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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 Stuff of Urban Legend

“I’m tellin’ ya, I seen it.”
“You lie.”

“I do no such thing. As God is my witness, I seen it.”
“Ya couldn’ta seen it, ’cause it never happened.”

“It happened.”
“You are a blasphemin’ devil to spread such nonsense.”

“I speak only the truth.”
“The truth is it never happened.”

“Doubt me all ya want, but these two eyes seen it.”
“Not the ‘two eyes’ testimony again.”

“These two eyes, on a warm July day…”
“Ya sure? Ya sure it was July? Why not say it was December? It’s just as likely.”

“These two eyes, on a warm July day, situated almost directly behind home plate…”
“I can’t take it anymore.”

“You will take it, for you have questioned my honor, my recollection and the historical record.”
“History? History? There is nothing in history that reflects what you say you seen ever having happened.”

“What if I could produce a document that affirms my testimony? What if I could produce witnesses?”
“I would say you are clever but dishonest, for it defies all we know about the nature of the beast. The nature of the beast is plain. The nature of the beast was to stand and swing and miss and sit.”

“But not this day. Not on this one occasion.”
“This ‘magical occasion’ of yours eludes common sense!”

“This world rises and falls on the uncommon occasion, and this, I tell ya, was a most uncommon occasion.”
“I am in no mood to indulge your flights of imagination.”

“There is no imagination. There is only what transpired. These two eyes, on a warm July day, situated almost directly behind home plate know what they seen.”
“If those two eyes seen what you swear they seen, then those two eyes were closed.”

“They were open, I tell ya. It is your mind that is closed to the reality of the happenstance.”
“You might consider realigning your storytelling. Reality is not your strong suit.”

“Your insults will not prevent me from knowing what I know, telling what I know. And I will tell it until my dying breath.”
“Which can’t come soon enough.”

“Insult. Mock. Go on. I have the truth on my side. I have these two eyes, from that warm July day, situated almost directly behind home plate — and these two eyes seen what they seen.”
“They seen an illusion.”

“NO! They seen the Mets score a run!”
“Preposterous.”

“Preposterous, perhaps. Improbable, for sure. But it was as possible as the day is long.”
“You’re the one who goes on too long.”

“It was a warm July day. I was situated almost directly behind home plate. It was the home third inning. There was an out…”
“I believe that.”

“Then that shaggy fella with the small letter to start his last name, he doubled.”
“This is where your fabrication drives me to distraction. You invent these ridiculous characters.”

“He was very real and very able.”
“And he pitched, right?”

“That he did.”
“He pitched and he doubled.”

“Yes. These pitchers could do that. They were permitted to try and they often succeeded. Not all the time, but these Mets pitchers could hit.”
“The Mets couldn’t hit.”

“It was the Mets’ position players who couldn’t hit.”
“Yet somehow you’d have me believe the Mets’ pitchers — the pitchers — generated what little hitting the Mets did have.”

“I wouldn’t have you believe that. The facts would.”
“Facts are very selective when you spout them.”

“Where was I? Oh yes, the shaggy fella with the small letter to start his last name doubled. And he was bunted over to third.”
“The Mets couldn’t bunt. When they attempted to do so, multiple outs occurred.”

“I understand your confusion. Mets who tried to bunt with a runner on third couldn’t…”
“The Mets didn’t have runners on third.”

“They didn’t often, but on this occasion, they did, after the bunt.”
“Of course they did. Whatever you say.”

“Your condescending tone notwithstanding, the Mets had a runner on third with two out.”
“And then there were three outs.”

“Normally, yes. But not in this instance. In this instance, a mighty swing resulted in a ball that bounced over the outfield fence.”
“Because, according to you, a Met hit a fair ball that wasn’t caught.”

“Because, according to what happened, a Met hit a ball that wasn’t caught. I am merely the conduit for this information.”
“According to your ‘information,’ a Met hit a ball that by ground rule turned into a double, thereby driving that runner on first…”

“Third.”
“Oh, pardon me. The runner on THIRD scored when the other Met landed on…was it second?”

“Yes. Man on third, two out, ground-rule double.”
“And the Mets scored a run.”

“And the Mets scored a run.”
“YOU LIE! THE METS NEVER SCORED A RUN!”

“I SPEAK THE TRUTH! THE METS SCORED A RUN!”
“Calm down.”

