So it's done. The Mets have their first no hitter, ever, and it only took, as you may have heard by now, 8,020 games. And it was worth waiting for. It couldn't have been written any better. So many stories. Santana coming off shoulder surgery, a surgery that's left many pitchers shadows of their former selves. Against the world champion Cardinals, and the best offense in the league. Thole's first game off the DL. Mike from Whitestone Baxter with the reckless regard for his own body as he makes the catch of Yadier F*(&^N Molina's drive over his head. The return of Carlos Beltran (one of the Best Mets Ever), now a teammate of Adam Wainwright. The rain that threatened to delay the game. Wainwright's stellar first few innings. Clutch hitting. CitiField's first BIG moment. And there's other stuff I'm sure I've forgetting.
But what I want to get to is this: it was also one of the Mets' Little League Nights, where kids get discounted tickets and wear their jerseys and get to walk on the field before the game in a little parade. My son was one of those kids. So not only was he there on that special night, he was on the field beforehand. He's only eight, and he knows it was something big, but I'm sure he doesn't really get it, yet. I am absolutely thrilled that he was there, that he'll have this memory to share with his own kids, and that he'll have bragging rights about the no hitter for the rest of his life. Amazing.
I was not there. It wasn't my weekend with him, and so, that's just one of those things about divorce. But I'm so damn happy he was there with his mother and his teammates. And I watched every pitch, partly because I was hoping that SNY would have a few shots of the kids on the field. And then, of course, it started to roll along, and I was paying attention to the hits column like I always do, kind of hoping, but trying not to hope too hard, that maybe this was the night.
So my girlfriend and I sat on the couch watching (and sometimes not watching, because sometimes watching was kind of excruciating), listening to the great call from Gary, Keith, and Ron, trying really hard to believe what we were seeing. She's a passionate lifelong Met fan. She loved Tom Terrific as a kid. We tried to honor our superstitions as the night progressed. We were nervous wrecks, like so many others, as Johan took the mound in the ninth. And then we were shouting, laughing, hugging, like so many others in NYC that night, right around 9:50 pm. Wow. Let's go Mets.
I guess this is kind of living vicariously through my son? I know I'm not supposed to do that, right? I'm kidding, of course. I was at Shea in '06 when Endy made The Catch, when so many of these players were there, spoiling our run. It was a tough night, but I'll always cherish that night for Endy's miraculous sno-cone, and for the way the upper deck rocked and shook under our feet. I'm just so happy that my son's now got his own little big piece of New York Metropolitan Baseball Magic. Well, all of us Met fans do, now, where ever we were last Friday.