The Mets have a new owner. The Wilpons are gone. Tom Seaver has passed away.
Standing at this crossroads in the team’s history, this seems like a perfect opportunity to mark my departure from writing. I’d like to thank Brian for giving me the chance to write for Mets.360.
I had a dream the other night about Ed Kranepool and he was in a high school gym choosing up sides for a basketball game. Three of my oldest friends were with him: Richie, Fitz, and Scott. They started playing two-on-two and I watched from the sidelines. I was ok with that.
I’m ok with this decision too. It marks another milestone in my life and many of the markers on that road are etched in Met history.
When we were in our early teens, our parents let me and Richie take the L.I.R.R into Shea and go to Met games without adult supervision. That was unbelievably huge. I still remember sitting along first base and wondering if the old guy in front of us was Rusty Staub’s father (because he had red hair). We still laugh about that. We’d play stoop-ball one-on-one and we’d take turns being the Met hitters and pitchers. We’d be everyone from Dave Schneck to Buzz Capra.
Later, after I got out of the Army, Fitz and I started to go to games. Fitz got tickets to a Banner Day game and we rigged up some crappy-ass banner in order to get onto the procession on the field. Willie Stargell was in the visitor’s dugout and Fitz (who attended college in Pennsylvania) yelled to him. He told Stargell that he was in the audience when he had given a motivational speech at his school. Stargell just looked at him and said, “Move along, kid”. During the second game of the doubleheader, we snuck down to the box seats around first base and kept yelling “Hot Dog” to Willie Montañez. I seem to recall that eventually he yelled something back at us too.
Then, in the mid-eighties, Scott got a job as a programmer for Doubleday Publishing and ended up getting nice tickets to games. They were mezzanine seats directly behind home plate. We watched Dwight Gooden pitch to Gary Carter. Scott was a lifelong Yankee fan but knew that those Met teams from that era were special. So was Scott. Unfortunately, he passed away (I guess it is about twenty years ago now). We still all participate in a Rotisserie League he formed in 1987.
In the nineties, as my son Alex grew up, we started going to games. We’d try to get to at least one game year. Through business connections, I had access to very good box seats along the third base line. We could get into the Diamond Club and the Charcoal Room and be able to see the World Series Trophies and Hall-of-Fame busts. One time, while riding the crowded elevator to that level, Omar Minaya got on and stood next to me and Alex. It was shortly after Minaya had fired Willie Randolph. I said, “Mr. Minaya, this is my son, Alex”. He turned at me and said, “hello”. Then after an awkward moment, I said, “Mr. Minaya, we support your managerial decision”. He just looked at me like I was a stalker and quickly told the elevator operator to stop at the next floor. As the doors opened, and he stepped out, I could see him quickly motoring down that hallway. I believe he thought I was a bit crazy. A few years ago, my son told me that he had always thought he was a friend of mine we had randomly met there.
Several years ago, I connected with Brian about writing for Mets.360. This past year was my second stint with this unique family. I’d like to thank Brian again for these opportunities. I even forgive him for snatching Seaver away from me in this year’s All-Time Mets Draft.
And now more than ever; Lets Go Mets!