Mets Giants Baseball

Pete Alonso, one of the few bright spots of this Mets season, looks down in frustration after striking out earlier this month.

The cruelest thing my parents ever did was take me to Shea Stadium. Child services should’ve taken me away right there.

It was May 17, 2005 – a typical spring day in that area, the temperature somewhere in the 60s and not a cloud in the sky. I was 6 years old, just wrapping up my first year at Harrison Elementary School and my first season of tee-ball in northern New Jersey. For whatever reason, that was the night my parents decided to change my life.

They dressed my brother and I in matching Mets shirts and drove us to Queens. I remember being in awe of the cavernous old ballpark; I had never seen so much green grass or anything as colorful as that scoreboard in my whole life.

The Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds that night 2-1, courtesy of a two-run homer in the seventh inning from Kaz Matsui. I was in love.

Unfortunately, that love affair continues to this day.

I (somewhat obsessively) root for one of the most dysfunctional organizations in sports. It’s not just that the Mets are a bad team (two seasons above .500 since 2008) – it’s that they are, for lack of a better word, a circus. Some highlights from this year alone:

In an unprecedented move, they hired an agent as their GM. He promptly traded some of the organization’s best prospects for 36-year-old Robinson Canó ($120 million over five years remaining on his contract, .250 average) and closer Edwin Díaz (4.81 ERA). Star player Yoenis Céspedes, who was already injured, broke his ankle falling in a hole at his Florida ranch and is out for the season. Manager Mickey Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas were fined for cursing out a reporter. Two living people were included in a memorial video for deceased members of the 1969 team.

I love the Mets, but they’ve (for the most part) never loved me back. That’s OK.

At this point, they’re just a part of who I am. Suffering is part of being a sports fan. It builds character. It makes the great moments (like the Mets’ run to the 2015 World Series) even sweeter. If the Mets were like the Yankees (i.e., successful) I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

A lot of things have changed in my life since that night in 2005. I don’t have any of the same friends. I don’t live in the same place. I really don’t care about any of the things I cared about then.

The one constant has been Mets baseball. No matter how I’m feeling, what’s going on in my life, I can count on them to be there every day for six months of the year. That’s what makes being a baseball fan special.

Follow Sam Campisano on Twitter @samcampisano and contact him at [email protected].

Sam Campisano is the sports editor of The Alligator. He has worked at the paper since Fall 2017, and previously covered men's golf, swimming, soccer and women's basketball.