Friday, May 10, 2013

After 23 years, it all comes full circle on the scoreboard

Some of you might remember some time back when I wrote what just might be my favorite post that I've ever written here. This is not because it is particularly clever or particularly well-written. It provides no clever social commentary or particularly astute observations about myself, sports, the world or the social causes of the Haymarket Square Riot or any other historic incident. No, this was a very important, very necessary journey of self-discovery that brought with it a number of revelations of the life-changing variety. I speak, of course, of when I did the necessary investigative reporting to uncover my very first New York Mets game.

As you may recall, for years I had known little of the origin of my Mets fandom beyond a picture of the scoreboard and had long assumed my first game was, in fact, not my actual first game. This all came to light when I decided one morning to actually look at the picture. The evidence was fairly obvious and soon the mystery was unspooled, but the gist of it -- that my fandom was spurred on by having my name on the scoreboard -- was clear.

Last night, nearly 23 years later, my fandom returned to light in the same fashion in which it had started.

Yes, there are some differences that are telling. For one, last night the Mets game was at Citi Field while at the time of the first picture they would still be 18 years away from leaving Shea Stadium. For another, this was a trivia contest (which I answered perhaps too enthusiastically), whereas the last mention was a birthday notice. For yet one more, the contest was organized via Twitter, a tool that wouldn't exist for 17 years after the last time I reached the scoreboard. For obvious reasons, I suppose I should note that last night I was mentioned on the scoreboard not so much by name, but by Twitter handle, a remarkable yet subtle sign of how the world has changed.

As a result of all of this, I also got mentioned by the Mets' official Twitter feed, which, of course, means I can cross one of the major achievements I had long sought off of my to-do list.

If there is one thing you're looking for that shows how the world has not changed, one could point to the fact that both scoreboards had a large banner advertisement for Budweiser on them, though it seems the sponsorship deal with RC Cola must have run out long ago. Either way, it was an exciting moment that in many ways brought me back to my childhood and reminded me that I just might know way too much about this team. So much became clear when I realized just how quickly I knew the answer to what was really a fairly difficult trivia question:

"Who is the only Mets pitcher other than Tom Seaver to strike out 19 batters in one game?"

Evidently, the Mets are the only franchise to have turned this particular trick, which given their historic reliance on pitching (Seaver, Doc Gooden, Jerry Koosman, Al Leiter, Nolan Ryan, Matt Harvey, etc.) is, I suppose, not that surprising. But David Cone's 19-strikeout game wasn't an event of any particular note. Mets fans don't talk about it with historic reverance like they do about Seaver's near perfect-o in 1969, Ron Swoboda's diving catch in the 1969 World Series, Mookie Wilson's grounder to Bill Buckner in Game 6, Robin Ventura's grand slam single in 1999 or Endy Chavez's wild catch in the 2006 NLCS.

Cone's achievement was one of the decidedly more obscure variety. No one talks about it. Not many Mets fans I know even remember it ever happened. In fact, if you pressed me, I couldn't for the life of me tell you on what date Cone accomplished the feat, and most people almost certainly wouldn't even consider it the greatest pitching performance of Cone's career. As it turns out, the 19-strikeout performance happened on Oct. 6, 1991, a masterful conclusion to, as so many of them are, a disappointing Mets season. The game received a writeup in the New York Times befitting a historic outing, but it seems to have been mostly lost to memory, though the jersey he wore in the game is now on display at the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum. The only reason I knew Cone was the man was because I had stumbled across it on ESPN Classic a decade ago, saw an old Mets game in uniforms the team never accomplished anything in and thought to myself, "Why on Earth is this game on ESPN Classic," until a graphic popped up touting Cone's 19 Ks.

For whatever reason, this stuck in my head until last night, paving the way for me to instantly recall the answer when the Twitter trivia question was posted on the board. I responded, I won and in addition to some pride and my second appearance on a New York Mets jumbotron I also received a $50 gift certificate to some Italian restaurant I had never heard of. Evidently it's a chain, which means I'll have to see if it passes the Sbarro/Olive Garden test of quality (that won't be hard), but I'm not too proud to turn down a free meal even if I'm more excited by winning the trivia contest than I am by the prize I received.

