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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Casey Stengel Plaza

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This plaza, in front of Gate D at Shea Stadium, is named for Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel (1890-1975), Hall of Famer and former New York Mets manager. As a ballplayer, Stengel posted a .284 career batting average while playing outfield for both New York National League teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. Known for his wit and wisdom, Stengel finished his baseball career with the Mets, serving as the team’s first manager from 1962 to 1965. Although the expansion Mets were a notoriously bad team, Stengel was well received in New York, having previously managed the Yankees from 1949 to 1960, a stretch during which the team won ten league pennants and seven World Series championships.

Stengel acquired his nickname in his birthplace of Kansas City, Missouri, where he started his baseball career with local semi-pro teams. He quit high school at the age of 20 to play minor league baseball with the Kansas City Blues, and debuted with the Major League Brooklyn Dodgers in 1912. Stengel went on to play outfield for 14 years with four other National League teams, retiring as a player in 1925 and working his way up the ranks as a manager in the minor leagues. Hired as a coach for the Dodgers in 1933 and made manager a year later, Stengel guided losing teams in Brooklyn and later Boston until the Yankees hired him in 1949.

Stengel earned a spot in baseball’s prestigious Hall of Fame for his success with the Yankees. During his 12-year tenure, the Yankees, behind the batting power of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris, won ten pennants and seven World Series championships, including five consecutive World Series championships from 1949 to 1953. His convoluted aphorisms and homespun wit known as “Stengelese,” made him a favorite baseball personality. After becoming manager of the Mets in 1962, the team’s poor play led Stengel to utter the famous quote “Can’t anybody here play this game?” Stengel was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1966 and died outside of Los Angeles, California in 1975.

Shea Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s New York Mets, is one of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park’s most distinctive features. Completed in 1964 as a state-of-the-art facility to accommodate both baseball and football, it was a harbinger of today’s multi-purpose stadium. It served as the home of the New York Jets from 1967 to 1983, before the team moved to New Jersey. The stadium’s escalators, sloped ramps, concessions at each level, and electronic scoreboard with a 24-foot rear projection screen were all cutting-edge features for the time. The stadium is named for William A. Shea (1907–1991), a New York lawyer who played a crucial role in helping to reestablish a National League presence in the city after the Dodgers and Giants left New York for California.

Each year Flushing Meadows hosts over three million people for both spectator and recreational activities. Shea Stadium is one of many attractions in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park that make it an indispensable resource to New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.

Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Weather

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    45°F
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    Mostly Cloudy
    42°F
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    37°F
  • Sat
    Partly Sunny
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