They did it…
Forget about Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Adam Wainwright.
Forget about blowing a seven-game lead with 17 to play in 2007. Forget about being eliminated the following year on the final day of the season again.
Forget the six long years of rebuilding.
None of that matters now.
The New York Mets are the 2015 National League East champions.
As I sit here on this chilly September morning, I still can’t believe what I’m writing, despite the writing being on the wall for the last few weeks. After everything this team has gone through, this fan base has gone through and what I’ve gone through, the dark days are behind us.
I got into baseball later in life than most. Entering the 2006 season, after years of my father asking me if and when I would start watching Mets baseball with him, I finally decided to give it a shot. Little did I know that my first year of fandom would have been the best one.
My first experience of September baseball was asking my dad when the clinch would happen, not if. “Don’t worry, they’ll clinch,” he told me after the team had been swept in Pittsburgh.
I was 15 years old when the Mets won the National League East in 2006. I thought every year was going to be like that, and I could not have been more wrong.
Today I sit here, a month shy of my 25th birthday, and the Mets are back in the postseason for the first time since that moment. While I may not have been watching the sport since I was a young child like most, I grew into a man watching Mets baseball both figuratively and literally.
Any Mets fan knows it was not easy to watch this team over the past nine years. For awhile, each and every season seemed to get harder than the last, as the memories October baseball got foggier as the years got away from us. It would’ve been easy to walk away, to just give up on this team. But Mets fans don’t take the easy way–we never have.
That journey we’ve all gone through together, as difficult as it was, made what happened in Cincinnati on Saturday evening even more special. It’s not just getting there, but it’s also how you get there. For me, after years of getting let down and beat down emotionally, told by so many on the outside of this fanbase–and even a good portion of people on the inside of it–what this team couldn’t and wouldn’t do, and sticking through it all anyways, it made it all worth it.
Losing builds character, and after these last nine years, Mets fans have damn plenty of that.
It’s no longer about what this franchise was incapable of doing in the past, but about what they have done. The New York Mets are the champions of the National League East in 2015. Nobody can take that away from them.
Nobody can take that away from us.