of the Expos... Estadio Hiram Bithorn. Behind the plate however, the triangular overhangs came to an end and this separate enclosed building housed the pressboxes, any luxury area box areas as well as a Tidewater baseball museum. Future superstars included Ken Singleton (17 HR, .388), John Milner (19 HR, .290), John Matlack (11-7, 3.97), Craig Swan (7-5, 2.34, 13-7, 2.24), John Stearns (.310), Wally Backman (.316), Hubie Brooks (.293), Mike Scott (13-7, 2.96), Jesse Orosco (9-5, 3.31), Ron Darling (7-9, 3.73, 10-9, 4.02), Sid Fernandez (6-5, 2.56), Kevin Mitchell (.290), Randy Myers (6-7, 2.35) and Greg Jefferies (.282). The ballpark was torn down after the new Harbor Park was built in nearby Norfolk for the New York Mets.