Section 14 is the one and only place I've had full season tickets, but I've only had them since after All-Star break in 2006. But this is where I've gone on marathons -- like in 2007, I sat in these seats for 3 out of the last 7 games of the season (but I was in CoreyNYC's seats in Section 13 one night, and Mr. E's -- now Uncle Gene's -- Saturday seats in Section 10 for 2 of the other games). I saw Games 1, 2 & 7 (sold game 6) of the NLCS in these seats. I saw a momumental collapse in 2007. But I went to many more games than I could possibly take in one season, this season, 2008.
There weren't many "regulars" in this section; then again, I go to maybe 25-30 games in these seats a year. The folks who used to sit in front of me, Jeanie and her brother (forget his name) from Bayside, they didn't re-up their tickets for this season. My cousin and co-blogger SassDawg had a mini plan in Section 14 in 2007, and as a result, I met his neighbor "Seat5."
I guess in the 80s, we might have exchanged landline phone numbers and addresses to exchange holiday cards or something. But now we just have each other's cell numbers, and we are Facebook buddies. I mentioned John and his brother before. I've only been to maybe three games in the last two and a half seasons where we actually sat by one another. John was the one responsible for the nickname "Trashball" for Steve Trachsel. I was probably one of the only few Mets fans who stuck up for Trash, erm, I mean TRAX, until the NLCS that is...
Then this season there was Louie and his adorable little boy, who I met only a few times. Just last week, I asked his son how old he was. He said he was eight. I said, "Oh no - you're doomed! You're doomed kid! That was when I started going to games! You see - I haven't stopped!!!"
But I can't now. No matter how the season may have ended, I made peace with the idea of not making the postseason months ago. I was disappointed, but okay with it.
My true disappointment, though, is not knowing these folks as well as I could have, to form a community. Actually I think it was Louie who mentioned he had seats next to mine next year. Plus I know a few others who have committed a few sections around me. So I should be seeing some familiar faces in 2009.
Mezzanine Section 14 Box 572C, seats 7 & 8 have had their share of guests too...In fact if you want to wax intellectual, more people not-named-Coop have sat there. Of course, there's Mr. E, but Zoe, to Metsgrrl (and sometimes her TBF), to SNK, to LoDigs, GaryG, DingoMets (aka Dingbat), Dykstraw, Sassdawg, Metstradamus and countless others. These folks constitute "Coopslist" and will still be on it, when I am sitting in Promenade Section 522 in CitiField.
(Don't worry, they are still affordable.)
Section 14 seats started out as an investment for me, became a consolation prize, then ultimately became my home away from home, a place of solace (no matter how hard the Mets tried to ruin that for me even)...or as Mr. E calls it, the place I grew up.
Well, he's right. As I left my seats for the very last time yesterday, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. Tears came, for sure, but didn't flow. I guess just cutting myself off from the feelings of winning/losing to spare myself the agony in the end really took its toll. It was only after I left that I realized, I was home all along. As I met up with the crew outside of Gate E, I saw other fans just dallying around. I wished I had done that, but I had a train to catch.
Shea was a dump. It was our dump. But I am ready to usher in some new memories at the new stadium. Better ones. I hope. Hey, what's a Met fan gotta go, if not to believe?