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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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Happy Nimmo to All You Fathers Out There

“Dinner’s waiting, hon’.”
“One minute. Game’s almost over.”
“Is that still on? Haven’t they lost already?”
“Hey, have some faith here. Wheeler pitched great, even Robles pitched well and, besides, they won last night.”
“Yes, dear, but the kids and I hate to see you disappointed on Father’s Day.”

“Daddy, dinner’s ready!”
“One minute, sweetie. Daddy’s team is still playing.”
“Is Daddy’s team losing again?”
“Daddy’s team is playing. That’s the important thing. If they’re playing, what does that mean?”
“Um, that they’re gonna lose?”
“No, sweetie. That it’s not over and that they can still win.”

“Dad! Mom says dinner’s getting cold and she’s got that look again.”
“One minute. It’s almost over. Wanna watch with your old man?”
“Watch WHAT? I’m doing something.”
“The Mets game.”
“Baseball? That’s so BORING.”
“It’s not boring. You just haven’t given it a chance.”
“Ugh.”
“C’mon, watch with your old man. It’s Father’s Day.”
“Whatever.”

“Daddy, what’s going on on the TV?”
“Well, sweetie, the Mets are batting.”
“Which Mets is that?”
“Met, sweetie. One Met.”
“Which Met is that?”
“That’s Jose Reyes.”
“He looks like a raccoon!”
“He’s wearing eye black, sweetie. It helps him block out the sun.”
“But it already looks dark in there on the TV.”
“They’re playing indoors because it’s hot in Arizona.”
“Then why does the raccoon eyes man have to block out the sun?”
“I don’t know, he just likes to do that.”

“This is so SLOW.”
“Settle down, champ. It’s almost over.”
“If it’s almost over, then why do we have to keep watching? You already know how it’s gonna end. They’re gonna LOSE.”
“You don’t know until it actually happens. Five years ago on Father’s Day, Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a home run to win the game when it looked like the Mets would lose. You watched with me. You were a lot cuter then.”
“Kirk WHOENHEIS? God, that’s a stupid name.”
“Stay quiet for a minute, would you?”

“Daddy, what’s the raccoon eyes man doing?”
“He’s bunting, sweetie.”
“Bunting? What’s bunting?”
“Bunting is when you hit the ball just a little.”
“Aren’t you supposed to hit the ball a lot?”
“See, Jose is fast…well, he used to be…and if he hits it just a little and nobody on the other team can get to the ball, then he gets to be on base, except this bunt is probably going to roll…OH MY GOD!”
“What’s wrong, Daddy?”
“Nothing’s wrong, sweetie. The ball didn’t roll foul and the catcher picked it up too soon and Jose is safe!”

“So is this is over yet? I’m HUNGRY.”
“Watch, would you? You’ll learn to appreciate something.”

“Hon’, dinner’s been sitting on the table for like ten minutes now.”
“Hold on, we have a rally going.”

“Daddy, what’s a rally?”
“It’s when Daddy’s team has a chance to score.”
“Does that ever happen?”
“Sometimes. It happened in the first inning.”
“What inning is this?”
“It’s the ninth.”
“Is that a lot since the first inning?”
“Yes.”
“Which Mets is that?”
“Met.”
“Which Met is that?”
“Jose Bautista.”
“What happened to his raccoon eyes?”
“That was Jose Reyes, sweetie. He’s a different Jose and he’s on base now. This is Jose Bautista.”

“Jose WHATISTA? Your team has so many stupid names.”
“How is that a stupid name?”
“I don’t know. It just is.”
“Go help your mother.”
“Ugh.”

“Daddy, what’s the different Jose man doing?”
“He’s flying to right field…”
“Without an airplane?”
“It’s an expression, sweetie…it’s deep, going to the corner and…OH MY GOD!”
“What’s wrong, Daddy?”
“Nothing’s wrong, sweetie. Bautista’s ball fell in for a double for the Mets, Reyes scored and the Mets are within one run of tying the other team. Why do you always think something’s wrong?”
“Because you always go OH MY GOD when the Mets play and you always seem so upset.”
“Daddy’s not upset, sweetie. Daddy’s almost happy.”

“Mom’s getting annoyed in the kitchen.”
“Tell her to come in here. You too.”
“Why?”
“Because it’s Father’s Day and I said so.”
“Ugh. That’s stupid, too.”
“Just do it, OK?”
“Whatever.”

