Stephanie and I have enjoyed telling people we know Ryder Chasin since the day we met him at his Bar Mitzvah in the fall of 2009. If that sounds like an unusual place to meet somebody for the first time, Ryder was no ordinary Bar Mitzvah boy and the site for the celebration of his “becoming a man” not the kind of place where you’d necessarily figure on being any time of year, let alone a windswept November afternoon. That story is here, but I’m happy to report it merely serves as prelude to further chapters of our story together, the latest of them unfolding last Tuesday night at Citi Field — which included some time on the field with Ryder and his dad, Rob. Rob, it happens, knows somebody who knows somebody and…well, we took in batting practice from our own little barricaded alcove (SAT word!); sat in some incredibly close and cushy seats; enjoyed unusually personal attention from the Mets (including two autographs for Ryder from actual Mets Jordany Valdespin and Justin Turner); discovered what the little-known Payson entrance is for (consider it the Citi Field equivalent of Henry Hill’s Copacabana shortcut through the kitchen in GoodFellas); were directed to a complimentary pregame buffet; and watched our favorite team look typically horrible in losing to the Rockies.
OK, so you can’t have everything. But with friends like Ryder and Rob, you can come pretty close to feeling like you do. Our thanks to them and whomever they know for letting us all pretend we were not just VIPs but VVIPs for a night. And, of course, thanks to the increasingly vertical Ryder Chasin — not yet 16 but already featuring more height than I’ll ever possess — for still fitting into his Faith and Fear t-shirt and thinking to wear it in a most appropriate setting.