On the last game before the All Star Break, I brought my son to the Mr. Met Dash. Once we got onto the field, he had the time of his life, and honestly, he has not stopped talking about it. He loved everything about the dash once he got onto the field. The key here being once we got onto the field.
Leading up until that point, it was exhausting for him and for me.
It was a hot and muggy day with the ballpark flooded with people due to it being Spiderman Bobblehead Day. There were lines all over the ballpark to get food and to hit the baseball behind center field. The Phillies were dominating the Mets. All-in-all, it was a pretty frustrating day at the ballpark.
Still, getting on the basepaths to run on the same field as the Mets players made it all worthwhile. A week later, and my son is still talking about how he ran the basepaths. Seeing his excitement, it is something I will consider doing again in the near future. Next time, I plan on doing it better. There are some ways.
First and foremost, if you belong to the Mr. Met Club, you get priority access. The members of the Mr. Mets Club get to run the bases before those who are not members. This along with four complimentary tickets to a Mets and Cyclones game along with other perks. The cost of the membership is $35 or $55 depending on the level of membership you purchase.
In terms of value, not having to wait in that line, the trinkets, and the tickets are probably well worth the money. Of course, the issue I had in the past was remembering to bring the lanyard with me to the games to get some of the perks. Also, in year’s past the tickets were for weekday games which are difficult to attend. So in the end, it’s not for everyone.
If you don’t want to spend the money on the Mr. Met Club, there is still another way to get priority access. Before the game, Citi Perks sets up a table atop the escalators above the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. If you have a Citi card (or ask nicely enough), they will give you a pass to get priority access.
Even with the priority access, the lines are LONG. For example, the lines of just the Mr. Met Club members and Citi Perks ticket holders stretched from the bullpen area to the parking lot on Seaver Way. If you want to get to the front of that line, you are going to have to leave during the game.
To get to the front of that line, you are going to have to leave around the seventh inning stretch. The downside is you’re missing the rest of the game and have to wait around for the game to end. In a game the Mets are losing 8-3, that’s not as big of a deal. If it’s a close game or the Mets are winning, it’s a completely different story. In the end, it really is a matter of just how much you want to get on that line and back to your car to get home.
Two other important factors. First, carry some cash on you. If it’s a hot day like it was on Sunday, you’re going to be dying of thirst after running the bases. When you exit the ballpark after running the bases, there is a vendor there selling soda and water (at ballpark prices). He accepted cash only when I was there.
Second, there is not re-admittance into the ballpark. For some reason, that also includes the team store. Accordingly, if you want to get your kid a souvenir, you need to get it before heading on line for the Mr. Met Dash. It’s a small lesson I learned as my son wanted to get his Pete Alonso All-Star shirt.
All that considered, even if you don’t have priority access, doing the Mr. Met Dash is well worth it. Even though they try to usher you off the field once you touch home plate, you will have a moment or two to take a picture with your kid on the field. There are plenty of families there who want family photos are will be amenable to the normal swap of taking family photos.
There’s one other thing people won’t tell you. No one is checking your ticket before you get in line or get on the field. Accordingly, if you are so inclined and are in the neighborhood, you can just hop on the line and have your child run the bases without even attending the game. Just a thought.
Yesterday, I went back home to celebrate my dad’s birthday. On the long drive, my oldest was just whining about how hungry he was.
When I got into town, we passed by the old pizza place we practically lived in growing up. This was always the stop for the kids in the neighborhood.
We’d ride our bikes there after school. After Little League games, we’d stop there for Italian Ice’s. I swear people in the neighborhood went there at least three or four days a week. It was more when it had Street Fighter and NBA Jam video games.
For about the first time in 15 years, i walked into that pizza place. With a beard and five year old by my side, I was a completely different person than the one who used to frequent that place.
As soon as I walk in, the owner exclaimed, “Holy sh–! How ya doin’?”
