2015 playoff ticketsThe eagle landed yesterday. Your intrepid columnist had received an e-mail before the weekend that his tickets for the Mets’ postseason – it’s still hard to believe the words “Mets” and “postseason” are strung together this year – series had been shipped. Possession of a partial season plan – nine Friday nights, plus Opening Day – provided an online purchase window, prior to the ticket lottery. Opportunistic as I am, I took advantage, in partnership with my seatmate. It was tough to fathom that getting postseason ducats could be that easy, but it was. God bless the Citi MasterCard! Considering the hoops through which it was required I jump back in aught-six, this was a breeze.

These tickets grant access to every possible game at Citi Field, and even a couple that are now impossible, such as a divisional-lead play-in game – take that, Washington – and the one-game Wild Card round. It’s always good to have one’s bases covered, no? The fact that these were received post-clinching removed the possibility of them being a soul-crushing symbol of yet another abject, late-season failure – I had tickets for everything in 1998, too, and look how that turned out. There were trembling fingers as I opened the UPS envelope, taking care not to put a single nick in any corner of these babies. I carefully slid the sheets out of the bubble-pack and just… admired them. Think of it: actual World Series tickets containing the Mets’ logo!

The mind soared with possibilities. Making sure all the cold-weather Mets gear is in good working fettle, rejoicing that it’s being used after April. Working out logistics as to what time work gets packed up and making the suicidal dive into New York rush-hour traffic. Picturing Yoenis Cespedes roping line drives off the spacious Citi Field left field fence. Thinking of Lucas Duda finding far corners of the Pepsi Porch with horsehide missiles. Imagining Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard striking out Adrian Gonzalez and inducing double plays from Joc Pederson. And maybe thoughts lengthen, out to an imagined NLCS vs. the Cardinals, Pirates or Cubs. Never mind the regular season results between the Mets and the NL Central: the playoffs are an entirely different neighborhood.

A Cards series would be a toe-to-toe brawl, a set against the Pirates would be a battle between arguably the two most “complete” teams in MLB. As for the Cubs…could you imagine how epic a Mets/Cubs series would be? The Mets’ stable of stout young arms facing the Cubs’ stellar array of young position players, each more impressive than the last? The ghosts of 1969 and 1984 present and palpable and hovering over everyone’s shoulders? Heck, a series like that might even summon up John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Three-Finger Brown and Johnny Evers, for that matter – though we in New York would prefer no hint of Fred Merkle.

Who could have thought the mere opening of an envelope could be so fraught with omen and portent? It’s going to be a long wait until October 9.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

8 comments on “The indescribable thrill of receiving Mets playoff tickets

  • Chris F

    Congrats Charlie!

  • Brian Joura

    Nice!

    I lived in Boston for awhile and had season tickets to Fenway. Somewhere I’ve got Red Sox World Series tickets in the late 90s. Thought they might end up collector’s items…

  • James Preller

    I have tickets to Game One and I’m bringing my two boys, so that satisfies me as a father. I have a chance at Game Two. Lot depends on home/away etc.

    My postseason record is brief but impressive.

    Game 5, 1969 WS: My hero, Koosman, gives up three runs and angrily tells the guys in the dugout, no more. He holds the line and and the team comes back for the victory. Watch that game with modern eyes and it is amazing, stunning, to watch Gil stick with an obviously tiring Koosman there in the 9th.

    Game 5, 1986 NLCS: The critical 12-inning win when a horribly slumping Gary Carter rolls a grounder up the middle that reliever Charlie Kerfeld couldn’t handle. Ryan started vs. Mets and turned back the clock; Strawberry hit that line drive HR; and the fearsome Mets only managed 4 hits all day.

    Game 1, 2006, NLDS: A thrilling 6-5 victory featuring the jaw-dropping “two guys tagged out at home plate” play early in the game, might have the 2nd inning. After a stunned, momentary “Did I just see what I think I saw?” pause, Shea went bananas.

    I mean to say that I don’t get to these postseason affairs too often, but when I do, I don’t screw around.

    • Chris F

      Triple Thumbs Up!

    • Charlie Hangley

      Right on! I’ve been a Met fan my whole life, started going to games in 1973, so my post-season resume isn’t as impressive…

      1999 NLDS game 3: Mets beat the snot out of Omar Daal.

      1999 NLDS game 4: TODD PRATT!!!!!

      2006 NLDS game 1: as noted

      2006 NLDS game 2: Tom Glavine goes 6 strong.

      2006 NLCS game 1: Glavine again, and tell Pujols to shut the heck up.

      2006 NLCS game 2: Shawn Green just can’t jump high enough & Aaron Heilman & Billy Wagner pay the price

      2006 NLCS game 6: Jose Reyes homers in the first, John Maine outpitches Chris Carpenter

      2006 NLCS game 7: Endy, Yadier F., Adam F. & Carlos

      • James Preller

        Pretty impressive. That ’99 season goes down as one of the greatest, most joyfull, on a thrill-by-thrill basis.

        I’ve been thinking lately that these Mets should embrace an underdog’s disposition. Loose and free and, you know, nobody thinks we can do it attitude. Even if that’s not entirely true. We’re just gonna go out there and throw 97 MPH fastballs and give ’em hell.

        I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Tom Glavine. I respected him, I defended him, but he never found a way into my heart.

        • Charlie Hangley

          I always liked Jason Fry’s description: “The Manchurian Brave.”

          From the first, I suspected him of being a mole for Bobby Cox…

  • Charlie Hangley

    Well, there you go… It’s New York vs. Chicago.

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