It was my first semester away at school. I started watching baseball in my dormitories’ lounge and befriended a couple other Mets fans.
It became a nightly occurrence. We would play cards and watch the Mets game on their road to the playoffs. We enjoyed watching them clinch the division, the dramatic National League Division Series and finally the pennant.
There was a lot of pent up emotions on my end. Having been born in 1995, the closest I ever got to tasting the World Series was in 2006 and we all know how that ended.
My dad and I used to go to games when I was growing up in the early ’00s when the Mets were god awful. This is where I learned to be loyal until the last out.
After the Mets near miss in ’06 and their back-to-back collapses the following two seasons, things were bleak in Queens until 2015 when we finally got to feel that magic again.
Game 4 of the NLCS was special. I was at the edge of my seat the entire game. While it would have been an incredible feat if the Cubs rallied to win the series, as a Mets fan you are always cautiously optimistic.
New York got off to a quick start, however. Lucas Duda launched a three-run homer off Chicago starter Jason Hammel and my nerves were settled for the time being. Even more so when Travis d’Arnaud went back-to-back with Duda to give the Mets an early 4-0 lead.
Duda extended the lead with a two-run double in the second. This after coming into the game just 1-for-6 in the previous three games.
While the Mets wasted opportunities to extend their then 6-1 lead, Daniel Murphy like he had done five straight games prior to Game 4 against the Cubbies, launched his seventh home run of the postseason to make it an 8-1 game. At that point, I was going to witness something I never had in my life: The Mets going to the World Series.
The room erupted. A friend of mine jumped into my arms and the tears leaked profusely from my eyes.
Two years ago, on Oct. 21, 2015, I experienced one of the happiest days of my life. While the team would fall in the World Series to the Royals, winning the pennant was a great accomplishment for a team that had such an up and down year.
It’s amazing how the tides have turned. The Cubs captured their first World Series since 1908 the following season and the Mets Division Series rival from that year is off to the Fall Classic this year.
I yearn for that feeling of euphoria again. Hopefully it comes sooner than later, but until then, my first semester away at school will always hold fond memories because of that playoff run.
Let’s go Mets!