I honestly couldn’t believe he remembered me after all these years. I really couldn’t believe him when he told me I hadn’t changed a bit. We then walked down memory lane talking about our shared memories of the place.
My son watched with amazement taking in and enjoying everything. That’s when the owner noticed him.
He laughed when my son told him his name saying, “Of course, he’s the fourth.” He then laughed harder when my son told his favorite team was the Mets. It was met with, “Let me tell you, kid. No one loved the Mets as much as your dad. Stick with them.”
Then he offered my kid a rainbow Italian Ice.
He told my son about how my friends and I would get one after every game. In disbelief, my son said, “Really? My Daddy never eats ice.” This caused the owner to laugh and say that maybe I have changed.
On the way out, he shook my hand telling me not to be a stranger while telling me to say hi to my parents and to wish them well.
As I left with, pizzas in hand, I looked down at my son eating the rainbow ice, and it brought me back to those times I walked out of that pizza place with my own father. My son was bemused with stories of my childhood.
It was as good and nice a moment as you can experience. It’s only one you can experience if you not only go home but go around your hometown.
In Houston, Albert Almora ripped a line drive foul into the stands. As Almora would say, “As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her.” This meant he watched the whole way as his line drive hit a little four year old girl.
An understandably devastated Almora was crushed and began weeping on the field.
This incident led to calls for more netting at ballparks. For example, Jeff Passan of ESPN called for netting to be extended from foul pole to foul pole. In his article, he played up the scene saying:
Look at the entire scene, ugly and awful and entirely preventable, and then tell me Major League Baseball teams don’t need to extend protective netting from foul pole to foul pole. It’s time. It’s well past time, actually. There is no argument against this, no humane argument at least, not when this keeps happening again and again and again and again and again — and children wind up in the hospital, where the girl was taken following the incident, according to the Astros.
Passan was far from the only person to go to these lengths both in terms of the netting needed and using the incident to prove the point.
Certainly, you could understand the calls. CBS reported Almora hit the ball at least 90 MPH meaning that little girl had about 1.2 seconds to respond. There’s no four year old capable enough of getting out of the way of that ball.
If we’re being honest, it’s unrealistic for a parent to get in the way. If you’ve ever been to a game with a child that young, they’re constantly distracted, and as a result, they’re distracting you. When balls are hit that hard, even one slight distraction means you’re defenseless.
As noted by Andrew Marchand of the NY Post, this danger is the reason why players will sit their children behind netting to ensure they are safe during the games.
Yes, you could argue netting all the way around the stadium protects children. You could also argue the netting is deemed a nuisance to fans for a few reasons including ability to watch a game, catch a foul ball, or get an autograph. Considering how MLB is purportedly concerned about attendance, you could understand why they wouldn’t want to detract from the experience of attending a game.
People want to dismiss the later as being irrelevant when it comes to children’s safety. To an extent, they’re right. No child should be injured because someone wants to catch a fly ball. That said, we need to stop pretending wrapping the ballpark in netting is the only solution.
Let’s face facts for a second. No child should be sitting that close. As noted by everyone, it’s a danger to their health. So, let’s call this what it is – a parenting failure.
A parent needed to understand this was not a safe situation for their child. They needed to get seats literally anywhere else in the ballpark. Considering how much those seats cost, they could afford it. If they didn’t realize how close the seats were, an usher/team would’ve been happy to help them relocate to a safer situation.
This is akin to driving to the park and not having your child in a car seat. Sure, chances are really good you won’t ever need that car seat. Even if you do get into an accident like a fender bender, your child could be fine even without the car seats. Then, there’s that accident where having a car seat or not is the difference between life and death or at least the difference between serious injury and no long term harm.
That situation is why we have car seat laws. It’s the reason why we have a bevy of other laws to protect child from absent minded or even bad parenting. These laws include but are not limited to car seat laws, bicycle helmet laws, and required fencing around pools.
