Dwight Hood - Ramblings from Metropolis...I am a Mets Fan


Ramblings from Metropolis...I am a Mets Fan.

By Dwight Hood

The year is 1978. It is May. This 8-year-old, 3rd grader is on a school trip. The weather is warm. The day is sunny. The grass is green and freshly manicured. All the children and their parents are tightly huddled in those tine orange seats with the numbers on the side of the rows. This city kid from Brooklyn loves that green grass. The din of chatter marks the anticipation. The din of chatter is cut by the organ music. We all look up as the din of chatter and the organ music is stilled by the roar of a jet from LaGuardia airport. We laugh because the planes seem so close but always slowly drift away.

This is pre-game at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. I’m waiting anxiously for the New York Metropolitans to take the field. I wasn’t born when the likes of Agee, Charles, Swoboda, Koosman, and Tom Terrific ran across this very field. But I hear my parents talk about 1969 and 1973. I like this game of baseball, but I’m still looking for the magic and the miracles. I listen to and watch Lindsey Nelson, Ralph Kiner, and Bob Murphy. I don’t hear the roar of the crowd that my parents talked about. I don’t see the thrilling plays and the miracle comebacks on television that they described from '69 and '73.

I recall in those days my parents shaking their heads as my father switched off WWOR 9 after Mets games in disgust, and my mother questioning with a derisive smirk, “Why don’t we just watch the Yankees?” As I watched Montanez, Foli, Flynn, Zachary, Henderson, Stearns, and company, I wanted them to win more than they did. I mean, they won sometimes, but not as often as I wanted them to.  

The Mets soon take the field. The people applaud. I clap. I can remember the nervous anticipation. The Mets of 1978 were not winning. In fact, the Mets had not won a lot since I could remember.

The name I remember that day is Omar Moreno. The center fielder. The lead-off hitter for Pittsburgh, the Mets’ opponent that day. I had heard the names Parker and Stargell, and remember the pitcher they called Kent something-or-other. He kind of looked like Plastic Man with glasses. I tell you though. I remember this Omar Moreno. He was fast, and could hit, and was running around the bases that day. I can still hear the groans of the few Mets faithful in that barely occupied ball park. I can still smell the peanuts and popcorn and see the beer spilled and the forlorn faces. I couldn’t tell you the score. But I can tell you the anticipation turned to disappointment. The grass was so pretty though…

Anticipation turned to disappointment. The recurring theme of my odyssey as a Met fan that began that May in 1978. Anticipation as 1983 morphed into 1986 and I stood in front of the TV holding back tears as MY TEAM won the World Series! Finally! My Mets. Like the significant other I kept hanging onto that everyone said was no good and that proceeded to disappoint me over and over and over. They came through! Only to disappoint me again in 1987, 1988, 1989….

But then came 1998, 1999. The disappointment again turned to anticipation as the romance was once again rekindled. I mean, I had never forgotten about MY METS. I had just put them on the backburner for a while. After all, I was looking for something better, but nothing can really compare…

Then came 2000. World Series! But deep down, in the pit of my gut, I had to deal with my denial. I knew my significant other would run out on me, stand me up, not call as promised, fade into only a fleeting memory of what once was. I mean, did I really think MY METS would conquer the Evil Empire of the Bronx?

The disappointment took over again. The free agent signings that did not work out. The managers that did not stay. The moves I thought ownership and GMs should have made. My significant other had run off with someone else. But I kept hoping I would get that call, that sign. There was always the anticipation that things would be good again...

Then came 2006. We came so close. The “hook” heard around the world. Strike 3. The dream is over. Back to reality. You are stood up again. You were told over and over it would happen. Shut your mouth, wipe your eyes, suck it up, learn from it, and move on. Then 2007 and 2008. The collapses. Would my Mets and I finally be...done?

It is 2013. The age of social media. Facebook, blogs, Twitter and the like have taken the place of the Murphy, Kiner, Nelson trio that connected me with my Mets. I’m still that 8-year-old at heart, reading the blogs, keeping up on Facebook, watching the Mets' attempts to rebuild and bring glory to Flushing. Citi Field has replaced Flushing. Kiner is the only one left of my favorite broadcasting team. I’m still here though. And so is my anticipation. Got my tissues ready…



Mack Ade said...

First of all, let's welcome Dwight as the newest member of the Mack's Mets team of writers.

He has a very interesting background, but I'll leave it up to him to fill you in on that.

Dwight, thank you for your first, wonderful post about the Mets. Your love of this team as an eight year old reminds me of mine for the Brooklyn Dodgers at the same age.

Hopefully, someday we all can enjoy a WS victory together on this site.

Again, welcome.

Unknown said...

Welcome aboard Dwight! Good to have you on board, great article :-)

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