I had a very unexpected response to the Mets clinching the NL East on Saturday…

David Wright champagne


Baron

About a month ago, it seemed the Mets winning the National League East was becoming more and more inevitable.

And certainly, when the Mets swept the Nationals in their own building in early September, their fate was more or less wrapped up short of only an imagined repeat of the 2007 and 2008 collapses running through the audience’s minds.

But even as it became expected, and almost assumed through the month of September, it still seemed shocking when the Mets clinched their inevitable division title on Saturday afternoon.

But from this author’s chair, it wasn’t shocking in the sense the Mets won a division they weren’t supposed to win, even though that is probably the case thanks to the Nationals outrageously disappointing season now stooping to new lows on a daily basis.

It’s hard to describe how I was shocked. I sat there with my wife, mostly in silence as Travis d’Arnaud jumped into the arms of Jeurys Familia as the Mets celebration began.

I got text messages congratulating me, I sent some of my own to friends, family, and people up and down the organization I’ve come to know over the course of the six years I have been covering the Mets.

But throughout the week and even into that game, I imagined how excited and jubilant I would be when the final out was called and the Mets finally won the division.

That jubilance never came.

Even my wife noticed.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. “I expected you to be so much more excited.”

I didn’t really have an answer for her. I just shrugged my shoulders.

Don’t get me wrong – I was absolutely astonished at the Mets accomplishment, and so happy for people I’ve come to know in that organization for what they’ve done.

When it was over, I began thinking of the last eight years, and the years I’ve been around the team when there was no hope and no path, no signs of progress and nothing but empty Septembers which resembled Spring Training more than a game that actually counted in the standings.

And as I thought about those times and I watched the Mets celebrate, and David Wright say the things he said, and Matt Harvey struggle to contain his own emotions, chills started going down my back.

That’s when I smiled and actually shed a tear.

I had to get up and walk our dogs simply out of sheer embarrassment.  It was that moment I realized how connected I am – and we are as a unit – to the New York Mets.

(I hope my wife doesn’t read this story, by the way. She doesn’t know).

They’re not just a baseball team to us. This isn’t just entertainment or a bunch of guys wearing this fanbase’s favorite uniform.

This is our family.

This has been our family for most of our entire lives too. They’re the escape for us during difficult times, and the gravy for us during our best days. We speak about the Mets as though they are one of our own. As though they sit with us at Thanksgiving dinner, or go with us to family functions. They travel with us on honeymoons and to communions and Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s.

You know you’re like me, and check the scores and news wires during these events, too. You don’t have to admit it, but that’s just the truth. And yes, I get yelled at by my wife all the time for checking my phone for information, just like you.

We’ve only wanted what has been best for them even through what was the greatest trial they’ve faced in their 53-year history over the last few years.

And we saw it through. We stuck with them through thick and thin (and those were indeed extremely thin times).

Not only are the Mets being in this position good for the business of the organization, but it’s good for baseball too. They’re a story everyday whether they’re good or not.

And when they’re good, boy are they quite a story.

I can’t wait to see how this story plays out next month. Maybe I’ll have more moments like I did on Saturday…

13 Comments

Michael,

This post brought a tear to my eye as I sit here at my office, couldnt have been written any better. Bravo.

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You are absolutely right. As one of the original 1962 fans, i have endured all these 53 years. Remember, it started with a 120 game losing season. That may have set the tone for us. And I have lived in the South since 1974 and went to a few games when in NY on business but always maintained that connection that couldn’t he broken. And now, it’s on to the Playoffs and hopefully further. GO MET’S

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I was born the June preceding the Mets improbable run in 73, in Brooklyn. I get sideways stares everytime I say, “my,we, and us” when describing “our” Mets. This is my team, for better or for worse, for every foam brick I’ve lobbed at my TV in teeth gnashing frustration to everytime I’ve gotten smashed on champagne mirroring them iny living room. This has been long in coming, but lows make the highs higher. This team tries to kill me most years, but the years they do t remind me why I love them.

That all said, I’m glad you feel the same.

Let’s Go Mets

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Well said. I had a similar reaction and I got choked up multiple times. It always amazes me when people who aren’t sports fans ask why someone would cry during a good or bad moment in a sporting event. People cry during a 2 hour movie, which is scripted. Being a fan of a sports team, is a lifetime experience. It’s a 365 days a year commitment. It’s an emotional investment unlike anything else in life other than your family and friends. It’s a great moment what we experienced Saturday and we can only hope for several more

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Awh❗️Months ago, Michael, I sent you an EMAIL THAT READ IN PART: “…you are not just a beat writer, you’ve fooled no one- you are a real fan, too” . So CONGRATULATIONS to you, too, Baron, you didn’t know exactly how to react, there IS crying ‘for happy’ reasons, and boy, are we all happy! In our family, I’m the original lady Met, and so my husband is a Met fan by marriage. We were crazy in 2006 with Wainwright, and have to admit, because we are older now, exhausted really, from the roller coaster ride that is our team, we didn’t have as much OOMPH! for the clincher.
We went nuts when DUDA hit the Grand Slam, though, so it might have been anti-climatic? But, it was wonderful, all the same. I thought of my Dad, long gone, but he is the reason for my love of the game, and that’s when I got the willys. It was a wonderful Metsie Day!

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You have said it so well. I grew up in Pittsburgh but I still remember “We are Family” playing when the Pirates were good (and again now it seems). But in the meantime, my husband recruited me to the Amazin’s and what a ride it’s been. Only sorry you and your wife don’t share it together. It’s a ton of fun to watch 162 games with my husband. Now that I think about it — maybe that’s why we’re happily married after 30 years. We are FAMILY – he, me and the METS!!!

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Joyful tears were my reaction also. No shame, there IS crying in baseball.

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100% the same for me. I thought I’d be screaming with joy when they clinched. Instead, I was crying. I started crying when the Captain hit his home run and didn’t stop until the coverage of the champagne showers ended. I wasn’t bawling. I was just sitting there with an enormous smile and tears running down my face the whole time.

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Very well said. Great to see someone write something like this instead of all the negative stuff. WTG!

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The tickets are in your email, Baron. Love, Fredo.

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Great post! One any true Mets fan could’ve written!! I went to work Monday (I teach) wearing my NL EAST Champs shirt. The school nurse said to me, “My son said, ‘I bet Mr. V wears a Mets shirt to school today.'” All day long, people congratulated me (which is funny, as if I had something to do with the Mets winning), because they know that like OUR captain, I bleed blue and orange. Yankee fans will never understand what Saturday meant to us. They start each season thinking it will end the way ours did in Cincinnati, with a division title. But those titles have been few and far between in our 54 years, which only makes them all the more sweeter when we do win them!!!

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It’s funny but I say it all the time to my friends that are Yankees fans….. I would not trade the one World Series Win in my lifetime for all of the Yankees rings combined.when I say that I don’t want to win a championship every season they laugh and think it is something that someone who cheers for a losing team says but it is the honest truth. My one means so much more to me because of all the hard times and all the suffering of their collapses. Without all of that bad you don’t appreciate those few winning seasons as much. With that said I would certainly love to have more than one WS appearance every 15 years 😉 how about compete every season, a WS trip every 4 or 5 and a win every other trip? Not too much to ask right? Lol Let’s enjoy this season and bring it home boys! BTW you are helping to create future Mets fans when you celebrate with you students….. so keep it up! 😉

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