Because of absent minded or bad parenting, we have laws designed to protect children and put them in safer situations. Why isn’t this done at ballparks?
Up until the point there’s netting, there’s should be rules (or laws) which restrict where children can sit. Don’t permit a parent to again bring a child that close to the action. Don’t allow a parent to put a child in jeopardy.
Let the adults assume the risks they choose. If they want to be that close to the action without netting, let them. It’s 2019. They should be well aware of the risks by now, and if they’re not, there’s plenty of ballpark announcements alerting them to the fact. Just don’t let an adult taking what is an extremely reasonable risk for them allow them to potentially put a child in harm’s way.
When purchasing the tickets online, there needs to be a prompt advising of the age restrictions for that seating area. If it can be done if you want to leave just one seat open between the seats you purchase, it can be done for this. If you’re calling or buying the tickets in person, the ticket agent needs to read off the rule.
If someone buys the tickets anyway, the usher needs to serve as the barrier of entry. If the ushers can do it in the later innings of a game stopping people from moving down from the upper levels to the field level, they can do it before the game.
Remember, there’s no good reason why a child NEEDS to sit that close to the action. There are literally tens of thousands of places to watch a game from a ballpark. They can sit in one of those seats.
If you boil it down, this is the best way to accomplish allowing fans to have the unfettered view and access they want with protecting children. At the end of the day, we should allow the adults to take the risks they openly want while protecting children from forgetful or negligent parenting.
Impose an age restriction.
Summer camp is a little over a month away. If you have your children in day care, you have the issue with having to label things everyday. Whether it is for summer camp, school, sports, day care, or whatever the case, at times labeling your children’s clothes and belongings can be a pain.
Personally, I have found myself rushing as my child is headed on the door trying to find a way to label something on the go. Typically, this involves me grabbing a Sharpee and scribbling one of my son’s names on something as we are headed to the car. As usual, there is a better way.
That better way is Name Bubbles, specifically the round labels.
The Name Bubbles labels are both dishwasher and washing machine safe. This means you can just stick the label on a shirt or a bottle, and you don’t have to worry about it. The label is going to be there when it comes out of the washing machine, dryer, or dish washer. Basically, you put it on once, and you are not going to have to worry about it again.
Sure, it is easier to use a Sharpee or something else, but if you have multiple kids that can be a problem. If you have an item of clothing or a toy with your oldest’s name on it in Sharpee, it effectively belongs to that child. You aren’t going to want to cross out the name or write both names. Instead, it is better to put a label on there you can remove later.
The bright side is at $22.98 you get 84 labels. That is a fairly cost effective option. As a parent, you rarely get the opportunity to combine both cost effective with convenience. The Name Bubbles labels are one of those rare instances when you can get a cost effective, convenient, and a reusable item. It is what makes it perfect for day care, summer camp, or for whatever other purpose you can find.
Editor’s Note: This is not a paid advertisement, just sound advice from one parent to another.
When I was growing up out on Long Island, your sports season was basically pre-determined. You played soccer or football in the fall, CYO basketball in the winter, and Little League in the Spring. Maybe it was just where I lived, or maybe it is times changing, but it seems now there are more sports available, and they are available throughout the year.
There are summer hockey leagues, and there are indoor winter baseball leagues. As a parent of a five year old, my goal is simply to expose my son to as many sports as possible to see which ones he enjoys the most and wants to continue playing when he gets older.
Going through this process, it amazes me how much some sports are better run than others and how much professional leagues are involved in some of these sports.
For example, when it comes to hockey, the NHL runs the Learn to Play program. For $195, a child is fully equipped with hockey gear, and they participate in a 10 week session guided by team officials. Part of that gear is your own personal practice jersey from that team.
Even if you don’t go that route, there is not one hockey arena which does not have some sort of NHL presence. Moreover, when you sign up for different hockey lessons, you actually will receive USA Hockey magazines. Inside are not just stories from American hockey league players or stories on college teams, there is information on different drills to do.