“I shall not calm down! It was in the bottom of the third inning on a warm day in July. I seen it with my own two eyes. I sat almost directly behind home plate and I seen the runner’s foot touch it and cross it. I seen a zero transform as if by black magic into a ‘1’ on the scoreboard. Grown men wept. Grown women fell to their knees in prayers of thanksgiving. Children who had never fully comprehended the purpose of home plate shrieked in astounded fashion. Raucous celebrations ensued. Ice cream was distributed without charge to all. A national holiday was observed the very next day.”
“I have grown exhausted from your fables. The next thing you’re going to tell me is that the Mets, having accomplished this unprecedented feat, went on to prevail in their baseball game by scoring more runs than their opposition.”

“What? No, don’t be silly. The Mets lost. The Mets always lost. Ya thought they could have won? Geez, you’re crazy.”

26 comments to The Stuff of Urban Legend

  • ljcmets

    Brilliant, Greg. This made me laugh out loud, and that’s never easy for a Mets fan.

    PS: Did they really give out free ice cream ?

    • Good Humor set up a truck on the plaza after Wednesday night’s game, perhaps in anticipation of the miraculous event they and they alone foresaw unfolding in the very near future.

  • Steve D

    This reminds me of a story Ralph, Lindsey and Bob used to tell years ago…Leonard Koppett, the two-sport [baseball and basketball] Hall of Fame writer answered the phone rang in the newsroom at the NY Post at two in the in morning. “I understand the Mets scored 16 runs last night,” the caller said. “Did they win?”

    The modern day version…Harvey threw 9 innings of shutout ball…did they win?

  • Daniel Hall

    On this occasion, we should spontaneously break into song! Melody plucked from Nik Kerhsaw’s The Riddle:

    Oh the Mets are so awful,
    Are a pain to see play.
    Make you cry, make you scream,
    Make you run, run away.
    Fail to hit, fail to walk,
    Strike out four times a day.
    And it hurts if you still recall
    Their good old days.

    Which are never, never coming back.
    Which are never, never coming back.

  • Nick D'Arienzo

    You are a master, Greg. You always make us feel better about a miserable situation (for a little while anyway!) Love the voice here, Greg, love the cadences. Definitely could not help hearing Damon Runyon characters… and oddly, a convo between Kramer and Seinfeld almost works, too! Bravo, bravo, bravo and thanks for a big, big smile today. Enjoy your “Mets Scored” holiday weekend…

  • LA Jake

    Spectacular!

    Tonight I suspect I won’t see even a hit against Kershaw but I will be there in person. As a Father’s day gift (or perhaps to mock me) my sister is sending me to watch Thor and Co. along with my six-year-old wearing his new Dodgers t-shirt. At least one of us will be happy when the game is over.

  • Dave

    Just as well they’re playing on the West Coast. I won’t be able to stay awake to watch most of the damage. If it can get worse – if there’s a way to put negative numbers on the scoreboard – they’ll do it in the next two games. I can hear the end of the season talk about Kershaw…”he was having a very uncharacteristically mediocre season, pitching like a mere mortal. But that all turned around one night in early July against the Mets…”

  • Brilliant piece, thanks for helping us laugh through the pain.

  • LA Jake

    Just being realistic sturock.

    • sturock

      I hear you, I hear you. At least Dodger Stadium is beautiful…

      • Left Coast Jerry

        Dodger Stadium is beautiful, once you get inside. Unfortunately, getting to your seats, unless you’re sitting in the outfield pavilion, involves going up and down stone steps outside the stadium. Getting out of the parking lot after a game is abominable, even after half the crowd leaves in the 7th inning.

        And of course, thanks to Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers not wanting to play ball with other cable companies, I cannot normally get games involving the Dodgers on TV, but I can catch the games tonight on ESPN and tomorrow on Fox.

        Mets might even score a run tonight if they play Matz in left, deGrom and short, and bat Noah cleanup.

  • LA Jake

    Yes it is. And we have good seats. So will be fun evening regardless of the scoreboard.

  • Eric

    Any credence to the notion that the disruption of the 6-man rotation is why deGrom was off?

  • eric1973

    So now our announcers are going on the DL as well. I hear the winner of the Kidcast contest will be the replacement, as he will work cheap.

  • eric1973

    Speaking of lineup construction, you know who’s up after Lucas Duda?

    The other team.

  • LA Jake

    Not only have I seen the Mets get a hit, but they’ve also scored a run. And we’ve reached the 9th and aren’t losing.
    LET’S GO METS!

  • LA Jake

    WOO HOO!!!

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