Whilst on a once in a lifetime trip to New York to get married in 2013 I had my own additional dream to finally complete on this trip: To see the Mets play! On a warm June evening I finally made that a reality, watching America’s game with a box of popcorn in the greatest city in the world! As a Brit being such a passionate baseball fan is quite a strange and lonely road, but here I am! But regardless of your passions, allegiances or knowledge of the sport this all American experience is a must do when in the states!
Ahh New York! If there is one place in particular that has taken hold of our hearts more than any other in the world it is this crazy city! of course, we have left pieces of our hearts all over the world, but New York, it’s like our favourite child!
And so, on my third trip over and Shorty (Paul’s) second we chose New York to get married, when we thought about our wedding and decided it had to be abroad and reflect our love of travel there was really only one choice!
June 2013, finally we would be in New York during the baseball season! Why not tick more than one dream off the bucket list on this trip!
Read all about our amazing wedding here: We got married in New York
Here’s some budget New York tips: 10 free things to do in NYC
The Mets and being a UK baseball fan
I got into Baseball by complete accident back in 2007, before then I had never really considered watching it at all! I was at university in Stoke on Trent studying Fine Art, towards the end of my first year I was frantically trying to get way too many paintings done in quite clearly not enough time for the exhibition.
I ended up pulling several all-nighters and whilst flicking through the TV for anything to keep me occupied as I painted I came across the Channel 5 baseball show! Since that moment I was hooked, I read up on all the rules and even when I didn’t have any work on would get up in the early hours to watch the show…now came picking a team!
In many ways my choice of team was an instinctive one, straight away I thought it had to be the Mets! Even though I had yet to go to to New York I already knew I would fall for it, and there was no way I could support an organisation such as the Yankees, it just felt too predictable, glory hunting and all about money.
After some deliberation I settled on the Mets. I chose them not for glory, titles, pennants or World Series appearances. But for passion, love and routing for the underdog. The fact we are headed to the World Series in 2015 actually brought be to tear of pride. It is something I never thought I would see but always dreamt of. But it seems going with your heart pays off!
After watching baseball for a year I finally got the chance to visit New York on a university trip. This time it was in December which meant no live baseball but it didn’t stop 20 year old me taking off on the 7 train on a pilgrimage to see the remains of Shea stadium and the beginnings of Citi Field. What an emotional experience!
3 years later and this time we both took the trip over to New York, I was so excited to get to show Shorty the city I loved so much and once again take that pilgrimage over to Citi. It was a cold February when we were able to make that trip and unfortunately there were no tours of the stadium whilst we were there. But just seeing the beautiful grounds finally finished was once again wonderful.
When planning our wedding we knew it had to be a summer wedding not only as New York gets hella cold in the winter…but well you know, so I could finally see the Mets!!! As the huge baseball fan I am besides going watching spring training in Arizona and Florida actually seeing a Mets game was my ultimate dream!
Here we go, game day!
I had bought the tickets a few weeks before we travelled over to the states on the Mets website. It was pretty easy and in reality games rarely sell out, tickets can range from really expensive down behind home plate to down to around $10 way over in outfield. We chose somewhere in the middle at around $34 each, despite initial appearances views from pretty much anywhere are pretty good!
Game day came and all day I was full of nerves and excitement. Being and evening game it gave us chance to have another day exploring the city before heading back to the hotel to change into my Mets jersey…this was it! I had been bought this back in 2007 when my parents went to Florida that summer, now here I was taking it to Citi Field!
We walked the few blocks over to Times Square and down to the subway to take the famous 7 train, this time more than any of those other trips this felt monumental to me! As the train pulled out and over into Queens the cars began to fill up with other Mets fans.
I felt for the first time really part of something, part of a group of supporters and part of this baseball club. It felt quite similar to walking to a football game at home will all the Arsenal fans. It’s something I was so proud to feel with fellow Mets fans.
We arrived a little early as planned to allow us time to take in the atmosphere and of course visit the club shop! I could have purchased everything in there! It is pretty frustrating being a Mets fan in the UK as Yankee merchandise is everywhere, but trying to get a hold of Met stuff is like digging for gold! But to be honest that is just one more reason to hate the Yankees!
The game we came to see was against the St. Louis Cardinals, the 2011 World Series Champions, I knew the game would be tough but as a baseball fan I was also looking forward to seeing both my Mets play and a great Cardinals team too.
As soon as we stepped foot inside the stadium the noise and atmosphere was heavy and loud, everything you imagine from an American Baseball game, people shouting “Hotdogs!”, the smell of the mustard, onions and beer. The organ music ramping up the excitement and of course the taste of salty popcorn and peanuts. It was everything I ever imagined it to me and so much more.
As we sat to take our seats everyone rose for the national anthem, from all the craziness and chatter of the pre-game buzz you could hear a pin drop. People stood on the spot as though frozen in time. It was actually quite a surreal moment, I have never seen patriotism taken this seriously!
Personally I am not all that patriotic so it was a little strange, but a pretty amazing experience non the less and a totally American one too! Of course we sang along too!
Almost straight away as the game began we have the perfect start, a home run! Then another run scored in quick succession! I though maybe it was my lucky day and I would get to see my team win on my first time seeing them!!
As the game wore on, and I had to explain almost every play to Shorty and my parents, the tables turned at the Cardinals scored 9 unanswered runs! Ahh well, that win will have to wait for another day (and there will be one). But despite the less than ideal score nothing could put a dampener on this day for me!
On this humid June evening, as an amazing sunset shone over the ballpark and I sang the Seventh-Inning stretch I was in heaven! Eating popcorn and finally seeing people like David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese play the game I love!
The buzz, the energy, the sights, smells and sounds. It was a true dream come true!
Well, my hopes are that this will not be the last time I see my team play, and hopefully next time they will win! New York is somewhere that just keeps on calling us and I know we will be back sometime. We have so many other plans all over the world right now that I can’t say for sure when it will be but we know we will be there again.
Now just to say that I am still pinching myself to know that my team are in the World Series…which starts tonight! I am so nervous and excited I really don’t know how to deal with it, it’s something I never expected being a Mets fan!
In the previous play off games I had more of a relaxed come what may attitude. I was proud of them either way but kept my believe reserved! Now we are here, argh, things are getting pretty serious! But as much as my heart aches for us to win the title, nothing can take away the pride I feel that we had gone this far!
“Que Sera Sera”
Let’s Go Mets!
Have you ever been to a Baseball game, American sports event or even just one whilst travelling?
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