Hockey is not alone in reaching out to fans this way. In addition to hockey, my son if playing NFL Flag Football. That league, run by the NFL, teaches children the basics of football while providing a safe and fun environment to play. Without dropping names, it is interesting to see some former NFL players have their children participating in my son’s league (albeit in a different age division).
What is fun about this is the children receive a reversible NFL jersey. Also, similar to the USA Hockey magazine, there are weekly emails with different drills to do with your children.
This is much different than the Little League experience thus far. Just like when I was in Little League, you got a jersey which was identified with a local sponsor and/or color. I remember growing up, I was the light blue, white, and blue teams. It wasn’t until I was older that there were MLB like jerseys, and those needed to be returned after the season.
It’s also interesting there is no newsletter or emails from Major League baseball. Basically, you are leaving it to your child’s coach. From my experience on both sides of the aisle, that is the luck of the draw.
Really, there’s a disassociation between Little League and MLB as far as children are concerned.
To be fair, Major League Baseball has taken some steps with the Little League Classic. Last year, Mets fans got to see Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz watch a game with the teams participating in the Little League World Series. Then again, the game was broadcast on ESPN on Sunday night.
Often times, we discuss why children aren’t as interested in baseball as they are the other sports. There are many varied and plausible theories focusing on pace of play or time when games are broadcast. Lost in all of those is the fact baseball isn’t focusing enough at creating fans at a very young age.
Honestly, if not for me, I’m not sure my son would be as big a baseball fan as he is. After all, baseball makes little to no effort to make him one themselves.
Far too often, we lionize professional athletes. At times, they disappoint us, and sometimes, they lift us up. The thing is whether or not they know, athletes can leave a profound impact on our lives, and when that player leaves, it certainly hits home.
It hit home when Mats Zuccarello was traded to the Dallas Stars.
I’m far from alone. We saw Henrik Lundqvist break down when talking about it. There have been a number of Rangers fans upset as well because Zuccarello was a fan favorite. For me, it was a bit more than that.
My wife had a very difficult pregnancy with my oldest. When my son was born, he wasn’t a preemie, but he wasn’t far off either. When he was born, his Apgar score was two . . . two. Thankfully, he would be okay.
One thing about babies born this early is they’re small. It’d be a while before my son grew into the newborn sized clothes, even longer to get to three months. That left his Rangers onesies quite big on him. It was a slight issue because he wore them often.
Whatever the reason, during those sleepless nights as he slowly made his way towards that magic 10 pound mark, he really enjoyed hockey. He was on my lap during that epic Olympic game against Russia, and he was on my lap during that magical run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The ritual was the same. I’d get home from work and get him in a onesie for the game. We watched through all the ups and downs in that incredible run partially driven by how well the Zuccarello-Brassard-Pouliot line played. It was Zuccarello’s two goal game in Game 6 against the Habs which propelled the Rangers to the Finals.
That run would be the first time I bonded with my son on a sports level. He was excited whenever I celebrated, and he’d clap in these moments. Many of those moments were directly related to Zuccarello’s play on the ice.
Fast forward a few years. At three, we decided to sign up my son for ice skating lessons. The reason was as simple as he was bouncing off the wall, and we wanted to find him an outlet on the weekends. Ice skating lessons for his age were available.
At three, he was still one of the smallest guys on the ice. Even with him being smaller, he picked up on things right away. He continued to get better and better.
It’s been over five years since my son was born. That little guy has now more than caught up to the kids his age. He’s actually one of the taller ones, which is a far cry from where he once was.
However, with him having started skating earlier than most in my area, he finds himself as the little guy on the ice. The little guy in his Rangers jersey.
Admittedly, I do allow myself to dream. Sometimes, I look at that little guy with a left-handed shot skating through much bigger players, and I see the next Zuccarello.
After all, my son’s a tough little guy who’s beaten the odds, so if this is something he wants for himself, I wouldn’t count him out.
