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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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One for Alex, 300 for Me

Alex Wolf is 1-0 lifetime at Shea Stadium. I'm 169-131 there, including the post-season, something I don't normally take into account when discussing my Log, but if the 1998 Yankees can claim 125 wins in one year (the regular schedule not nearly expansive enough to contain their self-aggrandizement), then I can stretch my truth just a bit. The point is, Sunday afternoon was my 300th game* that counted inside the big, blue thing. It was a personal statistical milestone for three reasons besides:

1) It was my tenth game of the year (6-4 in '05), marking the ninth straight season I've reached double-digits, eleventh time overall. It's been a rich, full life.

2) This was the first homestand in which I saw the Mets beat three different teams and not suffer a loss at all — one win apiece against Atlanta, San Diego and Los Angeles. Mr. Piazza homered in all three. And I resuscitated my 1997 ice cream cap for each game. If only all that mattered was lucky headgear…

3) At this moment and for the first time ever, I have a .500 or better record against every single National League opponent…except the loathsome Atlantans (12-20 when counting Game 3 of the 1999 NLCS). I have never held a winning mark versus the Braves; my best was 2-2 after a 4-3 victory on July 22, 1987. Lawdy, I hate them.

Today snapped a four-game losing streak to the Dodgers that I'd been schlepping around since 2001 (a schneid which culminated in another friend's son's far from auspicious debut) and brought me to 9-9 where they're concerned. The other night made it 7-7 against San Diego. So this homestand has been a real threading-the-needle experience in the land of Log.

I'm 12-9 against the American League at Shea — considering all Interleague foes as one jumble is the least unpleasant option vis-à-vis breaking out the records against each Junior Circuiteer, if you get my drift.

As for Game No. 300, it proved one of the most relaxing in recent memory, even given the exhilirating aftereffect of moving us to within 3-1/2 of first. Get a lead early and let Mr. Benson do the rest. It allowed me to talk Alex and his dad through any and all questions posed. Alex wanted to know what that was out there beyond right field (the Mets' bullpen); if home runs break car windows (not usually); and if that guy batting first for us was indeed the shortstop (he was). His dad was a little vague on the concept of pinch-hitting and how a pitcher gets credit for a win, but we covered that, too. They're both quick studies. Alex's mom told me she once got a pennant autographed by Tug McGraw, Tommie Agee and Cleon Jones at a store-opening. She also inferred the Dodgers were pretty lame today. I think I see where Alex gets his baseball bug from.

*It has come to my attention that the third game I ever attended, on June 28, 1975, was delayed by rain for nearly an hour-and-a-half at its start. I remember leaving, at my sister's behest (she was sure they wouldn't resume playing), during that delay but have always recalled the tarp coming out in the middle of the second inning, meaning I had to have witnessed at least a little of that affair. But what I'm remembering being stopped by the umpires, I now have to admit, was the Old-Timers Game that preceded the “real” game. That's what was interrupted by rain. Apparently I never saw any of the Mets-Phillies action in person that afternoon. The question then becomes, should it still count as part of my Log? In 1999, when you and I attended the twinight doubleheader in which Ventura hit two grand slams, we missed most of the opener. I decided then that as long as I see one pitch of a game, I can say I saw the game. Since that ruling came 24 years after the game I didn't see, I've decided 6/28/75 will remain on the books, grandfathered in prior to the '99 decision, as a game I went to. I did go to it, after all. Thus, today was indeed my 300th game, 169th win and I can continue to say — now and forever — that I was at Shea Stadium at least once when Randy Tate started. It's always been a point of pride for me. (I'm not a particularly prideful person.)

11 comments to One for Alex, 300 for Me

  • Anonymous

    Like I'd ever deny you anything if it meant endangering the mystic chords of memory binding together you and Randy Tate. Rest easy, my friend: It counts.

  • Anonymous

    I think they tried to stick Ty Cobb with an extra hit somewhere after the fact, but the total that Pete Rose surpassed is the one that was recognized as the record. I'll never be able to look at the Randy Tate line in my Log without seeing an unwritten asterisk, but the line will endure and no asterisk will ever appear.
    I went 2-0 in games I went to Shea Stadium to see in 1975. That's what historians will find when they pry that National Blank Book Company of Holyoke, MA Steno Notebook out of my cold, dead hands.
    Those will be, by the way, some pretty fucking low-level historians.

  • Anonymous

    Because I am so enamored with any Gregoribilia and Gregnucia I can get my hands on I would like to know what your record is in all the other stadiums you've watched ballgames. Unless, of course, I'd be taking these stats from a future blog. Wouldn't want you to use any material before it's time.

  • Anonymous

    I'm really sorry. I'm not usually so ungenerous. But I'm not ready to give credit for such games.
    The way I look at it is this, why give the spectator credit for games, wins, or losses that you won't give the pitcher credit for? If you're not still watching at least until the game is official (visiting fifth with the home team ahead, home fifth with the visitors ahead, for the uninitiated) you don't get credit for the game.
    As for wins and losses, look at it this way. If the pitcher entered when you arrived and left when you left, would he get the win or loss? If the lead changes hands after you leave, you shouldn't get such credit, even if the team who was winning when you left relinquishes the lead, then reclaims it to win.
    Yeah, such a scoring system gives you more games than wins or losses, but no-decisions are a part of the game, and a good fan like yourself is probalby completing more games than Chief Bender.

