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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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Let Today Be Every Day

As a people, we set our alarms to go off on Opening Day. For us, that's the flashpoint that turns the clocks, the calendars and our raison d'être ahead. The season began. The non-season went away. Those are the only seasons we care about.

But it's worth noting that summer is here. It crept in on little cat feet at 8:26 this morning. Actually, if this summer is anything like my Avery, it leapt onto our collective stomach, purred loudly, let out a shrill MRRYAAHHHH! and leapt off again to repeat the process from a running start four or five more times in a row.

I hope this summer is like my Avery. I think it will be.

It rarely occurs to me that whatever is going on in the present won't always sustain. The dead of winter is the dead of winter and, as such, baseball is never going to get here. What we call spring, mid-February to late March, wears out its welcome fast; the countdown to Opening Day works as slow as Steve Trachsel circa 2001. Fall, even if you're lucky enough to participate in its Classic, is just winter's anteroom. And winter, as we've already established, never ends.

But it did. Summer has arrived in every sense of the word. We are soaking up the sun on the longest day of the year atop the tallest elevation the National League East standings have to offer. We are Flushing Mountain High. I am convinced that being inside summer with the Mets being in first place is the rule, not the exception. Not should be, but is.

You have no way of proving me wrong on June 21, 2006.

The last icy fingers of the so-called winter sports have finally lost the last of their unwelcome grip on the back pages and highlight shows. On consecutive nights, the Heat has become something for which we seek a cool drink and Hurricanes, again, calamities to be fervently wished away. The hockey and basketball trophies have been awarded. Nobody will yearn for those activities to return anytime soon. Nobody. Nobody counts the days to when we all have to take our running around inside.

It's the first day of summer. Is it too late to make it to the Midnight Sun Game? It's never too late to play it. The Beatrice Bruins are heading from California up to Fairbanks to take on the Alaska Goldpanners tonight at 10:30 local time. They've been playing this game on the first night of summer for a solid century. The 1985 game lasted 'til 3:06 AM and the electric lights served no purpose beyond the decorative. The sun shines over Fairbanks for 24 hours when summer begins.

It matches the sun in my heart this time of year. Barring a return of those non-puffy, non-cumulus clouds that have haunted Shea every recent evening, I wonder how long it will stay light above the Mets and Reds. Fifth inning? Sixth inning? Shouldn't matter, assuming the Con Ed's been paid, but it's neat. Neat. A sixth-grader's term for staying outside and playing ball and actually seeing what you're doing 'til nearly nine o'clock. I haven't done that in decades, but knowing I theoretically (very theoretically) could makes the first day of summer a perennial keeper.

Is there something better than knowing there's nothing separating the New Mets and Ol' Sol but clear skies and that Ol' Sol promises to pack an extra dose of stamina tonight? That as much as there are 92 scheduled baseball games in front of us and hopefully somewhere between 11 and 19 more to breathlessly anticipate, there is, in a happy way, nothing more to look forward to because we're exactly where we always want to be? We're there.

This is the sweet spot — the longest day of the year and the largest lead in the Majors.

This is what we mope about missing all winter — summer…in the starting blocks.

This is what we can only imagine when it's snowy and seventeen — first place…by 9.5 miles.

This is our New York Mets reality on June 21, 2006.

Take a moment and love it.

8 comments to Let Today Be Every Day

  • Anonymous

    Wow. I didn't think you could do it. An entire post. Two, what, three hundred words?
    Not once was the phrase “last place Atlanta Braves” or the number “14 1/2” used.
    I'm proud of you, man.
    Always the high road.

  • Anonymous

    Almost 700. Not counting the 14-1/2 games by which the last-place Atlanta Braves trail the first-place New York Mets.

  • Anonymous

    Your post made me feel lovely, as they have all season long. A glass of lemonade, a gently swinging hammock, and a big comfortable lead over the last place Atlanta Braves — I guess this what a real summer feels like.

  • Anonymous

    Reyes must have read your post. He is in tune with the forces of nature. But that Wagner guy…well, he sure can snatch defeat from the crushing jaws of victory.

  • Anonymous

    Suffice it to say, let tonight NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT be every night. Fuck summer. No wait – Fuck Wagner for ruining the birth of summer. Words escape me right now.

  • Anonymous

    Hate the closer, not the solstice.
    Fucking closer.

  • Anonymous

    We should also mention here that our very own Tom Terriffic pitched for the Goldpanners between years at USC.

  • Anonymous

    We've always been more excited that Al Schmelz Panned for Gold, but Seaver, sure…he's worth noting, too.