And I don’t count him out too because I’ve seen Zuccarello play. I’ve seen him overcome the odds created due to his size, draft status, and even his home country of Norway not exactly being an NHL hotbed. Despite all of that, he became a good NHL player. He became a fan favorite. He showed us all anything is possible.
This is what Zuccarello gave to me during his Rangers career. He gave me a bonding experience with my newborn son, and eventually, he gave us a role model for a little guy playing against much bigger players. He fortified the faith and belief I’ve always had in my son.
Honestly, although he never knew it, Zuccarello gave me a lot during his time as a Ranger. I appreciate it more than he could know, and I wish him the very best in Dallas.
At least one day on the weekend, my son and I will make breakfast together. Typically, this will involve making either pancakes or waffles. Not to get all “If You Give A Pig a Pancake,” on you, but if you give a child a pancake, they’ll want some syrup to go with it.
Well, one day, I did not check the fridge or the pantry, and after I made the pancakes with my son, I realized there was no maple syrup. While I didn’t have maple syrup, I did have a bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate syrup in my fridge. My son loved the chocolate syrup on his pancakes, and he loved it even more when we made waffles.
Now, the natural inclination upon reading this may be to question why you would give a child chocolate syrup for breakfast. Well, as I discovered, the chocolate syrup was actually the better nutritional choice. If you don’t believe me, take this into account:
|Mrs. Butterworths||Trader Joe’s Agave||Hersheys|
|Serving Size||1/4 cup||1/4 cup||1/4 cup|
|Sodium||150 mg||5 mg||20 mg|
|Carb||52 g||43 g||48 g|
|Sugars||37 g||42 g||40 g|
Looking at the information, the Trader Joe’s Agave is arguably better than the chocolate syrup as it has 10 fewer calories as well as less sodium and carbs. Conversely, Hershey’s has less sugar, and unlike the Trader Joe’s Agave, the syrup has some calcium and potassium. If you buy the calcium enriched Hershey’s, you will get even more calcium. That said, there still may not be that much to make that much of a difference.
What would make some difference is the Hershey’s Lite Syrup. On a 1/4 cup basis, that syrup only has 80 calories, 60 mg of sodium, 24 g of carb, and 20 g of sugar. The sodium does offset some of the benefits of a lower caloric or sugar count, but it is still not enough sodium to move the needle on it being unhealthy, at least as far as syrups go.
Ideally, you would make your own syrup using fruit, but for a variety of reasons including spoilage and expense, that is not always an option. More than that, it is the time to make the pancakes or waffles while simultaneously making a quick syrup. Many times, when you are a parent, you just need a quick way of doing things.
With that being the case, give your child chocolate syrup instead of maple syrup with their breakfast. It is the ever so slightly healthier option, and really, it is a much more fun option.
If you’re an older Mets fan, you are familiar with the neons which used to adorn the facade of Shea Stadium. With the move to Citi Field, the neons are now just a part of the carpeting of the Mets clubhouse. Quite possibly, those neons were incorporated because they are so uniquely Mets, and they are reminiscent of those 80s Mets teams.
Athlete Logos has taken it a step further with his Neon Project. The Neon Project takees different iconic moments from Mets games and creates them into one of the classic Shea Stadium neons. For example, here is one of the classic David Wright fist pump after he scored a key run in the game against the Nationals.
Since its #DavidWright Weekend I figured it would only be fitting to do a neon of one of his iconic moments as Met. The fist pump against the Nationals was a great example of who David Wright was as a player. #LGM #NYMNeonProject #ThankYouDavid pic.twitter.com/evV03CLipb
— Athlete Logos (@athletelogos) September 28, 2018
Being a fan of the Neon Project, I reached out to Athlete Logos to see if he could do it for more than just Mets moments. He was not only able, but he was more than willing. In order for him to do the work, all I needed to do was to provide the picture.
