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My day at Shea
by Tommy Russo, Working Underground Foreman for KeySpan Energy

Russo and Met
Click for bigger picture
Russo and Met
Last fall our company hosted an Employee Appreciation Day at Shea Stadium. Between our work force and family members, we had over 10,000 seats. At the suggestion of Ralph Ranghelli, the Business Manager of our union, Local 1049, I was selected to represent the company and throw out the first ball. I've always been a big baseball fan, so for me, this was like a dream come true.

The weather for the day was perfect. I got to the park about two hours early and met all the ball players, except for Mike Piazza, who wasn't standing around with the team. This was before Mike had decided to remain with the Mets. I asked the Met's photographer if he could get a photo of me with Piazza and he said after I threw the opening ball, to try to keep him at home plate so he could snap the shot.

Well the game was about to start and a booming voice comes over the PA system saying "Tom, this is your pitch." I run out to the mound, wind up, throw the ball, and then jog in to get it back from Piazza. He doesn't want to make eye contact and I see it's going to be tough to get a picture. When I'm about 5 feet away I say "Hey Mike, for $100 million, why don't you stay in New York for awhile?"

Got him. He stopped dead in his tracks for a second, and I saw the photographer snap the shot. The only problem was, he never sent it to me! That's ok, it was an incredible day, one I'll always remember.

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