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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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4 O'Clock Thunder

Here’s one vote for starting more games at 4 o’clock. It’s an outstanding time of day to witness postseason baseball in person.

Golden sunlight bathes Shea in early October between 3 and 4. Or so I just learned. As I sat in gorgeous weather waiting for the festivities to unfold, I marveled at how gol’dang good Queens looked, how the construction in what used to be the parking lot (there’s space for maybe eight cars now) is spreading, how this must have been what it felt like in 1969 while Tommie Agee and Ron Swoboda sprinkled their gloves with pixie dust.

Of course we were the 4 o’clock start, us and the Dodgers — media markets 1 and 2 — because our teams and all teams are the scum of the earth, except for the Yankees who make the world go round. We were instructed by ESPN to scurry in unison to our ratholes after sundown so Captain Fantastic could Lead By Example in prime time. Funny, though: Fox has been so buoyed by Yankee ratings October after October that next year not a single Division Series game will be appear on over-the-air network television. Memo to soulless corporations with no feel for what you’re broadcasting…did it ever occur to you that maybe shoving the ex-dynasty down everybody’s throats for a decade soured America on its erstwhile National Pastime?

Meanwhile, first pitch 4:09 PM, despite the pleasing aesthetic aspects, was an admitted inconvenience for a lot of people with steadier jobs than mine. The three people who made my entrance possible by inviting me to be their fourth all showed up long after the action commenced. I heard tales from other quarters of folks with valuable playoff tickets that seemed to be going wanting as Dodger hour approached; responsibility’s an ugly burden. I half-expected Shea to look like The Ted. It didn’t, not at all. Mets fans will fight their way past deadlines and punchclocks and commutation hassles to see three, five, nine or fifteen innings of heartstopping baseball. I saw no pockets of unoccupied orange, blue, green or — where we were — red.

And was it not poetic media justice that the game the elitists just had to have in that all-important 8:20 slot got RAINED OUT? Steve Somers took one irate call after another from Yankee fen complaining about being forced to endure a delay until 10 PM and then be told to get their 26-ringed asses back to the Bronx by 1 PM the next day. Since we’re all sports consumers, I tried to feel some simpatico for those put out by forces beyond their control.

I didn’t.

Now those magnetic Yankees and the oodles of precious eyeballs they’re alleged to attract will be apart as their ALDS with the Tigers continues in the early afternoon. And we will be in the spotlight dance after 8 o’clock. It will be chillier than it was Wednesday and it will be darker and it will be inconvenient for its own set of reasons. If there’s rain (there’s not supposed to be), well, that will suck, too. But we’re Mets fans. We only complain when we don’t have a game at all.

11 comments to 4 O’Clock Thunder

  • Anonymous

    Most Dodger games begin with the seats about one-quarter full for the first three innings (at least Dodger fans eventually appear for their team, unlike Braves fans). So your foursome had the right ratio – for the Dodgers, that is.
    On the other end, fans (if you want to call them that) start dribbling out of Dodger Stadium around the seventh inning. I don't expect that was the case at Shea yesterday.
    I hope the parking situation gets better for next year's 87 home games.

  • Anonymous

    The view from Sec. 28 (just on the foul side of the fair pole), box 466 A seats 3 & 4 (me & Dad) was absolutely gorgeous.
    It'll be just as fine tonight from the picnic area.

  • Anonymous

    PS — If you go on, Amazin' Fan Photos, Gallery 37, photo #3 or 4, you'll find a STUNNING shot of me in my blue Mets polo, with the blue & black cap & my Dad in his blue long-sleeve Guess cover & Notre Dame bucket cap.
    If you feel like putting a face with the name, that is…

  • Anonymous

    Risking all curmedgeonly wrath, WE are going to kick a** tonight!!!!! Let's Go US!!!!! (I don't quite get the whole “you're not a part of something unless you're paid to be” thing. And I can't think of the Mets as “them.” The Yankees are “them.” And I refuse to refer to the Mets with the same word I use to refer to the Yankees.)

  • Anonymous

    Um, curmUdgeonly. Note to self: that preview button exists for a reason.

  • Anonymous

    Hear hear! 4 PM is an awesome starting time. You can do a half-day at work, enjoy relatively good weather, and be home in time for a normal nights' sleep.
    As opposed to tonight, where I've just learned that I may get my hand on a ticket. No Met gear to wear (heck, no cold-weather gear, period – time to hit Modell's), no ride home to Staten Island (public will get me home about 1:30). But who's complaining?!!

  • Anonymous

    I thought it was curMETdgeonly. You're such a wordsmith

  • Anonymous

    “We were instructed by ESPN to scurry in unison to our ratholes after sundown so Captain Fantastic could Lead By Example in prime time.”
    The Yankees are like government sponsored televison. They're a George Orwell novel.

  • Anonymous

    anyone know a good mets friendly bar in Manhattan? Big screen tv?

  • Anonymous

    craiglist was a joy:

  • Anonymous

    Metsblog has made McFadden's the unofficial meeting spot. Click here for details….