A lifelong love affair with the New York Mets
I first fell in love at age 5. My first love is also my enduring and the most heart-breaking.
The 1980s New York Mets played in Shea Stadium (Shea made the Vet look like the Taj Mahal — the real one in India, not the one that was in Atlantic City.).
My mother was a huge fan of the team for Queens. My father was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and at that time — and still now — was bitter about their move to the West Coast.
Baseball teaches its fans how to be patient, how to love under adverse conditions, how to trash talk, to loathe the Yankees and how to make apologies for the most awful of performances.
My team peaked in 1986 when the Mets won the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Look, Gary Carter, Mookie Wilson and Keith Hernandez were kings in my world. Dwight Gooden, Lenny Dykstra and Darryl Strawberry had their problems but were part of the team. And we made excuses for their behavior.
Sure, we have come close and have even been back to the World Series a time or two.
Mike Piazza should have been the one to help bring us another trophy. But alas, it was not meant to be. Do not mention Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens to me. He hit Piazza in the head with a fastball and threw a broken bat at him in 2000. Clemens is a brat (Of course he played for the Yankees and Sox. Fitting.).
But I was shown the promised land as a kid and I was never allowed back in. See, baseball makes you a poet and a deep thinker.
Of course, I had to go and marry a Red Sox fan.
I have always said it proves I can compromise and love under the most adverse conditions.
He even named our dog (I picked the breed) Fenway. So each time I call her, I get reminded that his team has won more World Series games than mine.
When my father-in-law was alive, he would call me when the Mets lost to his beloved Phillies.
He called a lot.
And here we are in a new season and I don’t have the same high hopes but I just want the opportunity to see my guys play in the World Series this decade.
Is it too much to ask?
People who know of my love of the men from Flushing ask me how they are doing.
I always reply, no matter the year or their standing, “They are in a rebuilding decade.”
Sometimes people get my joke and sometimes they don’t.
Baseball has been a part of my life ever since I was a little kid.
It has taught me loyalty. Sure, I could have become a Yankees fan. But why would I? Because they win? Nah. I want to root for the underdog. The less appreciated team in the greatest city in America.
My husband Gabe and I love going to games in the different locations we have traveled to throughout the years.
While I am sad to admit that Fenway and Citizens Bank Park are fantastic; I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming and attractive Citi Field is to guests.
If you are not a fan, watch a few games. You will be sucked in to the way there is a lyrical quality to how the players move about on the field. I like the ebb and flow.
Go Mets. Let’s make this an October to remember.
Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette. In 2022, she was named an “Editor Extraordinaire” by Editor & Publisher Magazine and in 2021 won two awards for investigative journalism.