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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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Right Where I Left It

The Mets’ losing streak is over — and so, as it happens, is mine.

I went 0 for 2022. Every time I attended a Mets game they lost the damn thing, including two playoff games. The only time they won a game for which I held a ticket was Closing Day, and I bailed out of that one before first pitch because I didn’t think first pitch was going to happen. Coincidence? My suggested I was a jinx and by the time I saw the offseason smash into us I wasn’t sure that was wrong.

Well I’m not a jinx, or maybe I was but putting the calendar in the recycling also did away with whatever hoodoo was afflicting me. All I know is I was back at Citi Field on a spring evening that went from crisp to slightly chilly and I got to see the Mets play crisp baseball. That had been lacking of late too.

I can’t tell you much of anything about the game — I was in the front row and way down the left-field line courtesy of my road-tripping friends Mary and William and their kids. (Who also attended a Yankee game and got a ball from Aaron Judge — that’s a pretty good NYC visit.) I’d never sat in those particular seats, and they offered a perspective that was interesting but repeatedly confounded my sense of balls’ trajectory. I could tell Kodai Senga was really good, and that Ranger Suarez was too. More than that, however, I can’t really say — if I needed the up-close details, I’d ask one of you. The game’s about the crowd and experiencing something collectively, emotions rising and falling based on what’s happening at the center. If you want to hone in on the finer points, watch on TV.

I may no longer be a jinx, but my timing isn’t back to All-Star caliber. I was away from my post when Brandon Nimmo made his glorious catch and when Francisco Lindor smacked a home run to put the Mets up 1-0. The Nimmo play revealed an oddity: I heard the crowd’s alarm and so hurried to one of the monitors behind a section in time to see Nimmo find the fence and leap — and while he was still airborne the crowd gasped and cheered — actual life, it seems, is about a third of a second ahead of the A/V system.

The monitors are bigger and brighter and there are more of them. That’s an improvement, as is the fact that the audio feed of the game is now ubiquitous. Once, I confess, I would have sneered at that or at least shrugged, muttering something about priorities. I’m older and calmer now. People get hungry, need to go to the bathroom, have kids with one or both of those needs, or just want a drink. It’s a kindness to ensure they can attend to those duties without losing track of the game. Speaking of drinks, it was a reasonably big crowd but I was able to secure beers (and a decent one at that) without sacrificing multiple half-innings to the quest. There seem to be more choices, and more people ensuring you don’t regret those choices because they eat up a good chunk of the experience you’ve paid to miss.

(One of those people was my beer vendor, encountered while Lindor was doing wonderful things. When I asked for a bag of Cracker Jack he pointed out somewhat gravely that he had Cracker Jill. I shrugged, which prompted him to grumble that “they’ve changed the Bible, too.” Being me, I couldn’t let that go by unchallenged. “They’ve been changing the Bible as long as it’s been around,” I said, and if it hadn’t been 1-0 I would have rattled on about the ambiguity of Hebrew and centuries of fights about Greek and Latin and the evolution of the English Bible and all the heretics that spawned, because obviously that’s the conversation one ought to have at a Mets game. Incidentally Cracker Jill is exactly the same and perhaps a better bet because you know you aren’t getting a bag that’s been in a storeroom since the Carter administration.)

Oh, and yes, the new scoreboard is the size of a small moon. Seriously, the thing’s insane. It’s a little like your first glimpse of HD in that it seems realer than real and you have to tear your eyes away from it, reminding yourself that the actual game is the smaller thing with little people and dimmer lighting.

That actual game went well Tuesday night — it was one of those taut games that you watch with a tinge of vague resentment, a cranky fan’s lament of “Why can’t you do things like this every night?” The answer is because baseball’s difficult and maddeningly random, but the record now shows that the Mets have done praiseworthy things ever so slightly more often than they’ve done things that make you mutter imprecations. That made for a nice night, as did finding that Citi Field was right where I’d left it — and that the Mets could actually do praiseworthy things despite my presence.

7 comments to Right Where I Left It

  • open the gates

    “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill???”

    Sacrilege. At least this one’s not Commissioner Manfred’s fault.

  • Curt Emanuel

    “I can’t tell you much of anything about the game — I was in the front row and way down the left-field line courtesy of my road-tripping friends Mary and William and their kids.”

    Had the same experience last week at Wrigley. In the club box down the left field line. Low enough that anyone moving blocked me. And was with my GF and her 3-yr-old to add to the experience. Was still fun but didn’t see much game (since we lost this was OK).

    Her response when I asked her how she liked it, “It was fun. I really liked the atmosphere, especially when all those people yelled and jumped around.” Have a little education to do here . . .

  • Jacobs27

    I hope I get to overhear a conversation on the vagueries Biblical translation at a Mets game at some point.

    I’m working through Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible for a class I’m teaching next year. Interesting stuff.

  • open the gates

    You guys are reminding me of the old Jewish day school joke:
    Q: Which book of the Bible is like a baseball game?
    A: Genesis, because it’s the “big inning”

    (…I’ll just see myself out now…)

  • Seth

    There was a movie that came out in the 60’s called The Bible. Our local paper had 1 paragraph reviews of all the current films, and the review of this one said “Read the book instead.” Always loved that one… Oh yeah, let’s go Mets (some baseball content).