I am a Mets fan.
Six months ago, that statement usually got responses of laughter and questions. Why? I grew up in Massachusetts, and the Mets are notoriously one of the MLB’s worst teams. So why would I choose to join their *sometimes* self-deprecating fan base, when all signs point me towards the bigger teams? Well, to be honest it’s as simple as I like the underdogs.
I didn’t choose the Mets for that reason alone—my father is a Mets fan, so I was raised on them. We were the secret New York fans in a sea of Red Sox. When I was younger, that New York vs. Massachusetts rivalry didn’t matter—the Sox were still suffering from the Curse of the Bambino, and the Mets last won a series in 1986, before I was even born, so by the time I started to like baseball, the Red Sox and Mets never saw each other as legitimate threats. We were all suffering under the regime of the evil empire (New York Yankees), so I was among friends. Then 2004 hit.
I keep referring to that season, when the Red Sox, who for 86 years hadn’t won a World Series, broke their curse and came out on top during one of the most exciting comebacks in baseball history. Even last week, when the Mets were up 3-0 against the Cubs, sports reporters were referencing when the Sox came back from that against the Yankees. I don’t think the sportscasters were anti-Mets, but even with some of the best playing the team has shown all season, we’re still skeptical about whether the Mets would pull through—they are known to Mets it up, meaning they drop the ball when they need to play their best.
When you’re the fan of an underdog team, it just takes time before you get your day. I truly believe this—to mimic that Dos Equis guy, I’m not always a sports fan, but when I am, I’m dedicated. For 86 years, my home state waited, and fought, to win the World Series. They were gracious losers, year after year, becoming the butt of jokes, but eventually they came out on top. And they did it again in 2007. And again in 2013.
The Mets were always on my radar, but it took me moving here to become a die-hard fan. For the last few years, I’ve made it to a few games a year, convincing my Yankees and Sox fan friends that they should come with me for the food and cheap tickets (you can always get decent seats for a game at Citi Field for less than $20). I would go to support my team, while everyone else would laugh at the Mets’ record. We became the joke team, replacing the Red Sox, even though only a few years earlier the Sox were in that position. Sigh.
But let’s look at the Mets before 2015. This team is family—they are dedicated and always offer their fans something to enjoy. Even when they are losing, the games are a blast to attend, and year after year they would lose with style. You could never really hate the Mets, because they were always smiling. We put up with the jokes, the criticism, the eye rolls, because we knew one day we would get our turn. That turn is now.
This year has been one of the most exciting seasons in sports for me. I remember at the start of the season, I told my friend (a Red Sox fan) that this was the Mets’ year. She laughed at me. Now, she isn’t laughing. I got to watch my team win 11 games in a row—unheard of for this team. We got Matt Harvey back, we watched our other young pitchers rise, Yoenis Cespedes joined us halfway through the season to round out our batting order, Daniel Murphy is still keeping up with his streak of post season home runs and Wilmer Flores showed us what it truly means to love the Mets when he cried at the rumors of a trade. It’s been a year of ups and downs, and tomorrow, we start game one of the World Series.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this. Wearing my lucky charms, my hat on backwards, whatever superstitions it takes to support my team. Because we’ve waited for a long time, and I have a feeling that this is our year. So, please join me as we chant ‘Let’s Go Mets!’