I was too young to understand or develop a true interest in baseball until 2006: the season the Mets reached the NLCS for the seventh time in franchise history. I was watching an extremely talented team featuring the young dynamic duo of David Wright and Jose Reyes, who were followed in the line-up by the powerful bats of Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd. The gritty Paul LoDuca worked with the pitching rotation helmed by Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez.
This was a new Mets team with an infectious energy that I could not help but root for. I discovered my passion for baseball—whether I was cheering at home or a game, intently watching a pre-game or post-game show, or nearly being brought to tears when the Mets’ World Series hopes were dashed as Carlos Beltran struck out on Adam Wainwright’s nasty curveball.
Over the years, I have made a ton of great memories going to games. I have seen many great wins, including two walk-off wins against the Phillies. I witnessed baseball history when Gary Sheffield joined the 500 home run club. Unfortunately, the man in front of me did not because he was in the infinitely long line for Shake Shack.
In 2007, I received my favorite player David Wright’s autograph, and since then I have amassed a small collection. Another one of my favorite autographs is from Cy Young award winner RA Dickey. I have also snuck into the dugout seats and caught a ball from Ike Davis between innings, and a t-shirt from the t-shirt toss. Every Mets fan knows how stingy Mr. Met can be with those t-shirts, so it is worth mentioning.
Since then the Mets have not been able to recreate the magic of 2006. It has certainly been frustrating at times, but I still believe that we have a bright future ahead of us. Yes, just like many sports fanatics I often refer to my team as “we” or “us.”
I would recommend for everyone to watch baseball because it’s such a unique game. Some people say that football and basketball are much more exciting, but it is undeniable that baseball has its moments, whether it’s a late inning rally or a big home run. There are many intricacies involved in the game, like the skill and precision behind a pitcher’s duel and communication in both the infield and outfield. There is also the sense of peacefulness that you get from watching a game on a nice summer night.
If you want to start watching baseball, many people would say that you should become a Yankees fan. There are certainly some passionate Yankees fans, but a lot are “bandwagon” fans and people who just want to go to a game but do not care much about the team. Mets fans are true fans: they are passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their team. We have ups and downs, but as Tug McGraw says, “Ya gotta believe.”
Nicole Horton is the Culture Editor for The Fordham Ram.