Today’s flashback – 2013
Monday, April 1st vs. San Diego Padres
Win, by score of 11-2 to go 1-0 on the season.
Fan morale is probably as low as at any time I can remember, but Opening Day is still special. Despite what the Mets claim, this was clearly not a sellout, but the crowd was pretty healthy for a team with such a dismal season outlook and the exorbitant ticket prices.
The weather was really nice – around 60 – when the wind was blowing it was pretty chilly but when the sun wasn’t obscured by the clouds it was too warm for a jacket.
My cousin came up from Maryland to attend Opening Day and make his first visit to CitiField. We took the NJT up to New York and the LIRR in from the city. We were greeted by a freshly painted homerun apple, and Bobby Valentine doing the pre-game show at the SNY tent on the pavilion.
I have been going to Opening Day for as long as I can remember, and for at least the last 15 years a buddy from college had gone with me. But this December he decided that 2013 would be the year his streak ended. He was fed up with ownership, missed Shea, and didn’t feel connected to the team. But something changed last week. Even though in the time since he’d decided to break the streak, Dickey was traded and Johan went down, last week he decided he couldn’t go through with it. I’d like to think my weekly walk down Opening Day Memory Lane had something to do with it, but on Friday night he paid $62 including fees to sit in the Promenade down the left field line. We met up in the parking lot by our bricks on the fanwalk, and went in together. He even joined us for a few innings with Darren and The 7 Line Army.
To give my cousin the full CitiField experience, we entered through the Jackie Robinson rotunda. We were handed a magnetic schedule on the way in, and they looked very similar to last year – shaped like a flatscreen TV and sponsored by SNY.
There was a big crowd at the 42, and though I couldn’t get close enough to tell, I was toldit was because some real life Mets were signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans. Pretty cool gesture!
We took a walk around the Mets museum, which was updated with some all-star related artifacts to reflect the fact that the All Star Game will be held here this summer. A baseball from Johan Santana’s perfect game was also on display, and we got a look at the Mets Hall Of Fame plaques. We thought they all looked pretty good, but that John Franco’s plaque looked NOTHING like him. Not sure why they didn’t put a mustache on him – it would have helped.
Once in the park I went to Big Apple Brews and bought myself a Goose Island Honkers Ale, and drank it while waiting in line for a Grilled Sausage & Peppers hero. Delicious.
Sitting out in centerfield with the 7 Line was a lot of fun (though the thundersticks were a bit much at times) and gave Opening Day a party atmosphere in a season when Mets fans don’t feel like we have a ton to celebrate.
There was a nice ceremony before the game in tribute to the Superstorm Sandy volunteers, and a moment of silence for the hurricane’s victims as well as those from Newtown, MA. Emmy Rossum sang the national anthem (and looked great doing it), and Rusty Staub threw out the first pitch.
I’ll leave game recaps to other websites, but Neise pitched great, newcomer Collin Cowgill hit a grand slam, and feelgood story of the year Scott Rice closed out the 11-2 win.
Not that I didn’t find things to gripe about, but I will save those for another post on another day. It was a great Opening Day, though even the lousy ones are ones I never want to miss.
More photos after the jump
My book! $9 for paperback, $3 for eBook/kindle.