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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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A Great Half-Inning Date

I got fixed up Saturday afternoon with a half-inning: the top of the sixth of the Mets-Rangers game from Arlington. I picked her up right after the bottom of the fifth was done.

“Where you wanna go?” I asked her.

“Nowhere in particular,” she said. “You can just drive around.”

Seemed to be going well. The top of the sixth was more easy-going than any inning I had been with in a while.

“Hey,” I asked, “do you mind if I stop at the bank for a minute? Really, it will only take a minute.”

“Take your time,” the top of the sixth replied. “I’ll wait for you in the car.”

I like a half-inning that’s that agreeable.

“I’ll be right back,” I told her as I parked. “I promise.”

“No rush. I’ll be here.”

I conducted my ATM business as efficiently as I could and I came back.

“Hope I wasn’t gone too long,” I said.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

While I was gone, the top of the sixth had gotten a couple of runs.

“Say,” I asked, as we pulled out of the bank lot, “did you have those before?”

“What?”

“Those runs. I don’t remember you having that pair of runs before we got here.”

“Why, aren’t you the observant one?” the top of the sixth teased me.

“I hope I’m not out of line, but where did those come from?”

“Observant and curious — that’s cute.”

She didn’t really answer my question, but if the top of the sixth wanted to be that coquettish with me, who was I to get in the way?

“Hey,” I was compelled to ask as we drove a little further on. “I don’t mean to be a pain, but I have to make another stop, at the supermarket.”

“That’s OK.”

“Are you sure? I don’t know how long it’s going to take.”

“I swear, I’m fine. Just relax and do your shopping.”

“It’s not really shopping. Just a few things I need to pick up.”

“Whatever. I’ll wait in the car.”

“You will?”

“Why not? It’s a nice day.”

“Yeah,” I said as I found a space at the supermarket. “But you know how lines can be in stores.”

“Look,” the top of the sixth said, “I appreciate that you’re being considerate, but really, you don’t have to keep asking. Do whatever you have to do, I’ll wait out here.”

“Um, OK. I swear I won’t take too long.”

“Whatever.”

The top of the sixth had a great attitude, though I couldn’t be sure if she was as amenable as she seemed. I’ve learned not to expect much from half-innings. I certainly never expect them to stick around. One comes, one goes, it’s the nature of the, shall we say, beast.

Anyway, I go in, I pick up my items, some in appetizing, one all the way over in dairy. I take a quick look at beverages and then cleaning supplies. It’s not taking forever, but it’s a big store. It’s a lot to ask any half-inning to have the patience to put up with that. Plus, they’ve installed these new self-checkout aisles. I never know if they’re gonna work or what.

I scan. I pay. I bag. I gather up everything and I take it to the car.

And there’s the top of the sixth, right where I left her, right where she said she would be.

“You’re still here!” I said.

“Surprised?”

“A little.”

“What — you didn’t believe me? You’re accusing me of lying to you?”

Oh great. Now I’d gone and insulted the top of the sixth. I began to phumpher out an apology when she shushed me.

“I’m just kidding around! Here, I got you these while you were in the store.”

It was five more runs.

“Five more runs?” I was incredulous. “Where did you find five more runs?”

“Well, I had to do something while you were in the store, silly.”

“That’s, what…seven runs? Wow. You’re full of surprises.”

“There’s more where that came from,” the top of the sixth said with a wink.

“Well, we can get going now, finally,” I said. “Geez, seven runs. I feel bad I didn’t get you anything while I was in the store.”

“Just take the seven runs and enjoy them.”

What a caring, giving half-inning. I couldn’t believe my luck as we pulled out of the supermarket lot and headed back in the other direction. We didn’t get more than a few blocks when the top of the sixth got a little more playful with me.

“Oh,” she said. “I think you dropped something on the floor here.”

“What?”

“This!”

It was an eighth run.

“Eight runs? Oh, you shouldn’t have! You’re being almost too generous.”

“Do you have some kind of complex about half-innings that want to make you happy?”

I was afraid I’d hurt the top of the sixth’s feelings and attempted to explain.

“That’s not it,” I said. “It’s just that I’m not used to being treated this well by half-innings.”

The top of the sixth took it all in stride: “Well, I am kind of a rare beauty, aren’t I?”

“Are you ever! I don’t think a half-inning has given me eight runs in over a year.”

“Sometimes you get lucky, big boy,” the top of the sixth said, motioning for me to pull over. “You can drop me off over here.”

“OK,” I said, not wanting to seem too forward (though I was hoping she’d stick around for a few more runs). “I had a really great time with you today.”

“My pleasure.”

“No, the pleasure was all mine.”

“If you say so.”

And just like that, the top of the sixth was gone. But I still had the eight runs to remember her by.

What a schmuck I am — I should have asked her if she has any friends I can hook up with Sunday.

15 comments to A Great Half-Inning Date

  • 14 runs on 17 hits and not a single home run hit? How is that possible in this day and age?..This is a curious little team we have this season..

    Rich P

    • It’s not Citi Field that’s keeping the Mets from hitting home runs. If they can score two touchdowns without leaving the yard once at the Bandbox at Arlington, they’re just not an HR kind of club. Neither were the 1980s Cardinals and we all remember them.

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    Saw two Met caps at the College World Series and one at “Field of Dreams” in Iowa!…I hit a “Tape Measure Shot” into the cornfields Maybe Shoeless Joe caught it!

    .500 awaits us today….Right here-Right Now!

    GO GATORS!!!…..LETS GO METS!!!

  • Chad Ochoseis

    That’s nuthin’. Jon Niese went out with her and she did some stuff that made his heart race.

  • Joe D.

    Maybe I ought to chose one inning of each Met game not to watch. Had some chores to do away from the set so turned off the game after the fifth and turned it back on and suddenly saw 14 runs on the board and they were all for us!

    Do you think the Mets are nervous knowing this original new breeder is watching and need that break from me to relax and cut loose?

  • Inside Pitcher

    You know that I’m straight. But in person yesterday, she was an irresistible fling….

  • stan

    “Appetizing”. They only have that in New York. Everywhere else, it’s the Deli Counter.

    As if the rest of the store is “Un-Appetizing” ? I guess there are a few C-Towns and Key Foods that probably are :)

    • Dude, what an awesome thing to notice! In the interest of full disclosure, at the supermarket in question (King Kullen), it actually is called the Deli department, but regional habits die hard, or not at all.

      • stan

        Having moved to North Carolina, along with a good chunk of metro NY, I got a laugh when I read ‘appetizing’. Nowadays, you have to be in a Waldbaum’s to find one of those.

        Down here, you can always tell when there’s ‘one of us’ at the supermarket, when they look for a “wagon”. The locals will be happy to fetch you a “buggy”. I end up using the generic “cart”. :)

  • March'62

    I know this comment is coming late but I just LOVED this article. I also loved the top of the sixth but if you want to lay claim to her then who am I to stand in the way of true love. Unfortunately, when on the road, I’ve been saddled with her sister – the big-bottomed half. Just try getting rid of her. I’ve tried yelling and screaming but she just won’t go away. I’ve done everything I could think of to turn her off but she can be very clingy, even going so far as to broadcast every 20 minutes how big and ugly she is and how much damage she inflicted.

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