life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, June 25, 2012

More baseball

So a few years ago they tore down Shea Stadium and built Citi Field.  Rather than honor the rich history that is the Mets' legacy, the building salutes a team that abandoned New York over 50 years ago.  Really, the place looks like Ebbets Field reincarnate.  I mean, the Jackie Robinson Rotunda?  That huge "42"?  I admire Robinson, of course, but he never played in Queens.

We are frequent visitors, having enjoyed a fantastic Paul McCartney concert as well as numerous Mets games.

We found ourselves there last night, with Jen and her friend Dave and Becca and her boyfriend David.  Interleague play was introduced a few years ago, and so every year we have the subway series -- the Mets play 3 games at Yankee Stadium and the Yanks play 3 games at Citi Field.  Last night at Citi Field was the last game of the series. 

Usually when we go to the ballpark, Drew and I like to get there early.  We park in Drew's favorite lot on Roosevelt Avenue, leisurely stroll across the street to the ballpark.  We take a few minutes to quietly salute the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple, now on display just outside the main gates of Citi Field (they built a new home run apple for the new park).  We spend a few minutes in the rotunda with number 42.  Maybe we stop in the team shop, though we have yet to visit the Mets Museum.  Then we go in search of food - in addition to the numerous food stands all around the stadium, there's a terrific food court behind the  center field score board.  We find our seats after we eat, and we watch the planes take off from La Guardia for awhile before the national anthem begins. Drew buys a program and score card, and keeps score during the game.

None of that happened last night.

Drew and I hit so much traffic on the highway that we got to Flushing Meadow much later than we planned, wound up parking in Flushing Meadow Park.    Serious hike to the ballpark from there, they actually run a shuttlebus from the parking field to the LIRR station. 

By the time we got to the ballpark our plan was to buy food and bring it back to our seats.  So we went looking for the place that sells the hot dogs cooked in beer.  Sadly, that place no longer exists.  Sigh.

So we were on the Shea Bridge -- the one that looks like the Koscuizsko Bridge (conbecting Brooklyn and Queens)-- on our way to the food court, when we heard the opening notes of "The Star Spangled Banner".  Quickly got food -- Nathan's hot dogs -- and headed for our seats.  I managed to get ketchup on my shirt before I even took one bite of my food.

Game had already started by the time we sat down.  ( The kids weren't there yet, the four of them came in David's car and didn't arrive until the second inning.)

Because this was an outing with my synagogue, Drew and I didn't pick our seats.  Our group tickets were for Promenade Level, the upoermost deck in the park, and pretty high up at that.  Fortunately we were behind home plate.    Downstairs where the season ticket holders live might have been different, but up in nosebleed territory the crowd was pretty evenly divided -- I saw just as many  Yankees jerseys as Mets jerseys. Heck, even my own party of six was evenly divided.  Jen, Becca and David are Yankees fans -- Jen wore her Derek Jeter t-shirt and pink Yankees baseball cap to the game.  Drew and I joke that we tried to raise our daughters right but they succumbed to peer pressure.  Oh, well.

It was a good game, an exciting game.  The pitchers' duel -- R. A. Dickey vs.  C. C. Sabathia -- fizzled.  Yanks took an early 5-0 lead, but the Mets tied it up, and kept it interesting all the way to the end of the game ( they lost, 6-5). 

Yankees fans and Mets fans spent the night trying to out-yell each other, each "Let's Go Yankees" was answered by "Let"s Go Mets".

Seventh inning stretch.  "God Bless America" was performed by a singer from the FDNY.   And for a brief moment we weren't Mets fans or Yankees fans, we were New Yorkers and Americans.  By the time "Take Me Out To The Balk Game" faded into "Lazy Mary", however, the rivalries were back in play.  In fact, during the top of the 8th . . .everyone up in nosebleed territory was more interested in the fight between the Mets fan and the Yankees fan -- two girls -- that had turned physical.  I couldn't see any of it, but Drew and Jen say there was scratching and hair pulling as well as punching going on.

Bottom of the 9th we moved inside and watched on a t.v. monitor near a hot dog stand --  as much to position ourselves to leave the park as to get out of the rain.  It stopped raining just as the game ended, but started again while we were hiking back to the car.

Overall a fun evening.  But when Drew and I go back in August, we will try to stick to the script.

My phone's been kind of weird lately, and the camera didn't work.  Pulled a few stock photos of Citi Field, and one of the Koscuizsko Bridge, for your enjoyment.

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