I grew up watching the NY Mets with my dad, and going to Shea Stadium was a regular family outing. We used to sit way up in the top bleachers, and I was as loud as the beer belly man sitting next to us. When we went to the game, we saw players who are still talked about today; Strawberry, Cohen, Gooden, and Darling. We wore cones on our heads, and did the wave as an enthusiastic crowd.
To say that I am a "die-hard Mets fan" is somewhat of an understatement. I love baseball, the dirty dogs, the home run apple, and the corny chants we engage in while drinking overpriced beer. I get low spirited when the Mets lose, and over the top happy when they win. I once put a hole in my bedroom wall when the NY team won the National League Championship. I do not think baseball is boring like many people claim, and every game matters to me, even though they play every day.
This past Father's Day, my husband and I brought our daughter to Citi Field for her first live Mets game. I was overjoyed with sentiment as I watched her eat ice cream out of a blue plastic helmet. I spent a little too much time dressing her up in my 1986 Mets shirt, and fitting my modern pink cap on her little head. The anticipation to start time made me feel like I was a kid again.
As we sat in our seats in the bleachers, behind home plate, I could not help feeling nostalgic. I wanted to show her the big apple that rises from a top hat when a Met hits a home run. I brought her Mets ABC book so that I could point out all the pictures she had only seen on TV and paper. I hoped that this would be a regular part of her childhood, so I could instill the same love I have for baseball to my daughter.
Citi Field is different than the Shea Stadium NY used to play in, and going to a baseball game is different in 2013. The seats are more expensive, as is everything else in the arena. There aren't as many beer bellied men with their butt cracks hanging out of their jeans. We did not do the wave while we watched the Mets play the Chicago Cubs. You can buy fillet minion sandwiches and sushi along with your cracker jacks and hot dog.
Although there are anomalies at today's game that did not exist 30 years ago, there were also some things that I hope will never change. There were fans of both genders and every age wearing all kinds of Mets gear. We sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch, and Mr. Met is still our beloved mascot. The people in the stands had the heart of NY Met fans, cheering for the good plays, and booing for the bad.
I guess some of you want to know why I have the desire for my daughter to grow up a Mets fan; I have the choice to show her a team that wins more often, like the Yankees. However, I do not have the love for any other team, and therefore, the heart behind it is not genuine. I am a die hard Mets fan, I love the struggle they go through year after year, it gives a bigger sense of accomplishment when they win. To me, the Mets give off a feeling of belonging to a team, win or lose.
The Queens, NY team play as a uniform baseball team, not like individual ball players only there for their own baseball stats. We have the 1986 team, which is of no comparison in baseball. We have coneheads and Mookie Wilson. The best home run hitting catcher in baseball, Mike Piazza was our all-star. There is a big, red apple that signifies a home run, and of course the seven train to bring us to the field.
Mets fans are the best. We stick by our team, whether we are having a good or bad season; we don't just show up when it is convenient. Fans of the Mets remember the good times, and watch baseball because it is a game of heart. We chant, we cry, and we punch holes in our bedroom walls.