“You’re only a day a- way!”
Yessirree, ONE DAY and we’re back in full swing (pun intended) with baseball in Queens…
…ready or not.
Whatever disappointments Mets fans may have with how little was done in the off-season to improve upon the 2009 team, I can personally vouch for the fact that major improvements have at least been made to the stadium itself. Fans disgruntled by the lack of Mets history and imagery on display at Citi Field will be thrilled to see all that has been done since their last visit.
I had the pleasure of seeing the new Mets Hall of Fame and Museum this morning prior to seeing the team workout. Although there was a sizable crowd this morning, the layout of the museum is such that the space seems open and not claustrophobic. (The high ceilings–from which pennants are suspended–contribute to the spacious feeling.)
Video displays, placques, display cases, and lots of photos reproduced in both small and large formats serve to honor Mets players and historic moments in franchise history in a simple but aesthetically pleasing design.
Below are photos of just a few of the items on display:
At top: Game 6 ball from the 1986 World Series; bottom left: Endy Chavez’s jersey from Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS; bottom right: 1969 World Series trophy.
Besides the HOF and Museum itself, also new this season are photos and reproductions of baseball cards throughout the park as well as commemorative tiles installed in the Fan Walk on the periphery of the stadium:
Congratulations and special thanks to the Mets organization for listening to fans’ impassioned pleas for more visible franchise history and tributes on view at the Mets’ new home!
Yesterday afternoon in Queens, the curtain went up on a new season–what is to be the last season in this house. Both expectations and hopes were high.
Although the setting itself was the same as many previous performances, striking new sets of CitiField–the work of union construction workers–almost made it seem as if we the audience were due to see a new production. Not only that, but there were also a few additional cast members as well.
But with the exception of the minor cast and set changes, yesterday’s matinee bore a striking resemblance to many of last year’s performances of this same show.
The Mets opened with a predictable and somewhat routine performance of the Overture of the Shea Bouquet.
In Act I itself, Mets pitcher Oliver Perez found himself in some sticky situations but was able, through some timely counseling by newcomer Brian Schneider, to settle himself down and keep the Phillies scoreless through 5.2 innings.
As Act II began and the bullpen entered, one began to feel the tension mount in the stands as well as on the field.
And, at the conclusion of Act III, the starting pitcher’s well-pitched game and the initial runs scored by the Mets did not prove to be enough to withstand the onslaught of the Phillies.
The curtain fell, following a bracing rendition of the closing aria, “Rittorno vincitor!”, sung with much bravado by Jimmy Rollins.
I’d really like to exchange my tickets for future performances…I’ve seen this show SO MANY TIMES BEFORE.
…and how good did that feel to walk into work last night and get to boast to all of the resident Yankee fans who had not gotten their opener in the previous night because of rain!
Everything was right with the world: baseball had returned, a brand new season full of hope and possibility was underway with a Mets win, a Santana win, and nothing on the Daily News back page the next morning to take away the Mets’ thunder for a change!