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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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Glory Day

I’d had a vague plan to go see the Glory Days exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York today. It’s been on my to-do list since before it opened and it’s right up (or, technically, across town from) my alley.

But then I learned Pedro Martinez would be starting in Cincinnati. That’s enough glory for any day.

Pedro is back. Pedro is back. Say it again ’cause it feels so good…Pedro Martinez is an active pitcher for the New York Mets once more.

It wasn’t just a glory day. It was a spiritual Opening Day II.

How is it that Pedro Martinez has only pitched one Opening Day for the New York Mets? He was on a different schedule (he usually is) in ’06 and was busy pounding an unfathomable comeback trail this past spring. But the first Opening Day, Pedro’s Opening Day, will always stay with you if you’re a Mets fan. You can’t look at us in Cincinnati without thinking of the beginning of the Pedro era, the 12 strikeouts in six innings that told us that this Pedro Martinez, late of Boston, Montreal, L.A. and the Dominican, was going to be a fine fit for Nueva York, for Los Nuevos Mets. With hindsight, you can look past Braden Looper’s anagramic meltdown from April 4, 2005 and just remember Pedro being Pedro.

We’ve got a new and better Great American Ball Park image where our Great American Ball Club is concerned. The layoff is over. The rehab is over. The spate of reports on what Pedro was doing against batters from Manatee and Jupiter is over. Pedro Martinez is all Metted up again. And we are totally Pedroed.

They gave him 75 pitches. He took 76. Five innings, three runs. Not a quality start by definition, only the best one of the year. Command? Yes. Control? Yes. Velocity? Enough. Movement? He’s Pedro. He moves to a rhythm that’s all his own.

Pedro recorded his 3,000th strikeout (I’d like to think the Shea scoreboard lit up at last for him; it’s been known to do so even when he’s not in residence). The inevitable if seemingly unreachable milestone reminded me of another Labor Day, another great Labor Day in Mets history: September 1, 1975. Tom Seaver struck out his 200th batter of the season, the record-setting eighth consecutive season he’d done that. There were all kinds of good signs in that game: Bud Harrelson’s return, Mike Vail’s first homer, the Mets pulling within four of the Pirates thanks to Tom shutting them out.

The year peaked right then and there for the ’75 Mets, but on this day, with Wright and Alou and Castillo and Delgado all contributing and the Phillies losing and our streak growing and our margin lengthening, it doesn’t feel like the end of summer. It feels like the beginning of something better. It feels like Pedro Martinez was on the hill to open 2007 and that the true glory days of these Mets have just commenced.

Pedro Martinez will do that for ya.

9 comments to Glory Day

  • Anonymous

    What a sight for sore eyes!!!! I felt reborn.

  • Anonymous

    truly, mets fanhood is the next best thing to being bipolar.

  • Anonymous

    We get Marlon back. Endy comes off the DL. Now this.
    Life is good.

  • Anonymous

    dmg – that's a great line.
    It's funny because it's true….

  • Anonymous

    Look to my coming at first pitch on the fifth day. At noon, look to the mound.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of Glory Day(s), I remain thoroughly puzzled by the line: “He could throw that speedball by ya, make you look like a fool boy.” What was the Boss thinking?
    That just defies reasoning.

  • Anonymous

    I forgot to inject into the above text, so thus will relate here Pedro's most memorable line of the day, which was his response to Kevin Burkhardt noting Paul Lo Duca's mindless rolling back toward the mound of the ball used to register strikeout No. 3000 and how odd it was his catcher would forget the history of the moment:
    Once you go away, everything is forgotten, pretty much.
    We hadn't forgotten, Pedro. Trust us on that one.

  • Anonymous

    Bruce is a celebrity fan (a celebrity wrong team fan, mostly). With few Seinfeldian exceptions, they've been too busy building fame and careers to really know much about the sport or franchise they kind of, sort of like. And that's OK…until it infects their lyrics with nonsense like “speedball” or they give interviews referring to runs as points.
    I'm reading a pretty good book I picked up in the Midwest called Sox And The City by Richard Roeper, the film critic who is also a committed White Sox fan. In it, he takes Bernie Mac and John Cusack, to name two, to different levels of task for showing up at Cubs playoff games one postseason and reappearing on the South Side two postseasons later. It's not so much the act that offends him but the contorted explanations. They didn't use words like “speedball,” but they might as well have.

  • Anonymous

    I know! I was thinking “Forgotten? We've been counting the minutes! And the strikeouts… we knew exactly how many you had!” (Wish the same could be said of our crack[-smoking] scoreboard operators.)
    Oh, Pedro. You are SO The Man! I didn't think I'd ever bestow that title on another Met after Mike, but Pedro inherited it immediately.