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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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Best Episode Ever

There is a tendency to overreact to the last thing seen. And ya know what? It’s the best tendency in the world.

I was at Game One today and I had the most awesome time ever, it was the greatest game ever, the greatest win ever. The Mets are the most excellent team ever and the Dodgers suck like nobody else ever has.

Perspective.

Who needs it?

Let history steamroll and iron out the details. I just know that Shea Stadium was never as pumped for anything as it was for this mighty win. Except for the occasional ball one or strike two to the wrong batter, we were loud, we were proud, we were Mets. We didn’t shut up. I like to make the case for silence between pitches to permit necessary contemplation and all that crap, but this is the playoffs. It was fun to keep up the noise for nine innings. It was vital.

Besides, if it weren’t for crowd reaction, I might not have gleaned the turning point of the game and maybe all time, the eye-rubbing, throat-catching, you-gotta-be-kidding double tag at home plate in the second. I’ve seen replays since, but in person, here’s how it went, at least in my head:

Shit, it’s gonna fall in. It’s at the wall. C’mon Green, get to it. Get it in. Kent’s gonna score, but maybe we can get Drew. Somebody’s in front of me, let me peek around. Did he tag him? He tagged him! He’s out! Whoa, what’s that roar? Ohmigod, he tagged somebody else! Wait! He got Kent in the first place? And THEN he got Drew? Holy crap! There’s two outs and no runs on the scoreboard! HOLY FUCK! OHMIGOD!

It would have been so wrong to have not won after that and the Mets complied with all that was right. A brilliant day, a brilliant view from high atop beautiful Western Flushing. A fantastic crowd from the obligatory SUX! that followed every Dodger introduction (especially for hitting coach Eddie Murray but not for Marlon Anderson, though I imagine his goodwill has expired) to the spontaneous vocal accompaniment to Branford Marsalis’s “Star Spangled Banner” to every Met motion toward the good, whether Maine’s four innings, Carlos D’s four hits, Wright’s clutchrageous batting or every reliever providing relief. Billy Wagner gave up one run, but he wasn’t gonna give up two. How did I know? ‘Cause we wouldn’t let him.

For those of you scoring at home I went with the New York Giants cap, using the logic I applied in May when I wore the California Angels hat to psych out the Yankees. That’s right you Los Angeles fuckers, you’re not safe playing New York’s National League representatives on October 3 or October 4. Fifty-five years ago, it was a Shot. Today it was two tags. Go back to your crappy Ravine. Sure enough, I saw a guy in a Brooklyn cap on the train on the way in and I stared at him through three stops until he seemed unnerved.

I experienced a weird runup to first pitch. Around 12:30, I became very jumpy. Not “oh no John Maine is starting, Royce Ring is around, god only knows” nervous, just good old “it’s October and the Mets are playing and nothing — nothing — is more important because geez, this is exactly what we hope and pray and play for all the days of our lives” nervous. It was really here. Picking the Giants cap was a big deal. Fixing two turkey sandwiches on whole wheat and wrapping them in foil (I’ve NEVER thought to do that, even when I was a kid) was a big deal. Parking in a local municipal lot halfway to my train was a new and potentially momentum-affecting thing. Theoretically I wanted to treat everything like it was just another game, but it wasn’t. Shake things up. Lose that 9-13 record from the regular season. I’m 1-0 baby.

We all are.

14 comments to Best Episode Ever

  • Anonymous

    Jayson Stark is God: This is just a fantastic write-up. Lo Duca is honest to a fault as usual, Floyd is incredibly cool, and Rich Donnelly shows a lot of grace under pressure.
    Yes, this play really did happen. Great Gosh-a-mighty.

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect to Howie Rose and Gary Thorne, each of whom were as surprised as Paul Lo Duca was that J.D. Drew was even at home plate….
    I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that, despite the action coming toward home, Gary Cohen may be the only announcer in baseball that would have seen Drew round the bag and would have called it as it was happening. No way to prove this other than 16 years of accurate-down-to-the-micron Mets radio announcing history, and him proving over and over again that he can show you more with his words than even the most sophisticated twenty camera TV broadcast .
    Great to hear the Maestro back where he belongs, if only for an inning or two. Great game, Mets. Miss you, Gary. Make your money for a few years, invest it well, and then pleeeeeeeease head on back over to Mets radio…………..

  • Anonymous

    I dunno why everyone's making such a big deal. Plays like that happen in MLB 2006 (the video game) all the time.
    P.S. As far as I'm concerned, these Dodger imposters have about as much to do with the team (of the same name) that once played in Brooklyn as Saddam Hussein had to do with 9/11. The suggestion is ludicrous.

  • Anonymous

    Into the crucible walks John Maine. 13 most important outs of the year so far.
    Gird your loins mates. It's show time.

  • Anonymous

    Greg – I'm glad that you were able to be there!

  • Anonymous

    So what's it gonna take for you to change your username to “Delgado21″ and stop carrying that torch already?

  • Anonymous

    Am I not entitled to carry torches for whomever I choose? Doesn't seem to be hurtin' Delgado any. And there's a good reason why Jackie Robinson never played for the LA 'Dodgers.'
    You can root for players and you can root for laundry. But you're crazy if you root for other people's laundry (even if they stole it from you).

  • Anonymous

    Carry a torch for whomever you please. It just seems odd to pine for someone whose only role in Mets history was to serve as trade bait.
    Why not “Hearn49″ or “Allen46″ while you're at it?
    Viva Delgado!
    Let's go Mets.

  • Anonymous

    So we're only allowed to root for players who make us seem “hip”? Once a player we like leaves here, we're supposed to suddenly act like he's either scum or dead? I couldn't care less what other people think of who I like. I don't buy a player's shirt with other people's opinions in mind. I have my own mind. I'm not a Yankee fan… I don't choose my allegiances based on how cool or uncool I think they make me look to others.
    You keep on keepin' on, Jake27. And albertsonmets, you could do a whole lot worse than Hearn49. He's a heck of an amazin' human being.

  • Anonymous

    Everybody please take it easy. Let's not take out the anxieties of the month on each other.

  • Anonymous

    Amen, voice o' reason partner.
    I would add only that whether your screen name has been SeaverIsGod, OffermansMyNightmare or IpswichClamsOnAStick since the season's start, you'd be ill-advised to change it after 97, now 98 wins.

  • Anonymous

    Good point, guys. I'll put off my agonizing decision between “Bailor4″ and “Winningham21″ until next spring so as not to jinx anything.
    Or risk rebuke in a username debate from someone who's seen fit to go with “anonymous.”

  • Anonymous

    Come on, everyone. Who can forget that time that Albertson made those two great catches in one playoff game. Or that time when “Bert”, as I liked to call him, lead off Game 3 with a home run. Or when Li'l Albo hit that single that went all the way over the wall. And yesterday, when Albertson hit that home run, and garnered those four hits, I was just so damn happy for him.
    The whole stadium was chanting “Albie! Albie! Albie!” and Shea was as alive as I've ever seen it.

  • Anonymous

    You mean, you heard it too?
    It wasn't all in my head?