Last night I had the pleasure of joining all my fellow Mets fans in Miami for a game against the Marlins, who technically are the home team. But you wouldn't know it if your were at the game.
As usual, Mets fans were out if full force, and letting their voices be heard (minus a few minutes here and there in the 9th). There's just nothing like it. Watching the beloved Mets, with my father in law, in a beautiful(empty) Park. Traffic get's a little crazy as you get the exit from park. And there are plenty of people standing in front of their apartments with signs hoping you park in their assigned parking space for money. But eventually, you can make your way into the place to enjoy the game. As my buddy Scot pointed out, its is probably the only Park in the MLB where this happens, having a mostly visitors fans crown filling the joint. My father in law was shocked at just how Mets driven the fans were all night. Its not often you come to a sporting event in your hometown, and see nothing but shirts and jerseys of the opposing team everywhere. Of course, there is always that Miami/south beach/Latin flavor that South Florida offers. South Florida remains a staple of Mets life out in Port St. Lucie, and based upon how this current Mets pitching staff plays out, this major League Ballpark may become just as much of a staple for the boys in blue and orange.
I wanted to write about it because South Florida now holds special place in my heart, and its good to raise my daughter in a nice environment, with beautiful weather, and some Mets baseball a few times a year ongoing less than an hour away. Many of us out there have long since moved away from our York roots (I lost my accent years ago) and there something a little special about having this opportunity to cheer on the 'home' team some thousands of miles away. Im thankful to be a writer for Macks Mets. Im also thankful for having the opportunity to be within driving distance of the Mets complex in Port St. Lucie, and I'm thankful to be a couple of highways away from watching the Big Boys take on a team that is now back to struggling.
We are entering a new phase in Mets universe, with a renewed winning culture, and the fanbase will only continue to grow in New York over 'those other guys'. And as more of us transplants end up down here in South Florida, you might continue to see a larger influx of old and new fans of the Metsies, but in St. Lucie and down in South Florida during Marlins/Mets games. What's better than watching your favorite sports team with tons of other fans of the same team?
The old American Pastime continues to thrive, while obviously not as much down here. But, despite all the since arguments made by the city of Miami and its taxpayers, the Marlins are most likely here to stay. And thus, that means more games every year with the Mets, and more opportunities to check out the club LIVE and in person.
We've spent a lot of time recently debating who the core players are going to be on this team going forward. We've discussed the need for stability and need for long term 'star power' and homegrown talent to shine for years to come. We want similar players year to year to remember because we want a familiar face to represent our team, our franchise and our need for simply wearing a jersey of a guy whose still on the team (although the dude wearing the Gooden jersey last night is Aces in my books).
I guess my little nostalgia post is about pride. Pride one's team. Combined with the satisfaction of being surrounded by a sea of similar excitement, passion and minor panic (damn 9th). HarveyDay is our day, even in Florida. The Mets remain our team, regardless of our location. And the moments we share with our family, loved ones, strangers, and the 7 Line Army (gotta shout out the army) are what makes baseball and sports so darn fun to enjoy and experience in the world.
The selfish part in all of us wants to have our experience shared by others in relation to sports, regardless of venue. And thankfully I have that opportunity to share in it at the expense of some Marlins fans. Although, for the life of me, I still don't get the Yankee fan attendance at these games. I remain perplexed at seeing guys in Texiera jerseys and Yankee hats while watching a Mets Marlins game. Someone must explain this to me one day.
The evil part of me enjoys watching the Marlins cam flood out into the crowd, trying its best to seek out and find anyone in Marlins gear to show on the big screen. Because you know every time they mess up, even for a second, their getting a dude popping his color and showing his Mets. And the evil grin appears immediately on my face.
The Mets appear to be on the brink of entering into a little bit of recent unchartered territory. This team has the chance to be a contender for the rest of this decade and beyond. the four studs are in place. Wheeler (as of now) is safe from being kicked off the exciting island, and there's been recent news of young Marcos Molina resurfacing down here. Add that to a little pow wow between Terry Collins and Rafael Montero, and what we have potentially are two more huge legit arms for the Mets to use to their advantage. And talent plays everywhere. It shows on the field, and it shows in the stands with fans pride. And that energy is not just in Citi Field. Its everywhere, including the self described transplant state that is often in the news for terrible(yet sometimes funny) news regarding its cast of characters residents.
But amongst those crazies are crazy Mets fans, and their kids who are ultimately forced to be fans as well :) including my daughter. She's been wearing her David Wright shirt since before she could put an actual word or two together. All that matters now is that she wears it, and whenever she sees a baseball on TV, on my tablet, or a Mets logo on a shirt or hat, she says "Go Mets"............. That's all a proud father can ask for.
I hope I didn't bore everyone with this post. We have such great content and information coming from the writers on this site. I sometimes find myself going off topic and writing something a little off the wall. I'm trying to capture the essence of Mets baseball from the eyes of a guy watching them in another state.
We bond over our team. We bond over our Macks Mets. And we bond over the game of baseball. What connects us can strengthen us. There's always strength in numbers. And, during Mets Marlins games, I have my advantage. My knowledge in knowing that im FAR from alone in my passion. There may be no crying in baseball (well.........) but there is plenty of trash talking aloud. And its always when you can trash talk, on 'enemy territory' with more actual members than said territory.
From South Florida and beyond, love live Mets fans. May we never die !!!! LGM