Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Bruce, the New York Mets Fan since day 1

On July 15, 1957, my father took me to my first baseball game at Ebbets field in Brooklyn.  Since he was born in Brooklyn, he was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Braves 20-4.  1957 was the last year that the Dodgers and Giants played in New York City.  They moved to the west coast for the almighty buck.  In 1958 the Yankees were the only team left.  Mayor Wagner appointed William Shea to try to get a new National League team to come to New York.  In 1961 the National League agreed to expand to New York and Houston.  There was talk of building a stadium for the new team off Roosevelt Avenue near Flushing Meadows Park.  My Dad regularly drove with the family past that site which was only two miles from our home in Rego Park.  The New York Mets began playing in 1962 at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan.  I attended my first Met game on May 30, 1962 where the Mets lost a doubleheader to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Those 1962 were the worst team with a record of 40-120.  Since New York had a baseball tradition, the Mets had to acquire older yet washed up players who were known to fans.  In 1964 Shea Stadium opened.  I went with a couple of friends to the second game the Mets ever played there.  On the way there we spotted our Spanish teacher from junior high.  On Monday we discussed the game in Spanish in class.  The Mets were pretty poor during their first several years of existence. I only went to one or two games a season at Shea.  I was content to watch the games on TV.  In 1969 the Mets won the World Series.  Back in those days the World Series was on during the day.  People would take radios to work to listen.  I remember during the 1969 World Series I cut chemistry class to listen to the game on the radio.  In 1973, the Mets were in the World Series again.  At that time I was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Rhode Island.  I listened to the radio broadcast of the game while I was monitoring the chemistry lab class.  Over the years there were good and bad seasons for the Mets.  I was always a big fan.  In 1986 the Mets won the World Series again.  When Lee was 5 years old in 1993, we took him to his first Met game where they lost big to the Florida Marlins.  Over the years we have gone to at least 10 games a season.  We sit in the Upper Deck where the tickets are more reasonably priced.  Back in 1962, the most expensive seat cost $3.50 while today the cheapest seat in the nosebleed section is $16.00.  The fans have to pay the multimillion dollar salaries that the players get.  Over the years we have also seen games at Yankee Stadium, RFK Stadium, McAfee Stadium in Oakland, SBC Park in San Francisco, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in Chicago.  Wrigley Field reminded my of Ebbets field in Brooklyn. Sometimes newer is not necessarily better.  Pretty soon I will order tickets for the 2006 season.

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