Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday in the (Baseball) Park
What could be better than a Saturday afternoon watching the Mets take on the Red Sox in the stands of the new Citi Field stadium?
The weather, for one. The score, for another.
One of my co-workers snagged nine tickets to the exhibition game, only the second game to be played at the park. It didn't take much consideration to claim one of those as mine. Besides, it was to be 60 degrees and sunny-- perfect for a day at the park.
Instead it was a gray 48 degrees, with gales that swept the foam clean off full glasses of beer. Luckily I had my wool coat and leather gloves, but my scarf and hat were tucked away cozily in our always-too-warm apartment. I shivered my way through the game, ecstatic for a moment when the sun peaked through the clouds about an hour after the first pitch, only to have my dreams dashed as it quickly went back into hiding.
I left my seat for part of the fourth and fifth innings, ostensibly to explore the stadium and take photos for the blog, which I did. But I have to admit that I took an extra long time in the heated bathroom, standing underneath a warm vent and chatting to a woman who was also taking refuge from the wind.
For Mets fans, the score was just as dreary as the weather: 9-3. Even though I have no particular allegiance to the Mets, as a Cincinnati Reds fan I feel I have to support the National League.
Unfortunately, the Mets gave me little to support. At the top of the first inning, the pitcher gave up 6 runs in about 40 pitches and was taken out before mustering three outs. But I did get to see a lot of well-known faces from both teams, including the Mets' third baseman, David Wright. You can see him there at the plate, right?
Even if there wasn't too much excitement at the plate, there was a lot to see from our seats. We were about a dozen rows from the top, just to the fair side of the third base foul pole. In the distance you could see the elevated subway lines, what passes for skyscrapers in Queens and even planes descending into LaGuardia airport, located just behind the stadium. Fans at the top row of certain sections could look back on the airport (below) or even get a nice view of the Manhattan skyline.
Weather it was because of the weather, the score or a combination of both, fans at first trickled out and then left in droves. Most of the upper deck, where we were seated, were long gone by the final pitch. It seemed that a lot of people deserted their seats for empty ones closer to the field, but a lot of people simply left altogether.
But despite all of this, I really did have a good time. I like baseball, I like having been among the first to see Citi Field (especially since I never did visit Shea Stadium), and I certainly like hanging out with my co-workers outside of office environs.
Here's hoping the Mets do just as poorly Monday, when the season officially begins with a game versus the Reds.