“Who’s the smiley man, Daddy?”
“That’s Brandon Nimmo. He’s very happy all the time.”
“Why is he so happy?”
“Because he’s on the Mets.”
“How come nobody else on the Mets looks that happy?”
“Brandon has a different personality.”
“Person…”
“Personality, sweetie. It’s like how a person is usually. Your brother is sullen, your mother is impatient and you’re…”
“What am I, Daddy?”
“You’re unnaturally inquisitive.”

“I thought you said we’d be sitting down in a minute.”
“We will be.”
“That was fifteen minutes ago.”
“It’s baseball.”
“I like when you get caught up in the sports that have a clock. At least I can time dinner that way.”

“I’m getting some bread. This is stupid.”
“Just sit down. You can all watch the end of the Mets game with me on what’s supposed to be my day.”

“Dinner’s basically frozen now, you know.”
“I’ll put it in the microwave.”
“We could have just had Lean Cuisine. Would have saved me a lot of trouble.”

“Lean Cuisine SUCKS. Ugh.”
“Can you all just give me a minute to watch Brandon Nimmo bat?”

“The smiley man!”
“Yes, sweetie. The smiley man…OH MY GOD!”
“What’s wrong, Daddy?”

“Yes, dear, what’s wrong? Of all the noises you make during Mets games, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one lately.”

“Is Dad sick? Do we have to take him to the emergency room? Ugh, hospitals are so BORING!”

“Nothing’s wrong. I’m not sick. You haven’t heard that noise during Mets games because it’s the noise I make when the Mets snatch potential victory from the jaws of defeat, and they almost never do that anymore — but they just did, I think.”

“The smiley man did it, Daddy?”
“That’s right, sweetie. The smiley man, Brandon Nimmo, just hit a two-run homer to put the Mets ahead four to three and…OH MY GOD!”
“What’s wrong, Daddy?”
“What’s right, sweetie, you mean!”
“What’s right, Daddy?”
“Asdrubal Cabrera just hit a home run, too! The Mets are up five to three!”
“Yay Astoobull!”
“Yes, sweetie. Yay Astoobull!”

“That’s another stupid name.”
“How have you not picked up an iota of my cultural sensitivity?”
“UGH. I have to pick up everything around here!”

“Congratulations, dear. I’m very happy the Mets won for you on Father’s Day. And now we can go heat up dinner and…”
“Um, we still have to watch the bottom of the ninth. But as soon as Gsellman gets the last three outs, we’ll be fine. See, the first out is right there, an easy ground ball, Dom Smith has it and he’s going to take it out of his glove and…OH MY GOD!!!”

“What’s wrong, Daddy?”
“Nothing, sweetie. Hon’, take the kids out of the room. Go start eating without me. I think I need to be alone.”

“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I’ll be along in three outs. They will get the three outs. I just have to sit here a little longer, by myself, with the lights off, and everything will be fine. Just fine.”

“Mommy, is Daddy OK? Why is he talking to himself? Why did that man toss the ball between his legs? Is he a circus man? And which one is the gazelle man? Was he the one riding on the back of the big baseball hat?”
“Don’t worry about it, sweetie. Your father does some version of this every night after you go to bed.”

15 comments to Happy Nimmo to All You Fathers Out There

  • mikeL

    hard to believe these late comebacks once seemed almost routine.
    when this all came down in the top of the ninth, it felt awkward…like how would the dugout react to this strange and unlikely turn. could they turn on the enthusiasm after being so nearly perfect at losing?
    it sure looked like they’d be back on the losing track when smith let the guy who blew the game for AZ get on base. and like THAT.
    domb (sic) seems intent on being alonzo’ed out of the roster sooner than later.

    glad he didn’t get the out AND that the mets prevailed in spite of that ridiculous move. reminded me of the US boarder who lost an olympic event years ago by executing a show-off grab and crashing just short of the finish line…

    i do like gselman in the closer role…

  • Michael in CT

    I know there’s no comparison in terms of significance, but was the last Mets comeback in the final inning – down by two with two outs and nobody on – Game 6 in ’86?

  • ljcmets

    That is , except for the year (long ago and far away) almost exactly how I became a Mets fan, except I would always stay with my father until the end of the game. And he never told me to go help my Mom in the kitchen….because he knew that little girls could learn and love baseball, too.
    Yeah, Smiley Man!

