Ah, early Spring. Buds are forming on the trees, birds are chirping in the morning, winds are rolling in at a cool 70 mph...
...well maybe not, but that sure is what it felt like yesterday at CifiField, the absolutely beautiful new home of the Mets. I won't speak of the game, because it (luckily) wasn't the main attraction for the sell-out crowd. As my friend and I rode in on the 7 train yesterday we saw something we hadn't seen in our lifetimes- a fancy schmancy ballpark where Shea Stadium's parking lot used to sit. Sure, I had seen the shell of Citi during my last trip to Shea at the end of last season, but this was different. Fans, bases, foods and players were now inside this stadium ready to experience a game.
In my post last week, I wrote about the things that I was excited about seeing. Let's see what I got to see and what I didn't...
- I did indeed get to sit in the outfield and a homerun ball (not from the Mets) came into our section, about ten rows in front of me. Angry (cold) Mets fans even yelled at the fan to "throw it back!" He didn't, wisely keeping the souvenir that he worked hard to get. I also did get to walk around the entire stadium, enjoying the open concourse views of the field, concession stands and clubhouse shops.
- Since I was with a big group, we all wanted different things to eat while we were at the game. Its lucky that there were SO MANY CHOICES. While some went traditional (Nathan's frank and a beer for Kelly), others had more unique fare. My sister (all the way from Massachusetts) enjoyed her mozzarella and veggie sandwich. Jen had a sausage and pepper sandwich. Mike had the chicken quesadilla, while James and I opted to wait on the 20 minute line for Shake Shack burgers and fries, which was obviously worth every second.
- Since there were no Mets homeruns during the game, its a good thing the new Apple was on display before the game started. Its bigger than the old one, and shiny and new looking. It pops out of the outfield, instead of a top hat, which was just too random for words. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the old Apple, but there's always next time.
- I had plenty of time to look at the skyline from the old scoreboard as I waited in line for my lunch. They also had a big screen projecting the game over there, with Gary, Keith and Ron turned up for everyone to hear.
- I definitely felt classy as I was walking in through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
- I didn't get to go to the bullpens either, but I'm hoping the next time I go to a game, I'll be able to feel my extremities and it will be more comfortable to walk around.
So yeah, it was a great experience overall, and would have been even better had Ollie Perez not given up 6 runs in the first inning and if the weather weren't Siberia-like. That picture is from my walk around the concourse. Directly behind those gates are tables so you can stand and watch the game while you eat. I think the best part about the whole day was that it felt surreal. I had trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that the Mets will be playing there and that Shea is gone for good. I will definitely miss Shea, but CitiField is a more-than-worthy replacement.
Stay tuned for my preview of the team!!