Saturday, August 08, 2009

Counting the ways our visit to Citi Field was perfect

It’s not Shea. It never will be.

But I can’t hold that against Citi Field, the Mets’ beautiful new home.

Wednesday’s first visit to Citi was perfect! And the Mets even won the game, showing some offense and great pitching, smacking around the Cardinals 9-0.

This will be the first of several posts detailing the afternoon, as we had all kinds of adventures.

Dad, Tim, Andrew and I arrived about two hours before game time and went right to work on the punch list, soon to be joined by Greg Prince, who is considered family in the Mets Guy household.

Naturally, tremendous thought went into this mission, including what to wear. Both World Series victories were represented. I went with my classic 1969 Tom Seaver Mitchell & Ness flannel and Andrew showed off the 1986 jersey – my first authentic! – complete with the 25th anniversary patch. You’ll read about Tim’s choice in a minute.

We explored the ballpark, inside and out, top to bottom, checking off items from the punch list along the way. Let’s start!

1) Find my brick. Tim is the benefactor of my slice of Citi Field real estate, located in section 18. Expect photos from every possible angle.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! This was a very emotional moment, to be sure. We found it right there in section 18, just to the left of the front of the ballpark. It would be nice to meet the Franzese Family from Rockville Centre, Mary Scanlon and the Carney Family. After all, we’re neighbors!

Greg was kind enough to show us his brick, too.

The brick makes me feel very connected to the new yard, even though I’m 800 miles away.

2) Find the plaque that shows the location of Shea’s home plate, bases and pitching rubber now located in the parking lot. Recreate the scene from Tom Seaver Day when Tom stood on the mound and bowed to all sections of the stadium.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The Mets designed the parking lot so no cars would be right on top of the plaques designating where Cleon Jones batted, Robin Ventura and Felix Millan fielded and Keith Hernandez scooped up long throws. We happily recreated Tom’s magical moment, and others.

Bowing just like Tom did on his special day.

Tim is taking a big lead off of Shea's third base. I hope he doesn't have to slide head-first when he heads home!

3) Don the photo-day-worn Freddy Garcia jersey that Dad won during the spring training home opener. Freddy never got to Citi Field, but I think it would be nice for at least his jersey to make it there.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Tim did the honors, and looked great! We hope Garcia enjoys knowing that someone wanted him to get to Citi Field.

4) Revel in the beauty of the giant Mets history mural outside the stadium, stretching from Stengel to Santana.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! From both sides, I might add. I read the constant complaints that there isn’t enough about the Mets in the Mets’ home, but this mural is pretty spectacular.

5) Look for the silhouettes of Endy’s leap, Swoboda’s dive and Tom’s delivery outside the entrance gates.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! They blend in a little too much, but I think they’re still a very nice touch.

6) Enter through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, marvel at Jackie’s courage while ignoring that his link to the Mets is, well, not not especially strong. Pose for group photo in front of the giant 42 sculpture; search in vain for the giant 41 sculpture that we know should be there, too.

MISSION ACOMPLISHED! The rotunda is everything advertised, a wonderful tribute to a true American hero. The Mets even placed a pair of cleat marks on the floor in front of the No. 42 so you know the best place to stand. We did lament the lack of a giant No. 41.

7) Squish pennies for my daughter. I hear there is a machine in the main team store off the rotunda that has inaugural year designs. I also hear that the Mets charge $1 per squish instead of the usual 50 cents, and this is outrageous.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Too expensive, but it was nice that the team has special “inaugural year” designs to squish. The machine was easily found in the gift shop, which was huge. There were some nice specials, too.

8) Locate the former Home Run Apple on display in Bullpen Plaza. Pose for many photos.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! How do you not get all weepy posing with the Home Run Apple? A Mets staffer was on hand taking photos for folks. He had some rules, too. A group of Yankees fans wanted to pose. He said he wouldn’t take the photo until they changed, pointing out that there were t-shirts in the gift store for as little as $10, and they needed to go and buy some before they would be allowed an audience with the Apple.

9) Photograph the massive new Home Run Apple. I hope it’s up and on display before the games like the old one was. Given our home run production this year, that might be my only chance to see it.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! And shame on me for lacking confidence in our Mets mashers. The new Home Run Apple was in fact out of its silo for all to see prior to the game. But it came rising out twice, celebrating blasts from David Wright and Angel Pagan.

On the rise after David Wright's bomb. Poor Rick Ankiel is sad, but he is capitvated by the glory of the Apple and watches it, wishing the Cardinals had something that cool at Busch Stadium.

10) Locate the New York Skyline that once graced the Shea scoreboard and now rests above the Shake Shack concession. I’ve never had something from a Shake Shack, but have heard wonderful things.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The skyline looks a lot nicer now that it is down lower and we can get a good look at it. There is a lot more detail than I realized. The Shake Shack line was already long, but we walked right up to the counter at Blue Smoke.

Perfect score so far. We’ll cover No. 11 through 20 in the next post.


Mike V said...

Sounds like you guys had a blast. You've inspired me to try and be less jaded the next time I go (Sept 6th). If there aren't two metal bars and a sheet of plexiglass blocking my view, it will help my effort!

Shannon Shark, Mets Police Chief said...

nice. will link in a few hours.

Michael said...


I am a reader of your blog daily and you actually inspired me to do my own blog. I linked to your blog and I was wondering if you can link back to me. I would be honored. Either way, I will keep my link to you guys as I am a fan, first and foremost. Hopefully, you will not take it too seriously, as I am trying to make it as funny as I can, while still telling the true story... almost!
75% True...100% of the Time

This is a blog by Michael DiCicco, a lifelong Mets fan, who has taken to the web to talk about the Mets...obviously. This blog is about my struggles, my strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition, being a Mets fan. Hopefully you find it almost factually accurate, and a little bit funny.

Thanks Alot,

Mike DiCicco