I took my camera to the Mets game this past Sunday. My son Mike had purchased two tickets for all the remaining Mets home games early in August, on his return from his summer’s work as Program Director at Camp Coleman, one of the two summer camps in the South operated by the Union For Reform Judaism. (He has worked as a lifeguard, camp counselor, or senior counselor most summers for well over ten years; this was his fourth at Camp Coleman, located in Cleveland, Georgia, home of the “Cabbage Patch” doll.)
The last game Mike and I had previously seen together was on Monday, September 10th, one of the last games the Mets won before their descent into the hell that became one of worst collapses in baseball history. I had arrived at the ballpark early, and as I waited for Mike to arrive on the Number 7 train, I wished I had brought my camera, for it was so much fun to see people arriving at the stadium, many wearing Mets’ shirts and other garb, a true cross section of New York, and a group close to my heart in that we were all Mets fans.
I took many many pictures during yesterday’s game, a game that turned out to be the last game of the season. One of them can be found in my earlier post Good News, Bad News.
Here are some of the others, in the order taken, earliest first:
The Mets are building new Stadium, named Citi Field, that is under construction and can be seen at the left. To the right can be seen part of the current Mets home, Shea Stadium.
The Mets were joined in their season-ending gloom by the namesake of the new stadium, Citigroup, which just reported its own gloomy news, Citigroup Warns of 60% Earnings Drop. That namesake paid millions of dollars of Citigroup’s stockholder’s money to the Mets for the rights to that name. Whether this gloomy news forecasts the doom of Citigroup’s CEO remains an open question.
I said to a vendor as I purchased a beer — for $7.25, yikes — that I hoped the Mets would win, as it would put extra money in her pocket during the playoffs, and received a hearty agreement. Son Mike estimates the cost to the Mets of not making the playoffs, in the form of tickets, over-priced food and beverages, TV rights, extra payments to players, extra income to NY businesses — and the damage to the Mets’ reputation — as close to a hundred million dollars. This seems a reasonable estimate.
Party Time At Shea
Fans go to the ball part to have fun — to root, root, root for the home team. Some, as recorded above, have tail-gate parties before the game. Many others can be seen playing catch, warming up their own arms, which for the most will then be used only to hoist hot dogs and beers to their mouths, undoubtedly imagining what it would like to be able to play in the “Big Show” itself if only their arms were good enough. 
Fans know that some games will have a happing ending, as captured in the memorable phrase of the Mets best-ever broadcaster, Bob Murphy, “Now for the happy recap.” Other games will end in a loss.
As I have reported earlier, two of my favorite quotes about baseball are:
Red Smith, “ninety feet between home and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection.” A close second would have to be sixty feet, six inches from the pitching rubber to home plate.
A. Bartlett Giamatti, “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”
Giamatti’s comment applies not only to the entire season, but to each game within it:
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the first inning, when everything begins again, and it blossoms in the summer’s day, filling the afternoon or evening, and, when the Mets’ relievers come into the game, it stops and leaves you to face the aftermath in the suffering of your fellow fans.”
The most memorable baseball quote, as I wrote almost a year ago, is the request that a parent waits to hear:
“Let’s have a catch.”
Many people don’t go to the ballpark to have their fun. Some of them stay at home, as I was reminded this morning. I had taken my camera along when I went downtown on an errand (and to also take a picture that will be found in a forthcoming post), and I as I drove one of the back routes to my home I stopped and took a picture of the home, the large white structure that can be seen in part at the top of the hill. Itlies a half-mile or so the south of my own modest abode:
To view another Home, Sweet Home, in Chappaqua, use Google Maps to locate “orchard ridge road, and north bedford road, 10514.” To the left is the First Congregational Church, which has graciously provided meeting space for my son Mike’s Scout Troop for many years. Across the street can be found a home with a swimming pool, tennis court and — one of the reasons I wish I had made oodles of boodle — its own private golf hole.
Further to the north can be found the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Located on Old House Lane, it is the house at to the north at the right end of the cul-de-sac. My son Mike was interviewed by a reporter from the Washington Post shortly after the Clintons moved in after he stopped to take a look at our new neighbor’s home.
Further north can be found Horace Greeley High School, with the former headquarters of Reader’s Digest just to the north.
My own home, sweet home, is located at “10 Sabina Road, 10514.” Google has the location a bit off. My home can be found to the south (bottom) as Sabina becomes Pondfield; it’s the one with the grey roof. The porch, my Open Office, is at the rear, facing the woods to the south.
My car can be seen parked at the base of the driveway. Though not obvious, it is parked in the middle of a baseball field, near home plate. The nearby street sign is first base, the hydrant across the street is second base, and our mailbox is third base. Between the car and the house is a hill that our children often used with their sleds as a winter playground, and we extend an invitation to use it whenever we spot a new family with children in the neighborhood.
If you go south from the woods you will find the massive white home, sweet home. You can also find two homes on Buttonhook Hollow, one of which, I have been told, has its own private movie theater. We have our own modest theater in our basement living room, and use it to watch movies from Netflix.
[Postscript: As further witness to the power of celebrity, mention of “Soap Opera Digest” caused a link to this post to be made within thirty minutes of its posting. Or was it because of my celebrity? We shall see.]
1. One of the many reasons to attend a game in person, if you can, is to appreciate just how far is the distance between the shortstop’s “hole” as well as between third base and first base.
I first came to appreciate what the phrase “major league arm” means when, over twenty years ago, I attended a spring training game in Sarasota between the Chicago White Sox and another team. The players were obviously skilled. Then a ball was hit to center field, causing a running to break for home. There followed a bullet of a throw from center field to home that was remarkable for its speed and precision.