I went alone last year, when I got a free ticket from our friend Paul. I had so much fun, though, that this year, Mistah and I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually buy tickets to the great deal and fab time that is the Tavern Trip. It was a good move..
Things started off civilized enough. Coffee and newspapers and books.
But then Johnny Slips started working the aisle, amassing inning-pool-participants . . .
. . . and the coolers immediately cracked open. 10:17. Or so they tell me. I had no watch and no phone. But that is a story for another day.
We had a delightful ride down the interstate . . .
And Citi Field. In all its clean and fresh glory.
Heading in, I was accompanied by just the loveliest group of thugs.
I pointed out some of my old favorites on the banners heading in. Tom Terrific and Cleon Jones. Straw and Doc and HoJo and Nails and Mex and Gary Carter and Mookie and Jesse Orosco. Mikey P. and John Franco and David Wright.
Sigh.... We headed on in.
And there it was. One of the most beautiful fields in the history of creation. I've been to some of the new, good ones: Camden Yards and Jacobs Field and Coors Field and PetCo Park. I've been to some of the old, good ones, too: Wrigley and Tiger Stadium and Fenway and the old Yankee Stadium.
Citi Field? It is nice. It is gorgeous. It's perfect.
It was Jewish Heritage Day. It was Jewish Heritage Day on last year's Tavern bus trip, too, happily. Yitz Litvintchouk absolutely nailed the National Anthem.
.I thought this might be Hebrew for “NY” but apparently it’s Hebrew for “Mets.” Even better.
Peter and Martha work themselves right down to the bone every year, taking care of all the logistics of the bus trip . . .
. . and look where that gets us. . . . Play Ball!
Mariela was our best friend. We gave her lots of business . . .
. . . all day long.
We took a walk around the fabulous field-level concourse. You can see the game being played wherever you are.
I'm not sure why I brought an empty backpack in, but it was immediately filled with 8 assorted friends' Citi Field tin-bucket giveaways. I don't think I ever even noticed carrying it.
Fans are welcome to stop and hang out and stand all around the concourse level. No one yells at you. It's shocking.
.We bumped into a couple of bozos and continued our circumnavigation of the stadium by way of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
Jackie Robinson never played with the Mets, of course not, but he was New York's own son, baseball-wise, and the Rotunda is:
inspired by the classic design of Ebbets Field - in honor of Jackie Robinson, the legendary pioneer and great American who broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. [It] aims to recognize and perpetuate ... Robinson's legacy and the "nine values" he embodied as articulated by his daughter and Jackie Robinson Foundation Vice Chair, Sharon Robinson: courage, integrity, determination, persistence, citizenship, justice, commitment, teamwork, and excellence. [credit]
The Mets are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first World Series victory, in 1969. We're all celebrating.
We made friends with an usher who loved us and sent us right to better seats.
I'd like to say these guys were singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame, but I think they were singing God Bless America.
Shea Citi Field is still a great place to count planes overhead. The final count may or may not have been 80; I'm not sure the airplane counters were actually all that diligent in their task . . ..
The Mets were wearing old-timey New York Giants uniforms that day, which was confusing, since they were playing the Giants. They were pretty cool, though. There's ol' Pelfrey doing his Walk of Shame to the dugout.
And the good guys (um, not these guys) won! 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth, on a play at the plate. Let's Go Mets!.
Oh look! Mistah was there!
And so was Tom, our bus driver. Second year in a row. Stole my beer again, the bastid. (Kidding, Mom.)
And then, suddenly, we were heading home. Owen was one of 3 inning-pool winners, the bastid.
.Me? On the bus ride home I had to sit right in the middle of the aisle, on the cooler, so that I didn't miss a thing.
I don't like to miss anything.