Saturday was our first trip to Shea, and for a while it looked like the weather would not be kind to us. But we packed a bag of snacks, sandwiches, toys, and books and took that long ride on the 2 and 7. My four year-old son loved the view of Queens from the 7, which we figured must be how the world looks to you when you're a giant, or if you are Batman swinging above the rooftops on his Bat-rope.
I miss the bridge a little bit, but the exit from the subway also feels a little easier, and the new field looks impressive, right in your face as you come down the steps. We had seats behind home plate, but way up in the last rows of the upper deck [where I haven't sat since game 7 in 2006]. Overcast, nice breeze, and we took our seats in the top of the second. Met some nice families from Staten Island, including a sixteen year-old who was nice enough to put up with being my son's best friend for a couple hours.
It was a hard game to watch for seven and a half innings. The futility that marked last September was there, until, at the precise moment the sun broke through the clouds, bathing center and right field in golden sunlight, David Wright launched a double against the base of the right center wall in the bottom of the eighth. Then Carlos Beltran launched one against the base of the scoreboard with that quick lefthanded swing of his, and my son got to see what he was waiting for: the beautiful, funky, big red apple rising out of the top hat beyond the center field wall. A few batters latter and Fernando Tatis is a hero again with a grounder up the middle that scores the young Nick Evans, pinchrunning for Carlos Delgado. I swear Evans looked like he might stumble coming around third.
Just like that, and Billy Wagner is coming out to close the game. Almost felt too soon for the game to be over. Almost. [I was a little worried about the kid playing first base, but Billy took care of that, striking out the side.]
My son belted out 'Meet the Mets' and 'Take me out to the Ballgame' with gusto, enjoyed a slice and some ice cream, along with the variety of snacks we brought along. It was pretty much a perfect day at the park. He fell asleep on his mother's lap on the seven train [an express!], and I hauled him the rest of the way home on my shoulder. On Sunday, he asks me if we're seeing the Mets again that day.