The Mets Needed the All-Star Game

It turned out that the year 2035 was hot, really hot. So when my kids sat on my lap for 2.5 seconds I immediately pushed them off and politely asked them to sit on the ground or anywhere else that wouldn’t make my legs feel like a redditor’s computer RAM. It was July and that Saturday morning seemed like a completely perfect time to reach back to my glory days and rehash another story that would captivate them into clear boredom.

Me: I haven’t happened to tell you the story of July of 2013, have I?

Mathias[1]: If you did, I probably don’t remember and would find it in the best interest of both Cali and I if you didn’t repeat yourself. [2]

Me: (Rolls eyes) Okay. I guess I’ll just tell it anyway since it has the chance to put you in a slightly better mood. (Clears throat) It turned out that I was 21 this summer and, boy, did it live up to the hype of the ideal summer of a 21-year-old. Filled with mixed Long Island weather, necessary attitude adjustments, and real world dilemmas, I was as exuberant as a 21-year-old could be.

Mathias: Is that why we moved to California?

Me: You better believe it. Anyway, it was mid-July and I was just beginning to realize how cool it was to host the All-Star game.

Mathias: Nana and gramps hosted the game in the backyard?

Me: (Bewildered look) …no. [3] It was at Citi Field where the New York Mets play.

Mathias: Citi Field?

Me: (Wide eyed) I’ve taken you to the stadium about a dozen times to meet some of the players and talk to the announcers. We’ve eaten at Blue Smoke and gotten burgers at the Shake Shack. You hit a couple of home runs at the wiffle ball stadium and after I got you some cotton candy. Any of this ring a bell?

Mathias: Vaguely.

Me: I could do without the sarcasm, or the idiocy. So at this supposedly unknown stadium the All-Star game took place. Like I was saying earlier I was 21 and I don’t think I was really understanding the uniqueness of a city’s opportunity to host the baseball world and to have all eyes on it. It was cool that people were gravitating toward Citi Field and that they weren’t doing so to find out about Bernie Madoff. Citi Field was cool for a weekend and it was around that time I kind of realized how cool it was to have a really good baseball team. The attention and unity were things that I hadn’t seen before at the stadium[4]. When David Wright stepped up to the plate to partake in the home run derby a rousing chant of “Let’s Go Mets!” encapsulated the stadium and made it one of my favorite moments at Citi Field to that point in time.

We had players who captivated the fans and we had moments where history was defied, but instead of centering the attention on the team those things served as distractions, good distractions, but distractions nonetheless. From 2009 until that point in 2013 I had the luxury of seeing greatness, just not success. I witnessed firsthand the opening day first pitch at Citi Field, which was thrown by Tom Seaver and caught by Mike Piazza. Jose Reyes became the batting champion during the 2011 season and finished his Mets career with a bunt single. Johan Santana threw the Mets first no-hitter in franchise history and celebrated with the help of a fan[5]. R.A. Dickey gave the fans a fantastic 2012 season that culminated in a deserving CY Young award. The 2013 season has brought us Matt Harvey, the man that is joining David Wright to pull this team out of obscurity.

Mathias: So what was Matt Harvey?

Me: Harvey was a starting pitcher who served as the “Dark Knight of Gotham”. A 24-year-old flamethrower who would douse the flames of ineptitude every fifth day of the week. He was the one that showed us what the team and what the stadium could look like. He gave us hope for a better future.

Harvey was in the top 5 in strikeouts, WHIP, ERA, and WAR among starting pitchers before the All-Star break and because of that he was rewarded the starting spot at the All-Star game. He would be the one to represent the national league at Citi Field with his sidekick manning 3rd base. It was a sight to see and something I’ll never forget.

Mathias: So what happened?


For those of you that are hanging on the edge of your seat, need I remind you that this was a hypothetical situation that occurred with my future son in the year 2035. If you want to know the ending just tune into FOX at 8 p.m. tonight.

[1] I just imagine my kid being named Mathias. Sorry future wife

[2] Seems like Mathias has a pretty good understanding of the English language at the age of 6. I didn’t really do the best job to quell the snide remarks, though.

[3] I don’t think I’m ready to be a dad

[4] Shea Stadium had countless great moments and feelings of unity but I was being specific to Citi Field.

[5] I tear up every time that happens. Great moment for the franchise and I’m so glad it was Santana who delivered it.

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