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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 Fan's Renewed Enthusiasm

Last week, when sharing Amazings NY's missive to Mets management regarding their decision not to renew a longstanding season ticket commitment, I mentioned that if anyone wanted to weigh in from the other end of the spectrum, I'd be happy to offer their thoughts to our readers on why they will be happily purchasing a ticket plan in 2010.

Well, somebody took me up on it.

Danny Abriano of Rational Mets Musings wanted us to know that he is indeed down for another 15-gamer. He and his dad were Saturday ticketholders in Loge at Shea from 2001 to 2006; a friend then picked up his father's spot for the last two seasons at the old place. It was, in his telling, all good. Citi Field represented a bit of a seating shock (Section 527, Row 2) and Saturday in the new park meant one-third of the games he was buying became weeknights, but Danny decided the revised arrangement wouldn't be a hardship so, now with two friends, he went with the flow.

You can read about the ups and downs he experienced in Citi's inaugural year at his blog, but here's the money passage where 2010 is concerned:

We will keep our ticket plan. And like the days I spent at the ballpark with my father from 2001-2006, the three of us will go to the ballpark together to cheer for the Mets. We'll sometimes get there early to tailgate a little, head to Shake Shack for a burger and then settle into our seats. Every time we attend a game, we'll have our momentary escape from our jobs and our love lives and any nonsense that may be going on at the moment.

We'll enjoy the day or night, enjoy each other's company, and hope the Mets win. We'll do those things because that is what being at a baseball game is all about. It's not a place to bicker over nonsense (like the rotunda or the media's controversy du jour). It's about enjoying the ballgame. If there are 2 strikes on a batter and Johan is in his delivery, we'll stand up and cheer (the fairweathers behind us can complain all they want). If one of the Mets drives in a run, we'll stand in unison and slap hands and beat the hell out of each other in celebration. Unlike tons of other Mets fans who have been canceling their tickets in droves, we will be there. And come April, we'll be filled with optimism just like we are every season. That optimism will likely turn to sadness and disappointment sometime between April and late October. But if it doesn't, oh what a season it will be.

There are plenty of good reasons to withhold your business from the Mets this offseason. But there are plenty of people who have perfectly valid reasons for continuing to patronize them…or maybe enable them. Whatever path one chooses, here's wishing Danny — and the rest of us — well in the pursuit of baseball happiness.

***

As the wind whips off the Hudson next Wednesday night, December 16, find warmth at the River in Hell's Kitchen where Chris and Will from Blue & Orange will be hosting the Hot Stove Huddle. Scheduled guests include SNY.tv's Ted Berg and, as breaking news permits, Newsday's Ken Davidoff. It starts at 7:00 PM and sounds like more fun than the Winter Meetings.

10 comments to One Fan's Renewed Enthusiasm

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    What Danny said is what going to a ballgame is all about. It's the special kind of experience we all shared with our dads and friends (and later on for me with Mrs D.). And we had fun times during the lean years as well as the ones more fruitfull
    Danny is fortunate to be able to participate in a season plan with others. But the unfortunate reality is that for most, not only are season plans out of the question but so is the simple pleasure of taking a family of four to even a single game.
    It has now become too expensive a proposition for many to consider. Even for those few games where seats go for just eleven dollars, those extra fees added to the face value of the ticket plus parking alone brings the cost out to over $100. Popcorn, ice creams, hot dogs and a souvineer for the kiddies easily brings that up at least two-fold.
    So the problem is not so much the season ticket holder being hurt as it is the average middle class fan.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I meant to say brings the cost up to almost $100 (not over $100), not that it makes much of a difference, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Danny is way too rational and level-headed to be a true Mets fan. Next you'll be telling me Ike Davis ISN'T the second coming of Lou Gehrig

  • Anonymous

    He won't be the second coming of Lou Gehrig…but he'll hopefully arrive sometime around mid-season.

  • Anonymous

    Joe makes an excellent point. Season plans are aces for a single guy. But when you have a family, even single games become a major proposition. A seven-game plan was a decent amount to commit to, accepting you'll probably end up having to eat a game. But a fifteen minimum is too many. For three of us the cheapest 15-pack, factoring in parking, tolls, gas (let alone food) was going to run me over $1500. Probably double that if my foodbag family insists on Shake Shack before the game (or the Greenfield Churascarria afterwards).
    Baseball games are no longer a family event. And the days of kids scrounging up ticket money by returning empties are over, too. At least one generation will have grown up without the ballpark as a hub of their life as it was for me and my friends. Where that leaves MLB in 20 years is anyone's guess. If my experience with the kids of today is any indication, they'll be too busy typing misspelled non-sequiturs to each other on their various communications devices to even know about baseball.

  • Anonymous

    In response to Kingman –
    I just turned 26, and the 2 friends who went in on the plan with me are 26 and 27. None of us are married, but we all have serious girlfriends (for some, soon to be fiance's). We each have our own apartment, we all have full time jobs.
    The total of the 15 game plan for us came out to $868…meaning each guy had to pay roughly $290. We alternate who pays for parking, so over the course of the season each of us will contribute close to $100 for parking…bringing the total to $390. We usually tailgate before the game, eliminating the need to spend so much money in the park (although we usually grab a shackburger).
    It's very, very manageable for us. I can understand that for those with families, it can get a bit overwhelming. However, most of the stories I've read about fans who have been giving up their plan tickets or season tickets, have been from groups of guys – not families. Sure, lots of the seats are absurdly overpriced, but if you want to be at the ballpark and have a full time job, it can very easily be done.

  • Anonymous

    That's all true RMM, but I'm used to the Sat plan being ALL Saturday games (no weekdays) & my seats were much better at Shea (loge -3rd base), not where they are now – prom. 15th row. So , bottom line is I'm not inclined to do another Sat plan this yr . Especially after eating a bunch of games last year…

  • Anonymous

    My family history might be similar to many.
    Even though my dad had his own delivery business, it needed to be supplemented by doing light hauling and driving a cab at night for a taxi fleet. He worked six days a week to support me, my brother and mom.
    Like so many baby-boomers, I have a treasure-chest of wonderful memories with my dad at Yankee Stadium, the Polo Grounds and Shea when I was little and which are bringing back more than a tear or two as I'm writing. If the situation was like it is today, I know as a fact I wouldn't have most of those fond father and son memories at a ballgame like I do now.
    Fortunately, even with his struggle to make ends meet, baseball didn't place my Dad in a situation where he had to explain why he couldn't take me to a game as often as other kids did with their fathers. That's the real shame of it all for so many today.

  • Anonymous

    JerseyJack – I hear where you're coming from…
    The seats aren't as good as they were at Shea, but the ticket plan IS a great deal less expensive (along with the fact that sitting in promenade reserved in Citi Field is similar to sitting in the mezzanine at Shea). My seats are also in Row 2, which is a big difference from yours in Row 15…

  • Anonymous

    The thing is, this isn't a baseball issue.
    Familiy of four, just tickets, to an average game at Citi would probably be $70 or so for 3-4 hours of entertainment. Tickets to the new 3-D Christmas movie at the movie theatre could easily be close to $60, especially if those kids don't fit the 12 and under bill. Popcorn and Soda? Shakeshack and ice cream? Maybe dinner after the movie?
    It all adds up. life in 21st century NY is expensive. Often you have to make concessions to be able to afford things. My parents always parked over the Roosevelt avenue bridge into Flushing and we walked near a mile to get to Shea. so free parking. Take the subway if you can. Maybe only get Shake Shack every other game, pack lunch otherwise. Take the family to see the Nationals instead of the Phillies…etc. It's still affordable, just requires more thought.