Add to the trivia win and the free gift certificate the fact that I somehow managed to sneak down to the field level with an upper deck seat I bought for $8, and the Mets won the game with a little walk-off magic from Mike Baxter and I had myself quite a night.

I'm now 2-0 at Mets games on the season, which improbably keeps alive my streak of beating the odds considering the team is currently 14-17. A year ago I went 6-1 at Mets games despite the team finishing the season 74-88.

The win, the gift certificate, the good seats courtesy of Weg's birthday, all of that is well and good. For me, though, the best part was seeing my name up there to punctuate the Twitter Trivia victory, one of many on the night. In the grand scheme, such an achievement is undoubtedly minor. It will be forgotten by almost everyone else that was at the ball park and it will hardly affect the Mets' likely-to-be dour fortunes this season. But it was nice for one night to be taken back to when I was four years old at Shea. Sometimes, when you follow a team like this, you need a reason to remember why.


  1. Now let me share some long-teгm effects of grеen coffee bean extract benefits сгitiсal in deciding for your wеight
    lοsing target.

    Also visit my page; Pure Green Coffee Extract

  2. I've been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    my web page ... gsa search engine ranker

  3. And he should manage apprenticeship under a reliable translator or language translation company.
    Apparently no evidence beyond that early period survived.

    my weblog -

  4. Normally, basic plan includes ample quality to maintain any individual membership database.

    My weblog; szamba

  5. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
    Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, very good blog!

    Have a look at my web-site ::

  6. The later is going to be obviously the advisable choice.
    Towards the beginning of American footbal games, I realized that I could not watch all the play offs for the
    family TV.

    Visit my blog post szamba

  7. "A drop in the ocean" Is only a dot in the heart of the Indian

    Here is my web-site: organizacja imprez integracyjnych

  8. The internet dating has being extremely popular. In a certain amount
    of cases, a feedback survey with the property may determine the cesspool's location.

    Have a look at my web blog - agencja detektywistyczna warszawa

  9. Actually is closer to the UK, meaning the fact travel costs are typical reduced.

    my web blog agencja detektywistyczna warszawa

  10. i It is also vital to create a note of witnesses if there will definitely be any.

    Visit my homepage; agencje ochrony

  11. If you find no plan or perhaps a preparation, your achieving your goal ratio will colossally drop.
    A person first do have item training, put as well as effort into it.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site ... usługi ochrony lublin

  12. Enjoy a range of natural aesthetics treatments and tranquil Fijian

    Feel free to surf to my web page kancelaria adwokacka łódź

  13. Any kind of a major festival was being held in 1986 called the Holiday
    of the 10th Summer. This will set your current mood for your event.

    Feel free to visit my webpage adwokat warszawa

  14. This is the excuse why lots of consumers are going for watch him actually
    workouts provided through MMA. Mr Frawley perceives that 15 minutes can be too long.

    Check out my blog - adwokat warszawa

  15. The next step is actually decide how appreciably units we is able to bet on yellow or black.
    Place on towards the exact tragedy of being for that reason of your
    levels and characters.

    Here is my weblog - adwokat warszawa

  16. A client comes on the inside and lays and also his case.

    Provided both parties agree, you have usually the option of some out of court docket settlement.

    Here is my blog ... organizacja wczasów

  17. You can be those designer of your own t-shirt. Other photo formats which you
    can save your include JPEG as well as the GIF formats.

    Here is my web page organizacja wczasów

  18. Paint an outline with orange marking apply paint.
    Habits of thought those block finding a remedy come from a
    bad self-Image.

    Feel free to surf to my homepage :: szambo

  19. Marketplace is one of the very lucrative investment ideas.
    They have also focused on protection aspect apart from providing a loads of free space.

    Also visit my web-site ... tłumaczenia rosyjski Katowice

  20. Once you browse the online sites, you will get together many music certification companies.
    Some, on a other hand, shoot it really for serious.

    Feel free to visit my web-site tłumaczenia rosyjski Katowice