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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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I Got What I Came For

I got to spend an extra half-hour with my wife. I got a foam finger. I got to meet a mezzanine icon. I got a kid an ice cream cone. I got my 89th starting pitcher. I got three substantial home runs. I got a fearless catch from a fearless rightfielder. I got my third win covering two ballparks in a span of four days. I got my fourth consecutive triumph over our most bitter rivals. I got the 4:24 at Woodside. I got home earlier and with less angst than yesterday.

I didn't get Carlos Delgado returning my appreciation for him. I don't get that it's a big deal.

I've been baseballing like crazy since the gun sounded on the home season. I tied an April record for most Shea games attended and, precipitation pending, I'm not through yet. Throw in the trip to Washington (reflections on Nationals Park still to come) and I've been incredibly indulged, mostly by myself, occasionally by others — such as my Sunday hosts, the legendary Chapmans. Go to a game with Sharon, Kevin and Ross and it is Chapmania all around in the best sense of the made-up word.

So we had fun and I had foam. I nearly didn't have the latter. I was enjoying a bagel and such with Stephanie this morning and opted for a later train than planned, knowing full well that only the first 25,000 would get fitted for their complimentary puffy palms, one of those items I don't really need but didn't realize how much I wanted until I saw I'd missed out on them at Gate E. It didn't annoy me until I saw the Gate B crowds were still getting theirs even though their tickets were scanned minutes after mine. Grrr…

I put aside my huffery over my lack of puffery and joined the gang for a game whose result never felt much in doubt, even if it was against the sworn enemies of Shea satisfaction, the Atlanta Braves. I chilled out soon after arriving with two helpings of lineless Carvel, one for me, one for Ross, payment for an autumn wager when his mom's school beat mine in some sport I can barely remember caring about. My spoon wasn't to the bottom of the helmet when the bat of Raul Casanova nearly produced sprinkles. In the spirit of asking what have Brian Schneider and Ramon Castro done for me lately? I sure do like our new catching platoon.

John Smoltz was as untroubling as Tim Hudson, which is to say neither man could hold a candle to the guy with all the J's in his name from Friday. Nelson Figueroa, meanwhile, continued to warm the cockles of his relatives and the rest of us. Happy to add him to The Log, happy to raise my lifetime regular-season home win total to within two of 200, happy and amazed to note I haven't seen a loss to the Braves since 2006…and I see the Braves a lot.

It won't show up in the boxscore, but I drew face time with the one and only Kowalski (or KOWALSKI 69, if you've only seen/heard him from a distance). It was a chance meeting in the mezz concourse somewhere off his Section 18 hyping spot, but it was a marvelous interaction. Beer and kind words were graciously offered. He shouts, we blog…it's all good. (Also gratified to meet commenter Dykstraw on the 7 yesterday; hope the Donovan's burger was a hit.)

The only item absent from a potentially extraordinarily happy recap as the game wound down was my damn foam finger. It says #1 FAN on it, and I refuse to acknowledge 25,000 people in my midst today ranked ahead of me. I'll step aside for Ross and maybe Kowalski, but the other 24,998 of you are on notice.

Not to worry, though, because I was experiencing Chapmania, and the Chapmans have a way of making things happen. Kevin, who coaches baserunners from his seat better than Matt Galante ever did from the third base box, scooped up someone else's leave-behind before I even had a chance to scavenge. I was foamy, I was whole. Spurred by my completion, I somehow found the right ramp, crossed the right street, got on the right superexpress and was whisked eastbound on the LIRR before I realized I wasn't going to have stare at my watch and tap my foot (as I did yesterday when Woodside trackwork got my goat).

Sounds like a great day, huh? So why is it I'm hearing and reading that the big thing that happened this cloudy but beautiful Sunday was that Carlos Delgado, he who smashed two very round-trippers, didn't take a curtain call? We mezzanineans who were supportive with our applause even before his first swing didn't seem to mind we didn't get a bow, a tip or a wave. Would have been nice if we had, wasn't so bad that we didn't. We understood why he might have been reticent after the April he's endured, a month when his slumping ways were little tolerated by a vocal minority. By the time it was obvious Delgado wasn't curtain-calling us back, we had moved on to encouraging Casanova some more, just as we had relentlessly acknowledged Ryan Church for his spectacular catch and body bounce at the wall moments earlier. We were too overjoyed by the final result in progress to get hung up on a pointed lack of communication from our maybe moody (and highly compensated) first baseman.

I had a fine seat, good company and a great win. I was even given the finger in the best possible manner. Delgado didn't act extraordinarily grateful for being heartily feted one day after he was ridiculously booed for booming a ball that was caught at the track? When you read later or tomorrow that “the fans” were disappointed or spurned by Carlos Delgado, understand that at least one of us — and probably a lot of us — were perfectly pleased by their Sunday in the park with Mets.

6 comments to I Got What I Came For

  • Anonymous

    you rock, greg!

  • Anonymous

    Greg – it was we who were honored. It was great spending the game with you :)
    And Kowalski – we noticed you all the way from Section 12 – good job!

  • Anonymous

    Shhhh about the burger! The girlfriend reads you guys too!
    I snagged a finger from the Diamond Club entrance. Literally the last one.
    And I booed Delgado after his home runs. I figured that's when he couldn't hear me.
    (I didn't, really.)
    (Okay, maybe a little after the first one.)

  • Anonymous

    A helluva weekend to be you, Greg.
    I can't blame Carlos II one bit for not phonying up for the fans — I'll admit, I was one of the loudest boo-ers on Saturday, both for 'Los Dos and Heilman. Besides which, he's only done 2 curtain calls his entire career.
    I think he did the right thing, actually…

  • Anonymous

    HI Greg,
    We were doing our spring cleaning yesterday so instead of being at the game, Mary Jane was getting her summer Met shirts and Jerseys out from the back of the closet.
    Regarding Delgado, my gut instinct was this was not a repeat of the Carlos Beltran situation snubbing the fans but rather that he felt embarrassed taking a curtain call after playing so poorly for so long, hence, it wasn't the appropriate time. Also, a caller on FAN said he saw David Wright tell him not to come out of the dugout (if that's what David was actually telling him, I can't understand why).
    It will all be forgotten if this indicates the slump is over.

  • Anonymous

    I was at the disaster on Friday night (of which I uttered after the game, “I can't remember the last time I've been this miserable at Shea Stadium. Oh, wait, yeah I can. It was Sept 30th,”). The kick in the nuts was in the 8th inning I saw a vendor selling foam fingers. My girlfriend has wanted one for a while, so I yelled out for him. He pointed at me and started up the stairs. Suddenly, 3 rows behind me and right on the aisle, someone else called for him and the dick got taken care of first. Then the fucko bought the last 2 fingers. A fitting end to the evening.
    My girlfriend put it properly in perspective, though. She said, “I don't want any souvenirs from tonight's game, anyway.” Good call.