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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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He's Leaving Home

“And it’s…GONE! Ballgame!
Ugh! I KNEW I shouldn’t have thrown that pitch!”
“But ya did! I win! Wanna play again?”
“Can’t. Gotta go.”
“OK. What about tomorrow?”
“Well, there’s always next time for you to try to get even.”
“Listen, I’ve been meaning to tell you…”
“What? That I just kicked your ass two out of three?”
“Nah, man. This is serious.”

“I can’t play with you anymore.”
“What’re you talking about? We play each other all the time! Like since we were born, which was practically the same day!”
“Yeah, I know, but we’re moving.”
“Moving? Where you moving to?”
“The other league.”
“The other league? You’re kidding! We always make fun of the other league!”
“Yeah, I know, but my dad says that’s where he’s gotta go for work, so…”

“Aw, that’s stupid. There’s plenty of work in this league.”
“I know, but what can I do?”
“You and me not in the same league anymore? That’s crazy!”
“They say it’s nice over there.”
“Nice? You’ll get killed! You couldn’t even beat me, and I’m terrible!”
“Hey, I beat you the last time we played. I swept you!
“That was like forever ago. And I was taking it easy on you.”
“Taking it easy on me? What about all those times I beat you?”
“You beat me? Ha! When?”
“Lotsa times! What about that time you won the championship? Who was it who you could NEVER beat?
“Who won the championship, though?”
“I should’ve won the championship. I beat you and you beat that kid from the other league, so really I was the champion.”

“You’re nuts!”
“Uh-uh! I beat you like 10 out of 12 times that year!”
“But I won the championship! And that wasn’t the only one!”
“Shut up!”
“Shut up yourself! You were a big cheater and a sore loser that year!”
“Cheater? Says who? Prove it! Prove it!”
“I don’t have to prove it. I won! Even when you tried to get me in trouble, I won!”
“I didn’t tell you to do all that stupid stuff. Only an idiot would’ve gone to a place called Cooter’s after a game!”
“Cooter’s was cool. You were just chicken!”
“Chicken? You were chicken! You were afraid of a little sandpaper!”

“I can’t hear you. My championships are making too much noise.”
“That doesn’t even make sense!”
“What doesn’t make sense is you think you would’ve won if we’d kept playing except I won because I beat you fair and square.”
“I still beat you more. I beat you that time we stayed up all night, too!”
“I beat you that time we just kept playing and playing even though our moms were calling us to come inside!”
“Big deal! You didn’t even make the playoffs that year!”

“‘What’s that, championships? You’re both talking at the same time, and I can’t make out what either of you is saying, something my chicken friend over here doesn’t have a problem with because he doesn’t have any championships and now he’s afraid to play me anymore, so the big chicken is moving to the other league!’”
“Oh, you take that back!”
“Or what? You’ll close your roof?”
“I’m glad I’m moving!”
“I’m glad you’re moving, too!”
“You’re such a loser!”
“You’re a bigger loser!”
“Yeah, well…you only just got a no-hitter this year. I’ve got a BUNCH of ’em!”

“Yeah? Where do you keep ’em, on that stupid hill?”
“My hill’s better than that stupid apple!”
“That apple went up twice today! It means I kicked your sorry ass!”
“You’re just lucky I am moving, because otherwise I’d beat your behind so bad next year!”
“Some threat. Where ya gonna do it from, the other league?”
“Don’t you worry, I’ll be back at some point. Maybe not next year or the year after, but we’ll run into each other.”
“Yeah, well…I hope we do.”
“Yeah, well…me too.”
“I can’t believe we’re never going to play each other like regular ‘play each other’ again.”
“Me neither.”

“Seriously, watch yourself over there, OK? They can be real dicks in that other league.”
“You’re just saying that to scare me.”
“I’m not, man, really. They don’t even let you bat normally over there.”
“They don’t?”
“Nope. And you know how you and me play, like with a lotta pitching and just a little hitting?”
“It’s the total opposite over there.”
“It’s messed up. I’m just saying watch yourself.”
“Don’t worry, I will.”
“Good. Because when we run into each other I want you to be in good enough shape for me to KICK YOUR ASS AGAIN!!!”
“You mean the way I KICK YOUR ASS most of the time?”

“You sure we can’t play just one more game?”
“Nah. I gotta go.”
“Good luck. I mean it.”
“Yeah. See ya.”

9 comments to He’s Leaving Home

  • Wanda Metsfan

    Another classic. Thanks for the memories.

  • “They say it’s nice over there.”
    “Nice? You’ll get killed! You couldn’t even beat me, and I’m terrible!”

    Bye, Astros. That kid on the block you never really liked but when knew well enough. The team that when you were at the whim of other people’s schedules to go to a game as a kid, I remember seeing the Astros in their orange batting helmets. The battery of J.R. Richard and Cliff Johnson with Dave Kingman at the plate–who says you don’t have to be big to play this game? Now the Astros are forced to move by Bud the nerd, who would take his ball and go home if they don’t play his way. Realigning the leagues that were messed up in the first place when he moved his Brewers to the NL to take advantage of the Cubs fans flooding Milwaukee, rather than have the Diamondbacks join the AL, as they should have from day one. Bud will never learn that when you start screwing with baseball’s fabric, something else becomes loose and has to be fixed. I wish it were Bud’s team that was moving back where they belonged to correct his mistake. I’d rather never see the Brewers again.

  • Dave

    Is something serious wrong with the world because there haven’t been the same number of teams in the two leagues? Moving the Astros fixes a problem that doesn’t exist, and creates a new one…it will lead to a universal DH. Yuck.

    • coachie ballgames

      not that moving the astros is the solution, but there is a huge problem. It’s simply not fair to have to beat out three teams in the AL West to get a playoff spot while an NL Central team must beat out five teams. Especially when baseball lets in the fewest playoff teams of all four sports.

      And in any event, it’s silly to argue against interleague when, through franchise movement and expansion, so few historical rivalries remain. Look at the NL East, did the Mets have rivalries with Atlanta, Miami, and D.C. before the 1990s? Outside of that brief set with the Bravos in 1969 the answer is no.

  • eric b

    Agreed on the Brewers….move them back…I’m still not used to them being in the NL

  • Lenny65

    Ah, yes, the AL or as I prefer to call it, “the Junior Circuit”. So unseemly with its bizarro line-ups and ham-fisted softball-esque methodology. So they want the Astros, do they? Meh, whatever. They sent a pound of their garbage over here (Brewers), we send them two pounds back. Sounds reasonable. I really miss the “olden days” when we could happily ignore the AL entirely until October rolled around. Inter-league play is just wrong.

  • Ed Rising

    I liked the Brewers move to the NL once I got use to it and I think they became a better team for it. Somehow they put a greater emphais on speed and defense rather tan a bunch of clubbers hitting .200. I’ve never thought much of the Diamondbacks so if someone had to move back to the AL it culd have been them. Besides I hate that D-Backs thing. I mean they were in the leage 15 minutes and felt the need to shorten their name?

    The Astros I will always feel strongly about due to our rivalry in the 80’s and that we came up together in ’62. The Astrodome and their awful colorful umifrms made them unique. They are going to be trampled on in the heavy hitter AL so I sort of feel sorry for them. Can’t we just leave things alone?

    BTW Greg nice piece sort of reminds me of “yuchie” and his friend from the Bill Gallo cartoons. Nice work.

  • […] across Neptune for doubles. And many years after that, I listened to my baseball siblings from 1962 finish playing each other for the last time as a matter of […]