  • LeClerc

    A shocking but wonderful victory.

    Wheeler, Robles, Gsellman.

    Los Dos Joses, Nimmo, Cabrera.

    MIA (DOA ?) = Joltin’ Jay.

    And Dom “I really want to go back to Vegas” Smith ?

    Nevertheless – a wonderful victory.

  • Seth

    I guess if you had to sum up the season so far in 3 words, this would be perfect: “What’s wrong, Daddy?”

  • Inside Pitcher

    Another instant classic Greg – hysterical!

  • Gil

    Pretty good fathers day treat for the faithful.

  • Ken K.

    Excellent! Something like that actually happened with me. Game Six, 1986. My daughter was 2 1/2. My weekend duty was to get up with her when she woke up around 5 AM (my wife did the weekdays). So right after the Red Sox went ahead I threw a tape in the VCR and went to bed. So my Game Six rally was at 5 AM, as I watched with her in utter joy and disbelief.

    My daughter was accustomed to me being merely civil if not outright Grumpy at 5 AM on a Sunday, but here I was roaring with glee at the TV, so she began asking me very similar questions to what you posted above.

    Culminating, as the ball went thru Buckner’s legs, with

    “Is that good, Daddy?”

    “Yes Sweetie, that’s about as good as it ever gets in Baseball.”

  • Seth

    I don’t know Greg, I think the 2018 Mets are for mature audiences only…

  • Orange and blue through and through

    Ah, Father’s day! I mentioned to my wife, who is undeniably an anti-baseball person, that on Father’s day in 1964, a pitcher named Jim Bunning threw a perfect game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. I explained what a perfect game was, no batter reaches base, and her reply, novice that she is, was; “so the Mets have always been terrible. Why do you root for such a bad team?” She asks me repeatedly why I don’t root for a “winning” team. I have told her it’s just not done. Later, as we sat down to supper after our day was winding down, I put the game on TV. We had been busy all day, so I never had the opportunity to watch the whole game.
    It was the bottom of the 8th, and the Snakes had the bases full. But, bend-but-don’t break Familia came through. 3-1. On to the 9th. However, Dom Smith and Kevin Plawecki both struck out. Last chance. Jose Reyes wandered to the plate batting .149. Reality should have told me to turn the set off. I did not. Reyes laid down a bunt that was almost a thing of beauty. It had too much roll to it; it would go foul. BUT WAIT! Alex Avila picked it up in fair territory! Reyes was already in Sedona by that time.
    The faint flicker of hope that lives deep in the heart of true believers flared up. Jose Bautista ambled up. Still 2 outs, only 1 man on. Praying for the resurrection of Joey Bats, but settling for continuation, my fevered imagination dreamt “long-ball.” And I got it. Just not long enough. But…Jon Jay took a route to the ball as if it were a live grenade. It fell to the base of the right field wall; a gift double! RBI! Only down by one, the flame inside was building. Brandon Nimmo to the plate. The Brandon Nimmo I’ve been clamoring for the past couple of years. Pleeease, I implored him, don’t crush me now. And, he did not.
    Nimmo hammered a Brad Boxberger pitch to deep right field. Pandemonium for one at our supper table! Then, with the flame climbing higher, Asdrubal Cabrera went back-to-back! 5-3 Mets! But still the bottom of the 9th to play. Easy was not our way.
    And as if to prove that point, Dom Smith went all Willie Montanez on us. E3. I was apoplectic. But, the fates would not be cruel to us this Father’s day. Robert Gsellman extinguished any hope the D-backs had, and we secured our 30th win in breath taking fashion. To the beloved Bob Murphy, a happy recap indeed.
    Never let common sense over rule hope. It’s just not the Mets, or their fans, way.

  • Bob

    Greg-
    Love it–felt I was there watching “The Smiley man”.
    Happy Fathers Day indeed!
    Let’s Go Mets!

  • eric1973

    “And to all the fathers out there, ‘Happy Birthday!’ “

  • Dr. Louis Verardo

    Mr. Prince:

    Apparently you were a fly on the wall in my house during that game, because we seem to have shared a similar game-time experience (especially regarding Dominic Smith)…

    Great piece; please keep writing, this blog is wonderfully therapeutic for all of us Mets fans.