While Shea Stadium is no more, a piece of the old stadium traveled an amazing distance in the last week. Astronaut Mike Massimino, a New York native and avid Mets fan, brought a home plate from Shea Stadium with him aboard STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telecope servicing mission by the space shuttle that is scheduled to return on Friday. Massimino received a home plate from the Mets back in 2007 after asking the team about bringing an artifact into space after Yankees fan and astronaut Garrett Reisman brought dirt from Yankee Stadium into space in March of last year.
Massimino and six other astronauts launched on May 11 to help make repairs on the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino also became the first person to use Twitter from space and recently told ABC News about his experiences in space and how he wants to remember this trip more than his first to space back in 2002. "I think about it all the time, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about that experience," he said. "Seeing what the Earth looks like from up there is just amazing." As part of Massimino's deal with the Mets, he will bring back home plate when he returns and the Mets are expected to bring him back for a possible appearance at Citi Field this season.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.