Details of Citi Field’s first home opener
The day started sunny, and not at all as cold as I expected. Things got a bit dimmer and colder–in more ways than one–as the hours wore on, but the night still had its great moments and photo ops. And though it was my 3rd game at Citi, now I continue to learn more with every journey. Click here for the full photo album, and here, for you, are some more bullet points.
- For the first time, I entered from the Left Field gate, which opens at 4:40PM, before the rotunda. I would say if you’re going for your first Citi Field experience, go through the rotunda. Even if it’s more crowded by the time you arrive, there’s something special about entering the ballpark from the grand entrance. I felt butterflies the first two times I scanned my ticket at the rotunda. Left field gate has way fewer butterflies.
- Shake Shack now has shakes. Oh my God. I wished my black and white shake would never end, and it took some self-control when I was done not to take the top off and lick it clean.
- The sound system has been adjusted since the Mets-Sox exhibition games, and it’s much better. However, now they are playing the 8th inning sing-along, “Sweet Caroline,” which was greeted by a resounding chorus of boos the likes of which probably haunt Luis Castillo’s nightmares.
- Got a couple shots of “Pick Me Up Some Mets” friend Adam Schein (who waved and mouthed “Hi Zoë”) broadcasting from the field before the game. I’m holding my tongue before passing judgment on Chris Carlin for the pre- and postgame shows, just to give him a fair chance, but I think it’s a safe bet you’ll see a post from me in the future beseeching SNY to bring back Yallof or replace Carlin with Schein…But not yet. To be fair.
- Johan Santana was not on hand for the opening day festivities so he could be at his wife’s side for the impending birth of their first son, Johan Alexander Santana, Jr. Congrats to our beloved ace!
- Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza, you are Mets heroes, and I do not deny that. I enjoy clapping for you. I took many pictures of you. But when you meet in tandem on important game days, things do not end well. So forgive me if I don’t hold my breath in anticipation for your next joint appearance.
- The big old Domino Pizza style Citi Field patch on the arm of all the players? Yeah, it still sucks, even from upper promenade.
- The fans felt bizarrely quiet overall for this game, at least where we were sitting. I’m chalking it up to Pelf starting the game by giving up a home run on the 3rd pitch. It’s harder to get loud when you’re behind from the get-go.
- When David Wright stepped to the plate with 2 men on base, I yelled out “Now would be a good time to get hot, David.” And we went wild for him! He raised the new home run apple! I’m glad it was David who got our first home run. I’m also glad we have proof that the Mets can actually hit home runs in the new ballpark. Even if ultimately we still lost (so annoyingly!), he tied up the game and gave us hope and something to cheer about.
- Early in the game, Mike Pelfrey took a tumble on the mound, and though he waved off the trainers, they came running. Ultimately, he’d face a hit-parade after the fall, but I enjoyed getting this shot of what looks like Reyes and Wright giving Pelf some ribbing, and Pelf smiling sheepishly.
- The soda cups at the Taste of NY food court are kinda cool–Citi Field on the front, the season’s schedule on the back.
- By the time buddy Rob got to the ballpark, the line for Shake Shack snaked way past the ropes, but while saving him a spot I met the Mets Poet, Frank Messina, whose book of Mets poetry is out now. I anticipate a few stanzas soon about waiting on long lines for food. What rhymes with “delicious burger”?
There are many more awesome shots in the full photo album, including pics of the players, and many more of the ballpark, so I recommend you take a look!
As for exiting the ballpark from the promenade? Oy. First the crowd by the elevators brought traffic to an absolute stand-still, then the stairway creeped along as crowded as I can imagine it. Rob and I plan to head to the left-field ramp next time and hope it’s an easier journey down.
I’ll leave you on a bittersweet note. I tried to give a bright, optimistic smile after the loss. But it was right after. And it was another unnecessary loss, a sock in the gut by another error in the outfield and–of all things–a run scored on a balk. The season is still in its infancy, and there’s no need to get antsy about it, but at the moment of the loss this was about all I had in me:
Fight for us, Perez.