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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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You Sure We Didn’t Say Thursday?

Every year my friend Kevin treats me to a game against the Braves at Citi Field. Not much of a treat, you might think, the Braves being the Braves, but we waited through the 2010s for the spirit of our mutual favorite Met year 1999 to come back around, and sure enough, it’s Mets-Braves all over again for a large sum of marbles like it was when one millennium morphed into another. Never mind that the Braves tended to take their marbles and go further than us most Octobers when Bobbys Valentine and Cox stared daggers into opposing dugouts. We cherished the rivalry. We’re glad it’s back in earnest in the era of Showalter and Snitker. We like the Mets’ chances to marble up before this season is over.

Theoretically, we might have liked it better had our annual Braves game been Thursday night, which I walked around for months thinking it was gonna be, rather than Friday night, which is what we actually decided on well in advance. Why I believed it was going to be Thursday, I’m not sure. Perhaps I was prescient that Friday would not offer sparkling scoreboard fortune.

Kevin has spent the past 24+ hours earnestly rationalizing that Friday was the better choice. Thursday’s victory turned so stressful toward the end, he said, he’d have had a hard time handling it. Friday worked better against the backdrop of some non-Mets plans of his. Plus we got to take part in the Friday Night Blackout, complete with a complimentary black Max Scherzer uniform number t-shirt (if you must refer to it as a “shirsey,” please have the decency to spell it Scherzey) for all in attendance, not merely the first 15,000 or 20,000 or 25,000. I don’t know that the one-size-fits-some garment would fit Max Scherzer. I know it wouldn’t fit newest Flushing folk hero Daniel Vogelbach — “Vogie!” we hath dubbed him volubly and repeatedly. I’m somewhere between those two fellas on the sizing chart. The shirt will make a lovely tea cozy for me.

I wore black at the Mets’ request. More prescience. I was dressed to mourn the end of a two-game winning streak. Cause of death was the top of the first inning, followed by the top of the second inning. Taijuan Walker started the first. He wasn’t around to finish the second. Bad sign that.

Yes, the Thursday result would have been tastier, but despite an 8-0 hole from which the Mets never fully climbed, Friday with Kevin was more fun than an eventual 9-6 loss (time of game: still going, I’m pretty sure) had a right to be. We never gave up. Not the two of us, not the 40,000 of us, many clad in black, others not caring to be nudged how to dress, even by their first-place team. Walker didn’t stride right, but the bullpen behind him stood tall. Every back bencher who pitched in relief performed well enough to keep the comeback we craved conceivable, and everybody who watched never ceased urging on a team down by eight, then seven, then six, then — as Buck Showalter pushed buttons and pulled levers — four and three. The transitory thrills were provided in the fifth by pinch-hitter Darin Ruf in his first Met plate appearance (two-run double to right) and pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar (single to bring home Ruf). So much pinch-hitting produced so many pinch-ribbies that we were pinching ourselves, then convincing ourselves the tying run was coming to bat every inning. Maybe it was. Maybe we hallucinated. Wearing too much black in such hot weather can cause mirages.

No, our wishing and hoping and beseeching didn’t do a damn thing to alter the course of events, but fun was had. Can’t say it was the wrong night for that.

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