Sunday, September 18, 2016

30 Years As a Mets Fan - Part 1

This is the first post in a longer series that I hope to launch in late October about my 30 years as a Mets fan.

30 years as a Mets fan


The Mets won the World Series on my second day as a fan, and I’ve been waiting 30 years for another one. It was October 25, 1986. This is my story of the past 30 years.

September 18, 1986

I went to my first Mets game on September 18, 1986. I was 8 years old at the time. My dad pulled me out of school to take me to a Thursday afternoon game at Shea. I still don’t know why he took me to the game, especially at that point in the season and school year. I don’t remember following the Mets before that day. I can’t say I remember following them after that day, at least not right away.

I only have a few vague memories of the game, some of which have been enhanced by some light research. Rick Anderson was the starting pitcher for the Mets. He went 5 innings. A rookie pitcher named Greg Maddux started for the Cubs. Howard Johnson hit a 3-run homerun. The Mets won the game 5-0. The image in my head of the game is the “green Band-Aids”, as my dad called them, all over the outfield grass.

If the date sort of rings a bell for Mets fans, it’s because the night before, the Mets finally clinched the division, formally setting the stage for an eventual world championship. I didn’t really know any of what was going on at the time. The “green Band-Aids” were the patchwork on the grass created by Pete Flynn’s Shea Stadium grounds crew after 50,000 fans tore up the field celebrating the division title about 14 hours earlier (a scene which Vin Scully described during the World Series as “sharks at feeding time”).

I don’t credit that game with making me a fan. That event came later.