Having been fortunate enough to attend between 15 and 20 (that I can recall..there are some fuzzy areas) Mets home openers at Shea Stadium aka Big Shea between 1968 and 1990, I find myself excited for the folks I've gotten to know over the past year or so who will be able to attend today's Opening Day Festivities at Citi Field. The old days of four or five of us meeting at 7 am at the local tavern to pick up a half barrel (of some beverage) and putting it in the back of Jerry's van then heading to the FoodTown or ShopRite for some food and other assorted "supplies" on our way to the park in Flushing are long gone. While sure, we hoisted more than our shares of "frosty cold ones" before even crossing over the Whitestone, we were never nasty or hostile when we got to the Shea lot and joined in the festive atmosphere of a new season of baseball. Unfortunately all that has changed..some for the better. Obviously drunk driving wasn't and never will be a joke. The party atmosphere has been relegated to the restaurants and bars inside the stadium gates (or so I've heard) where I doubt my buddies and I could have ever afforded to drink and eat and STILL afford game tickets back in the day. The fun we had in the parking lots can not possibly be compared to today's structured experience.
I digress..Today is a celebration of sorts as the Mets break dawn on a season and era of hope in Flushing with a new management team and what we Mets fans hope will be a competitive and fresh look/approach ballclub. A split of the season opening road trip is not the worst thing that could have happened thus far. (Hello Boston!). So I along with most of my Mets fan friends will be watching or listening to Opening Day (or hopefully taking the time to join in and chat Mets right here during the game)
I take this opportunity to jealously chastise my Mets pals with the good fortune of being "in the House" for Opening Day 2011 and as a sign of solidarity celebrate those of us wishing we were with them.. Whichever Group you fall into HAVE FUN !!
Anyway.. On with the Season as the Mets host the Washington Nationals as the St. Louis Cardinals head west, forced to participate in the San Francisco Giants home opener as they celebrate their 2010 World Series Championship & As Always