I feel like I should have thrown out the first pitch today.
I attended my first New York Met game on April 13,1962. The Mets lost 4-3, behind Sherman “Roadblock” Jones. LF Frank Thomas hit the first home run in the Polo Grounds and Roberto Clemente went 1-4 for the Pirates.
I was hooked.
I lived in Ozone Park, but the trip was simple. Walk the four blocks up to Liberty Avenue, get on the A train and stay on it until the last stop in Manhattan. I went to most of the games with a guy named Norman Shoemaker, who rooted for the Houston Colt 45’s. Tickets were $1.50 and hot dogs went for a quarter. I was 15-years old and was thrilled to once again have a National League team in “the city”.
I’ve always been a Mets fan and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever write about them “for a living” (sic). I started this whole blog thing seven seasons ago and have enjoyed every minute of it.
I’ve told you a number of times that I became a better writer a few years ago when I stopped being a fan. You write better when you aren’t emotionally attached to things, and, trust me, it’s best to keep your distance from this team and the organization.
My hero will always be Gil Hodges and my biggest thrill was interviewing David Wright in the clubhouse. My biggest disappointment was the 2007 flop and the loss of my press credentials last year.
There have been 50 Mets seasons. This included two world championships. 2-48.
2011 was an interesting year for me. I tried to stretch this site with a subscription fee, and it simply didn’t work. I lost an excellent writer, Teddy Dziuba, and chased off a loyal good friend, David Rubin. The readership grew due to a heightened awareness of the minor league players and the fact that new, exciting writers joined the site in mid-season.
Today felt a lot like the day Tom Seaver was traded. I simply can’t imagine Jose Reyes not returning next season to camp. I know this is a business, but there has to be a way to makes Reyes happy wearing this uniform and making almost two million bucks a month.
I can’t predict the future. No one can. I wish I could be around for 50 more seasons, but, at this point, I’d settle for one.
We’re going to continue to try and make sense out of the Mets minor league system and help the players get their unfair share of publicity. That’s the role of Mack’s Mets. And that’s the role of me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this every day.