Today marks the 44th anniversary of the first time I was able to see the Mets in person on my birthday. All I ever wanted for my birthday was a trip to see my Mets. Since I'd always been told that my Dad had taken me to the Polo Grounds in 1963 at age 2 and the Mets were always on the road on July 22 until that 1967 season, this was the first chance for me as an already eager young Mets fan to see in person on my “special day,” the team which has evolved into the love of my life. Well I suppose after that woman I married (twice) and that kid we brought into this world 31 years ago this month.
I was always lucky to go to Shea somewhere around my birthday but this game will forever be etched in my memory since it fell on my birthday and my hero Jerry Grote (I was already a catcher in little league) had 2 hits including a homer. I recall not really understanding why Sandy Koufax was not pitching. (My first realization of pitching rotations).
I remember us losing the game (but shockingly do not have any memory of the "great" Jerry Buchek getting 3 of the Mets 10 hits..LOL. I do recall my Dad buying me a felt “METS“ pennant which got bent somewhere along on the bus ride home on that hot, humid Saturday. That pennant hung on my bedroom wall above the poster I got for Christmas of Tom Seaver (one of the ones with the dirt on the knee of his trail leg) for what seemed like forever.
I’m sure I was fortunate enough to have seen “My Mets” on other occasions on “my day” but that first time will always be special to me...
Even 44 years later when I came downstairs and saw the requisite “Over the Hill” and “Happy 50th” decorations I was just a little more excited to see on our dining table a large Mets gift bag from my wife.
As I prepare to spend my evening "working' poolside I look forward to chatting Mets baseball here as the boys from Flushing take their talents to South Beach..oh wait wrong sport/guy..eagerly anticipating the return of David Wright at the hot corner as the Mets face the Marlins hoping to continue the trend of winning road series in 2011.
Following their dropping of 2 of 3 to the New Yorkers at Citi Field the Cards head into Pittsburgh to face the MLB 2011 feel good story Pirates in a series that could very well have a dramatic impact on the NL Central division race.
As ALWAYS ..........