Lidle crash touches Mets' Acta
Third-base coach lives in building where accident occurred
NEW YORK -- For Mets third-base coach Manny Acta, Wednesday was supposed to be like any other day. He left his home at the Belaire Condominiums, a high-rise building on 524 East 72nd Street in Manhattan at 2 p.m. ET. By the time he reached Shea Stadium at close to 4 p.m., he started receiving concerned phone calls from his family.
"Are you all right?" his wife, Cindy, and daughters, Jenny and Leslie, asked Acta.
Acta was OK, but he learned that Yankees right-hander Cory Lidle and a passenger were killed when Lidle's plane crashed into the Belaire Condominiums. Acta was not sure he still had a home to go to on Wednesday night. If not, he would stay at a hotel that the Mets arranged for him.
The ironic part was that Acta was planning to check out of the condominium for good on Thursday and stay at a hotel for the rest of the postseason.
"I didn't know where the crash was," he said. "I turned on the TV [at Shea Stadium] and they started saying that it was on 71st [Street], which is a block over, and then finally, they came out and said it was on 72nd Street.
"They still didn't have the exact address until they said it was 524, where I live. I started getting phone calls from my wife and daughters and friends who know where I live. It was pretty shocking."
Acta was saddened to learn that Lidle lost his life in the crash.
"I feel real bad about Cory Lidle, his co-pilot, his family," he said. "I also feel bad for the people inside the building. It's not just about him and me."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.