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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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O Big Pelf!

Mike Pelfrey tore through the Rockies like a combine, sending 4-3s and 6-4-3s and the occasional K shooting out in his wake. Mike Pelfrey, mostly known as 79 inches of potential stubbornly untapped. Mike Pelfrey who somewhere in the last couple of weeks we learned to trust and stopped being surprised by. I got chills when the ballpark started chanting “LET'S! GO! PEL-FREY!” but that's not remarkable — tens of thousands of people chanting anything can give you a shiver, and a crowd in the right mood can get behind any individual pitching performance. (Nelson Figueroa heard cheers too.) But there was something else in that chant for Pelfrey. Somehow you could hear that the Shea faithful had come to a conclusion and wanted to revel in it a bit. They brought Pelfrey out for a curtain call not to cheer what he could be, but to celebrate what he's become.

Emily and I took Joshua to Coney Island to hurtle around junior rollercoasters and then to Keyspan Park for our first Cyclones game of the year, an unofficial school outing that saw dozens of sugared-up five-year-olds clambering over seats and dogpiling and covering themselves in ketchup and cotton candy and ice cream and lemonade and yelling at nothing in particular. If you don't have kids, it was as scary as you might imagine. Actually, it was kind of scary (in an amusing way) for those of us who did have kids. The Cyclones, happily not distracted, won. (And Joshua ran the bases with elan, I'm proud to say.) Google told me via cellphone that the Phillies had overcome an early deficit and beaten the Diamondbacks, so there would be no reclaiming first place in the final hour of baseball's first half. But that was OK. There was sunshine and the Cyclones, and an odd bit of nostalgia: Their No. 2 hitter was Angel Pagan, the same Angel Pagan who was the Cyclones' first matinee idol in their inaugural season seven years ago. (And playing for Edgar Alfonzo, the manager then and the manager again.) I knew I was a lot happier about Pagan's presence in a New York-Penn League lineup than he was, but I also knew that was proper: He's needed elsewhere, after all. We caught the first few innings of the big-league game in a friend's car, and heard Howie's voice zoom the second Beltran make contact. He knew we would win. We knew we would win. And we did win.

It's obvious to say that it's a shame the Mets have to disperse for 72 hours, that they'd be better off if they could keep rolling. But I kept thinking something a bit different: Did you ever imagine we'd be sad to have the 2008 Mets take three days off?

Baseball fans fantasize all the time. (I've seen David Wright after hitting a three-run, walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series, and I can assure you he and we look very happy.) But did you ever imagine that we'd hear a crowd summon Big Pelf for a curtain call and have it not be for a lightning-in-a-bottle game of his life? That you'd see Carlos Delgado stride to the plate and think of him as dangerous again? That nine wins in a row would have you reaching eagerly for the pocket schedule and thinking about the second half?

I'd say it's a pinch-me moment, but don't you dare pinch me. If this is a dream, I've no interest in waking up.

7 comments to O Big Pelf!

  • Anonymous

    and in a moment of self-congratulation, because ain't nobody else around to do it for me, i'd like to note a post that is as close as i'll ever get to a called shot, at shea or anywhere else — this comment from the fourth of july, following the last piece that included pelf in its title:
    Re: Pelf Finally Listening to Me
    by dmg on Fri 04 Jul 2008 11:45 AM EDT
    the lads were two bad pitches away from taking 3 of 4 from the cards on the road. they go into philly with their supposed ace against a minor leaguer — this qualifies as a must-win, johan — and they don't see hamel this time through. is it unreasonable to think the mets can take 3 of 4 from the phils?
    they're still slipping and sliding, but they're just a few hairs shy of getting some traction. and then i like their chances. yes, i really do. giants and the rockies don't have better rotations than the mets. things can change pretty quickly in the nl east, even before the allstar break.

    i'm away from my desk right now, doing a small victory lap around the city.

  • Anonymous

    I'm sad to see the team disband for a few days in the midst of such a hot streak, but I'm sure the rest is welcome to most. I was down the shore listening to the game on my pocket radio, trying to hide the earbuds from my boyfriend, who's jealous of the Mets!
    Anyone else going to Mets at the movies?

  • Anonymous

    I was also at the Cyclones game and I saw someone wearing a FFF T-shirt there. I assume it was you. My daughter went out on the field for Mets Kids Club Day (she was conscripted at the last moment to hold the hand of a 3 year old who decided to have an impromptu dance between first and second) and we all had a great time.

  • Anonymous

    My face is starting to hurt from smiling so much!

  • Anonymous

    shouts to mezz 18 for really getting it going last night. 8th inning was electric and the best shea moment to me this year so far.

  • Anonymous

    Funny you should say that. After last night's game I was so happy to have Big Pelf on our team; not just because he's been pitching lights out, but because if I were a Rockies fan and had to keep looking at the graphic of Pelfrey with the doofy grin on his face, my foot would have gone through the TV.

  • Anonymous

    Last night was reminiscent, in spirit, of the way they went into the All-Star Break in 1984 when they swept five from the Reds at Shea and tossed their caps into the crowd. I didn't think they'd go that far last night, but that's all right. They're gonna need their caps the rest of the way.