Remembering Mets History (1960's) The Shea Stadium Usherettes & Hostesses

1960's Shea Stadium Usherettes & Hostesses: Back in 1964 when Shea Stadium opened during the midst of the New York's World Fair, it was a grand place. It was a major tourist attraction for New York City as World Fair guests could also catch a baseball game at the grand ballpark.

Shea was the newest stadium in baseball & one of the most beautiful as well.

One of its most interesting & good-looking attractions, were the Shea Stadium Usherettes & young lady hostesses. 

An usherette is defined as a female hostess who greets & escorts a paying customer to their seat at a stadium or concert hall.

These Usherettes only worked on the street level & field level section of the Stadium. They would greet the fans as they first entered Shea, then pointed them to the direction of the section of their seating. They did not take or rip the tickets upon entry. They were also known as 'female directors" more like a customer assistance job.

The girls would constantly have guys coming on to them & had to listen to all kinds of pick-up lines. They were always within ear shot of a policeman or stadium security guard in case there was any trouble. 

The girls would also help with general knowledge of the new ballpark, as they were trained to know the surroundings.

Most of the girls were college students in their late teens or early twenties. But some of the young ladies were married & even had children. It was said that there were 26 of these positions during the Opening weeks of 1964.

SydneyAnne Zatskin, was a freshman at Hofstra University at the time & working as an Usherette in 1964. 

In 2021 she did a fantastic interview on the great website: 

Sydney Anne said in the interview that the girls didn't go into the stands, because the organization was afraid of rowdy fans. 

She also said that the girls & the players were eventually both told to leave each other alone. More so as to not bother the players in the bullpen.

Sydney Anne got her picture in the newspaper & was the subject to a New York Times article, which led to an appearance on the TV show "What's My Line". (see the link mentioned)

The Shea Stadium Usherettes dressed similar to the airline stewardesses of the mid-sixties, in seersucker suits, with knee high skirts, sexy but yet very professional looking. 

Actually, there were a variety of different outfits, the usherettes wore at Shea Stadium. They were designed by Elaine Goldsmith of Whitestone Queens. Mrs. Goldsmith worked for the New York fashion Company, Saxony Clothes. 

One outfit featured a "Mets blue" jacket with an orange tie, white shirt & pearl grey shirt. Another outfit had a pinstriped jacket in "Mets orange & blue" of course, with a bow tie & grey skirt. 

The uniforms were usually accompanied with a hat, either a bowler or derby cap. Both uniforms displayed the new Mets logo on the left breast. Another design had blue & orange dresses, slightly higher above the knees, topped off with the derby hats.

These designs were also meant to capture a nineteenth Century look to contrast the modern age. 

These were tough jobs to get. At the
time the team paid the girls $13.25 each game & 15.50 for double headers. 

The rules were, they had to arrive an hour before the game & were relieved of their work duties in the middle of the 4th inning. If it was a double header they remained until the 4th inning of the next game.

In a NY Times article dated April 16th, 1964, one usherette-18-year-old Naomi, a City College freshman said: " It's awfully good for the ego, just standing here. I mean people come by & they look at you & they say, 'you look sharp'".

Diamond Club Restaurant: Shea Stadium also had a fancy, Diamond Club Restaurant. The
swanky Diamond Club had its own set of ladies who were called hostesses. They greeted & escorted the patrons down to their tables. 

The Mets were way ahead of their times with the restaurant idea & hiring of young the ladies.

Another pretty young Shea Usherette, Gunnell Bertson, appeared on the TV show, What's My Line in 1966. Below are the two links for the What's My Line TV show- featuring the Shea Stadium Usherettes.

Sydney Anne is on starting at 11:29


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