Straight from the outer boroughs
|I am a true Mets fan!—by Sean Davis via Flickr|
There are many factors that have made me fall in love with the New York Mets. The numerous memorable baseball games (good and bad) I have gone to over the years, the roar of the Flushing Faithful, and the casts of great players that have donned the Blue and Orange are some of reasons why I am enamored with the team, win or lose. Hey, I am a true fan!
But the biggest reason I love the Mets is because over the years, those games helped strengthen the special relationship I have with my 18-year-old nephew and godson, Carmine. I took him to his first baseball game when he was about seven, and the larger-than-life atmosphere at Shea Stadium, the former home of the New York Mets, completely mesmerized him.
|Shea Stadium was the former home of the Mets–credit|
Traveling through Queens toward Flushing, we could see Shea from the 7 train as it chugged closer and closer, intensifying the thrill of attending America’s favorite pastime for the both of us. As soon as we exited the train, Carmine saw the outside of the stadium and his face lit up, conveying wide-eyed excitement. He didn’t have to say anything, I knew he was hooked.
Of course, he needed a jersey, and he picked our favorite player’s number, “31,” belonging to future hall of famer and former great Mets catcher, Mike Piazza. I immediately knew he would be a fan for life.
|#31–Mike Piazza—by slgckgc via Flickr|
As we rode up the escalators and finally took our seats, nothing could match the magical look on his face as his eyes panned around the stadium, soaking in all the excitement. He loved the legendary giant Home Run Apple that sat beyond the fences, which rose every time a player hit a home run. (That apple is now located outside Citi Field, the Mets’ present home.)
|The shiny new Citi Field with the Apple–credit|
During the game the score was close, and he turned to me—all caught up in the frenetic NYC baseball environment—and said, “Uncle Jerry, this is so exciting.”
The Mets wound up winning, capping a perfect evening for baseball’s newest life-long enthusiast and his uncle. The next day, the first thing he put on was his brand new Mike Piazza jersey, my sister Luisa told me over the phone.
Although the Mets moved into Citi Field in 2009, he still recalls Shea Stadium with fondness. Sure, he calls Shea a dump, but he says, “It was our dump.” Shea did have an eyesore charm to it, I must admit.
|Shea Stadium was our dump.–by phi1317 via Flickr|
We have gone to several Mets games since then, growing closer with each victory and, unfortunately, each disappointment. More importantly, each time we took in a game, it made me feel like a kid all over again.
Still, nothing could beat the experience of sharing my nephew’s first baseball game. Unless, of course, it’s a World Series victory for our favorite baseball team!
We can dream, can’t we?