The Mets might have the day off today, but as Mets fans, we never have days off from thinking and talking about the team we love unconditionally. Baseball has a way of turning us into kids again, regardless of our age. Take yours truly, for example.
On Tuesday, I took a midday break from work, then took a one-hour subway ride from my job to midtown Manhattan. I did this despite having as many tasks to complete at work as Jason Bay has strikeouts this season. Why did I take this lunchtime hiatus? To meet the Mets, of course.
Do you see the big smiles on my face, my Gal For All Seasons' face and Joey and Iggy's faces? That's because we had the pleasure of meeting and talking with current Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey and the oh-so-underrated legendary Met, Edgardo Alfonzo. And of course, we also got their autographs, as Joey and Iggy were more than happy to show off in the final photograph above.
Unfortunately, I floated way past Cloud Nine and was probably somewhere in the stratosphere when I met both players, as all I was able to say was "Good luck on Friday" to Dickey (his next start is against the Phillies on Friday) and "I'm wearing your number" to Alfonzo. Of course, Fonzie seemed starstruck to meet Joey Beartran, as all he could say to us was "did you ever see that movie with the bear in it?".
I guess what I'm trying to say (since I was too tongue-tied to say it to Dickey and Fonzie) is this. I was born on November 7, 1972. R.A. Dickey was born on October 29, 1974. Edgardo Alfonzo was born on August 11, 1973. Yet despite the fact that they're kids compared to this old fart, I still got butterflies when I met them. I'm their senior, but I felt like a junior in their presence.
No matter how old you are, baseball will always find a way to make you feel like a kid. For some people, all they have to do is find their glove and a ball and they're immediately transported back to a time of innocence, a time when it was just them and the game and nothing else mattered.
For me, it only took a brief encounter with a current beloved Met and a former beloved Met and I was 12 again. All I needed was my Louisville Slugger, my Wilson glove and the same grass-stained ball I used for many a game for my baseball daydream to be complete.
A quick chat. A photo op. A John Hancock. There's just something about this game called baseball that makes the most minor event seem so major for a big kid like me. I love this game.