  • Anonymous

    You present some intriguing if stringent rules, and I will no doubt continue to bend them to my own shortsighted statistical satisfaction. Perhaps it's a matter of semantics: The Mets are 169-131 at Shea Stadium in games for which I have passed through the turnstiles and taken my seat in order to attend. That would include the game of June 28, 1975 when, at the age of 12, the decision to remain or vacate was taken out of my hands by the umpires…I mean, my older sister. I was, however, announced into the game, as it were, even if I never actually came to bat.
    I've never been one of these people who insists you can't miss the first pitch or the last out. If one can at all help it, sure, get there early and stay there late. But stuff happens. And sometimes it's just good judgment to leave. On September 26, 2000, for example, your faithful bloggers scrammed out of Shea before the ninth inning so as not to witness the Atlanta Braves clinch their sixth consecutive N.L. East title, 7-1. We can say we were there the night they won it, but to quote Aunt Sassy of “Room & Bored” fame, “I don't need to SEE that!”

  • Anonymous

    Well, that last example doesn't really apply. Certainly, one would understand your reasons for leaving that game, but should the Mets have blown your minds, scored ten in the eighth, and come back to win that one, do you really think you deserve on in the win column for yourself.
    It's like win-win for you then. There should be some risk in leaving, even if — as in the case cited — it's a good risk.

  • Anonymous

    The Mets are 7-8 when I've watched them in other ballparks. The city of Philadelphia has been Kryptonite: 0-3 at the the Vet, 0-1 at the Cit. The only thing Veterans Stadium has in common with Tiger Stadium is that I'll never get a chance to make things right there: 0-1.
    The rest, since you asked: 2-0 at Wrigley; 2-1 at Camden; 1-0 at the Big O; 1-0 at Great American; 1-0 (as you know) at the BOB; 0-1 at RFK; 0-1 in the, uh, Bronx.
    These games are listed in the Log under the ELSEWHERE heading, mixed in with the various Mariners @ White Sox and Royals @ Rangers and Brewers @ Giants games. They count but they don't Count.
    Postseason (6-2) has its own page. It's not nearly close to filled in.
    You won't find anywhere the two exhibition games and one intrasquad game I saw at Shea let alone the five Mets spring training games I attended. Games that don't count in any sense of the word aren't listed at all.
    The many times we won the 1985 and 1999 World Series in my dreams do not appear either.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent ethical question. If the Mets had come back and built another ten-run inning in another remarkable comeback against the Braves in the same season that they had done it once, I'm fairly sure I would've died from shock listening to it on my Walkman on the train home before ever having the opportunity to fill in the details of this now twice-in-a-lifetime event in said Log. So, to answer your question, yes, I would deserve to cite it as a win because who would be small enough to begrudge the dead a little after-the-fact happiness?

  • Anonymous

    Let's look at it from the othere side, based on an example my friend Yancy offers. It's October 25, 1986. As Keith Hernandez is making out, the guy in the seat next to you sighs and says “I'm not watching this” and heads tor the exit.
    You stick it out for the thrill of a lifetime, while Johnny Queasy-Stomache never makes it back to his seat.
    You see him the at the game next day and he says, “Wasn't that great?! My God, someday I'll tell my grandkids I was there!”
    Even if you don't say it, aren't you thinking, “But you weren't. I was, but you weren't.”
    Carter-Mitcherll-Knight-Mookie got Mr. Heartless off the hook for a loss, but did not get him a win.

  • Anonymous

    As Felix said to Oscar, it makes a great DEAL of difference. The circumstance, that is. The Mets-Braves game alluded to earlier was, by group consensus, a done deal. Seeing the Braves humiliate the Mets was (and, sigh, remains) a common enough phenomenon. Plus the Mets were on the verge of clinching the Wild Card. We knew we'd be back at Shea in about 21 hours and several times in October. Sometimes you have to reserve your strength and your sanity. (And I'm fairly certain there was a train at Woodside hanging in the balance.)
    The Mets being in the World Series, however, had only occurred three times to that point, 10/25-26/86 (it was after midnight). You can't leave before it's over. You just can't. I'd have said the same thing about the next World Series the Mets were in 14 years later when that result loomed starkly inevitable and unpleasant. This isn't a matter of hoping lightning will strike. This is about staying because you stay no matter how much it hurts. This was not one game in the course of many. This was the end (or potential end) of the World Series. You stay. At moments like those, you don't even think about your record.

  • Anonymous

    It's October 25, 1986. As Keith Hernandez is making out, the guy in the seat next to you sighs and says “I'm not watching this” and heads tor the exit. You stick it out for the thrill of a lifetime, while Johnny Queasy-Stomache never makes it back to his seat.
    ————————
    Wait…that actually happened to me. Everything except seeing those people on the 26th.