The year was 2000, and the Mets had just lost to the Yankees. Being 20 and in college, I was surrounded by Yankees fans that were giving me the business. I was left with only one reply, “wait until next year!, we will sign A-Rod and take this town over!”. Then the rumblings began about how A-Rod was a 24 and 1 type of player. Well, we all know how that worked out for the Mets. It hurt that my one consolation prize for losing to the Yankees was not coming to Shea.
As all Mets fan recall, it didn’t go so well and after 9/11 the Mets could not finish the comeback. I was at the Piazza home run game against Atlanta and I recall being so happy that I was sure they would go on to win the World Series. It never happened. As the Piazza era came to a close with no ring, I felt as though my favorite team was never going to win anything to have a parade over.
That feeling began to change as the 2005 offseason took shape. First Paul Lo Duca then Carlos Delgado. The Mets were well on their way with a mix of youth and veterans. That offseason I purchased a Jose Reyes authentic jersey. He was my favorite player and I spent my work bonus to buy the $200 jersey.
Every year since 1997 my family and I would go to opening day and get together – we were a group of 20 or more! We watched as the Mets spent 2006 beating up everyone and giving Mets fans the kind of run we had been waiting for since 2000. I laid motionless for more than 20 minutes as I watched the Cardinals celebrate on our field that October. (Side Bar: We should have bunted instead of sending Floyd to the plate).
The pain subsided and the Mets came out the gate on fire in 2007. It was such an amazing run until late September. We couldn’t close the deal again, and I can still remember Tom Glavine saying, “I’m not devastated.” Or whatever his exact quote was. I swore on that day, “I will never spend another dollar on an athlete.” I was so angry and he seemed to just get on with his life.
Despite the disappointment, my family and I returned to say goodbye to Shea on opening day in 2008. 2008 was our chance to wipe the slate clean and fix everything. We traded for Johan and we still had a great core. We had rooted so hard for them to take it to the National League. It was setup for another magical run until once again, we were mistaken as the Mets collapsed again. How could this happen again? How could our guys not have it in them to win one more game? To make matters worse, the Phillies won the title. Our group has not returned since.
We all know what it’s been like around here since 2008. No one needs a reminder so I will spare everyone. The point is, I want to come back. I want to be a Mets fan again. I want them to be relevant again. I have given the Mets everything since I was 5 years old and I want to keep going.
My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I asked for a 4 pack of Mets tickets and a David Wright Authentic jersey to replace my Reyes jersey. I want the purchase to symbolize my renewed dedication to the the future of the Mets. It does not need to be this year. Or next. But I need it to become respectable. This is my commitment to Fred, Jeff and Sandy. I am also renewing our family tradition this year to exercise the demons of the last 5 years. Please dont fool me again. Please lead this team to prosperity again.
If not, I won’t be able to stay a Mets fan. It saddens me to say this. But the reality is, I am giving the Mets one more chance over these next few years to return my loyalty. You gave my Reyes jersey one good year and plenty of years filled with disappointment. All that I am asking is to give my Wright jersey more than just one good season. I am dedicated to you, show me the same this offseason and next.
A Lifelong Mets Fan
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