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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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The Two Constants Through All the Years

Friday night in Dyersville, Ia., the 25th anniversary of Field Of Dreams was celebrated. That’s the movie in which legendary ballplayers of yore stream out of a cornfield in the full flower of youth and play the game that made them iconic as if no time at all had passed.

And in a wholly coincidental development, Bobby Abreu went 4-for-4 and Bartolo Colon pitched 7⅓ four-hit innings in the Mets’ Friday-the-13th victory over the San Diego Padres…on Zombie Night at Citi Field.

Our youth movement may not be amounting to much, but the Mets of the living dead seem to be alive and well.

Those New Faces of 1997 can still amaze audiences nearly two decades after their debut.

Those New Faces of 1997 can still amaze audiences nearly two decades after their debut.

Abreu and Colon were rookies in 1997, when Field Of Dreams was eight, Wilmer Flores was five and Interleague baseball was being born. Friday night also marked the 17th anniversary of the first regular season N.L.-A.L. game the Mets ever contested, versus the Red Sox. They lost to Boston at Shea, 8-4. By then, Colon had pitched six times for Cleveland and Abreu had accumulated 169 career at-bats with Houston. They were both already older than Interleague play, not to mention Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and the Red Sox’ winning pitcher of June 13, 1997, Jeff Suppan. Today, they are older than dirt.

But dirt’s still got a few tricks up its well-worn sleeves. Colon was whacked around a bit in the first two frames he threw Friday against the Padres, who seem even more Metsian than the Mets in their offensive ineptitude. They got to Bartolo early but not often. Then they were completely shut down. Bobby, meanwhile, was open for business in the cleanup spot all night: doubling and scoring; singling and scoring; singling home Murphy; singling home Murphy once more. Together, the B-Boys — with a bit of help here and there from their more callow teammates — combined to overcome an early two-run deficit and secure a post-midnight 6-2 win.

The game crept beyond the witching hour because two hours of rain postponed its first pitch. That meant Abreu and Colon, each of them already past 40, grew yet a little more wizened as they waited to do what they’ve been doing since the middle of the Clinton presidency. Abreu would be playing in his 2,385th big league baseball game. Colon would be making his 418th start. What was a couple of extra hours against almost half a lifetime of experience?

It’s not like these guys quiver in the face of time’s inevitable march. Colon (6-5 for a 30-37 team) missed the entire 2010 season because of injury. Abreu (.319/.386/.472) was presumed done after not playing anywhere in 2013. The Phillies released him on March 27 of this year. The Mets picked up him up four days later and sent him to Las Vegas. So far he’s been their most promising minor league callup of 2014.

If you build it, maybe they will come. Some nights, though, there’s something to be said for renovating.

4 comments to The Two Constants Through All the Years

  • Lou from Georgia

    Great line about Bobby being the most promising call up, indeed. Too bad Abreu isn’t eligible for rookie of the year. I mean, he took 2013 off. Doesn’t that give him a career do-over?

  • Dave

    Very encouraging. The team being carried by two guys whose biggest contribution, you would hope, would be as trade deadline bait. Eh, a win is a win.

    And thanks for the shout out to Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. I have actually been there, still have an ear of corn from the approximate spot in left-center where James Earl Jones disappears. They ask you to stick a dollar bill in the box for an ear. It’s supposedly Iowa’s #1 tourist attraction, which probably means that in a month they get as many people as will be in the Shake Shack queue in the 2nd inning today.

  • Lenny65

    This is the most feeble hitting Mets team I have ever seen bar none and let me tell you that I’ve seen plenty of feeble Mets lineups in my day. It’s excruciating to watch, the total ineptitude just boggles the mind. At this point why not just pull the daily lineup from a hat? I doubt it’d matter very much.

  • SL

    Perhaps the lesson from Field of Dreams is that the Field has been purchased for the purpose of ‘developing it” into a large multi use recreational facility and travel destination. Much as it seems the Wilpon’s real game is the theft and development of Willet’s point, which was given to them by their buddy Bloomberg for $1.