The Mets. If anyone really knows Paul and I, they know we have a serious fondness for the New York Mets. Most people probably assume that I only love the Mets because Paul does, but if you really know your Michelle trivia, you will know my love of the Mets began back in the late 80’s when #9, Gregg Jefferies, played second base. Most, if not all, Mets fans make fun of me for this. Gregg was no Keith Hernandez or Lenny Dykstra and I acknowledge and understand that he didn’t win, or even take them, to a World Series. I don’t really think he did much for the Mets, but I liked him and that was all that mattered. It also helped that my uncle was an avid Mets fan and I adored my Uncle Herdie more than anything in the world. He listened to almost every game on his radio and I know if he was alive today he’d be proud to know I was marrying a serious Met’s fan. I wonder what he’d think of Citi Field?
Citi Field. Oh yes, that’s where this post is going. You see, Paul’s father brought Paul to Shea Stadium for the first time when he was a small boy, back when it was affordable to take your son to a ball game. They attended many games together and even witnessed Todd Pratt hit his historic homerun in a 1999 playoff game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It goes without saying that Shea Stadium held a special place in Paul’s heart and, when it was torn down last year, Paul had a difficult time saying goodbye. We even took a special trip to bid farewell when only a slab remained standing amongst the surrounding rubble.
Paul remained a Mets fan, but struggled to accept Citi Field and all of its new fangled modernness. He refused to attend a game at the Met’s new home, and only attended games on the road, once in Baltimore and once in Washington, D.C. “They tore down my stadium” was all he could say.
This season, I determined it was time for Paul to move on and for his recent birthday I bought him tickets to see the Mets vs. the Nationals at Citi Field. Paul agreed it was time and, last weekend, we took the Sea Streak (our favorite mode of transportation) out to the stadium. How cool is it that we can take a boat from NJ to NYC?
Citi Field. The structure itself is beautiful. Its new, its clean, its modern. We made sure to stop by the famous homerun apple for a photo opportunity. If you didn’t know, this big piece of Shea history, now sits in front of Citi Field. We entered through the grand Jackie Robinson Rotunda, gathered our scarves (it was Mets scarf day, how appropriate considering the weather), and took our first official tour of the Mets new home.
Its amazing what a major league baseball stadium has become these days. Is it a baseball stadium or an overpriced amusement park? Years ago, a father took his son to a baseball game, taught him about the game, maybe even showed him how to keep score. Today, if you can afford to take your children to a game, they can go play wiffleball while you watch the game on tv at one of the trendy clubs. Yes, I’m serious. Who buys tickets to a game to watch it on television? I can do that from the comfort of my living room and the food is much cheaper.
Speaking of the food. I had a nice conversation with a very polite hot dog vendor while we were there. You see, as I was passing him the money for the $10 hot dogs, I noticed the large and noticeable button he was wearing that said “Hot Dog-312 calories”. When I asked him why he had to wear a reminder of the dangers of consuming a hot dog when I’m months away from my wedding dress, he said that those tacky buttons were state law. Yes, every time we went to purchase an overpriced food or beverage item, we were reminded of the hundreds of calories we were overindulging in. I guess having the hot dog, a sausage sandwich, and a pretzel was probably over the top on the Citi Field calorie meter. Thank you Citi Field, now I can’t even watch a baseball game without feeling incredibly guilty for eating the all American hot dog. Geez.
In the end, surprisingly, the Mets lost. I know, I know, hard to believe. We love them still, despite their trendy new home and the constant frustration they put us through.
We will miss you Shea Stadium-you weren’t clean and you didn’t have a sushi bar, but you were all about the game.