I kept thinking about what my reaction would be if the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs and went to the World Series. Would I jump up and down? Probably! Would I cry? After all, it has been 15 years since their last appearance. But to cry? I could not fathom it.
Then I started to think about what it would mean to go to the World Series. What would it mean to win it? Never mind how amazing it would be for the rest of the fan base. Forget about what it would mean to the players or to New York City. What would it mean to me personally?
The earliest memory I have as a kid watching the Mets was with my dad in the living room during the 1986 World Series. The only thing I remember is my dad being in disbelief as the ball went through Bill Buckner’s legs. I remember the ticker tape parade happening while I was in elementary school. Then came my first baseball game.
My mom got tickets through her job. Mezzanine reserved right behind home plate. I remember my first royal blue baseball cap and my ponytail going through the back. The hat was a little big. So they adjusted the snap. As my dad drove over the Whitestone Bridge, we were listening to the pre-game show. Then I saw her. Shea Stadium was huge and she was blue with neon lights with players around her.
My dad pulled into the parking lot. I got a free Doc Gooden Starter figurine with his baseball card. We got hot dogs to eat. As we walked to our seats, my dad and mom on either side of me, the ballpark just opened up to me. It was amazing. There is no way to truly describe it. It was a moment I will always cherish. Brights lights. Cheering fans. Hearing the bat connect with the ball and the ump call strikes. Seeing the home run apple come up. That night was when I started to understand balls and strikes courtesy of my dad.
Fast forward to 2000 and the heartbreak of the World Series loss in Game 5.
Fast forward to 2006 to the devastating Game 7 NLCS loss.
Two collapses. The Bernie Madoff scandal. The humiliation and torment of rival fan bases.
Now we are in 2015. The Mets won the division. They didn’t make it to the playoffs by a Wildcard like in 2000.
They won the NLDS by beating the best the LA Dodgers had to offer.
They have won the NLCS with a sweep of the Cubs.
This year I took my dad to his first game at Citi Field. He got to see first hand how amazing Matt Harvey is. This time, he was the one in awe. So how could my reaction be anything less than tears of joy? How could I not scream at the top of my lungs at how amazing this New York Mets team really is?
The best young pitchers in baseball with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard. A new Mr. October in Daniel Murphy. The awakening of the beast in Lucas Duda. The ferocity of Jeurys Familia. Each of these guys creating their own story to share with their kids. Each of them creating stories we will share with our children and our grandchildren.
This is not just baseball. This is real life. This is family. In 2015, this is our new story. Embrace each moment. One game at a time. One pitch at a time. One story at a time.
Welcome Mets fans to the World Series.