For me, the choice of the picture was easy. Last year, my son began playing t-ball. In his first ever at-bat, he would hit a home run. It was a proud moment for me as a father, and I was thrilled I had both photos and videos of it. Being the huge Mets fan I am, I wanted to take it a step further.
With the neon, I have been able to do a t-shirt for my son, which he loves. I also got an ornament for my Christmas tree, and some gifts for relatives this Christmas in the form of ornaments, magnets, or those Shutterfly photo plaques. No matter what the medium, they have printed great, and I have no issues whatsoever.
Overall, it has proven to be a fun one to encapsulate one of my fondest baseball memories, and it is something I highly recommend other people do. If you are interested, and you should be, you can begin the process to emailing Athlete Logos at email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: This is not a paid advertisement or endorsement. Rather, this is just my being satisfied with the work product and recommending it to other people.
When you operate a blog, when you observe everything that happened today at Citi Field, the last thing you want to be is overwhelmed by the moment. But when it comes to David Wright how could you help but be overwhelmed.
As a diehard fan who watches nearly every game, beginning on July 21, 2004 until May 27, 2016, in some, way, shape, or form, Wright was a part of your everyday life.
The hits. The catches. The wins. The losses. Sadly, the injuries.
From February until October, Wright was there. The best thing about my favorite baseball team. The one thing worth loving from a team who did not always deserve the love and respect.
To pick a favorite moment is nearly impossible.
The bare-handed catch in San Diego. Diving into the stands in Seattle. The classic bare-handed play with which he’s become synonymous.
Putting on a show in the Home Run Derby with Paul Lo Duca firing in darts. Homering in his first All Star at-bat. Starting and playing third at the first All Star Game played at Citi Field. Any of his seven All Star appearances.
The 30/30 season. Gold Gloves. Silver Sluggers. Being the first Met to homer at Citi Field.
Homering in his first at-bat back of the DL. The slide in Washington. The RBI single and fist pump in the NLDS. Staring at the World Series logo on his cap at Wrigley Field. The home run:
As much joy as there was, there is a sadness.
The epic 80s type run we all expected never materialized. It wasn’t due to Wright’s lack of trying.
Wright would be the only Met to deliver an RBI in Game 7. In September 2007, he hit .352/.432/.602. In September 2008, he hit .340/.416/.577. He homered off Yordano Ventura. More than any of that, he stayed.
Because he stayed, we watched on as his body failed him. It robbed him not just of a chance to go out there and play, but it was enough to cost him a chance at a ring and possibly much more.
With his body failing, we got to see what made Wright truly great. His integrity, hard work, dedication, and love of baseball were on full display. Make no mistake. Unless Wright possessed all of these qualities, especially the love of baseball, we would not have seen him continuously fight his way back despite the injuries and the surgeries.
If nothing else, Wright earned the opportunity to step back onto the field and end his career on his terms instead of in a trainer’s room. He earned that not just by the rehab and work he put in to return, but because of who he is and what he means to the franchise.
While Wright was thinking of sharing the moment with his daughters, I was thinking of sharing it with my sons. It was important for me to share the moment with them. After all, we’re Mets fans, and as Mets fans we love David Wright.
Certainly, poor Peter O’Brien missed the memo as he caught a Wright foul out in the fourth. For that crime, he will be forever mercilessly (and good-naturedly?) booed every time he returns to Citi Field.
With the foul out, you were left hoping and praying for just one more at-bat. Even an inning in the field. It wasn’t to be as Mickey Callaway made the switch.
Wright left the field to the adoration of Mets fans everywhere. Really, it’s remarkable how loud everyone was as they were all fighting through the tears.
A brilliant career in which he set many records and became arguably the second best player in Mets history was now over, and even with fans having over two years to prepare, none of us were.
We can say it’s time to find a new face of the Mets. It’s possible there will be another captain. But, there will never be another David Wright.
I count myself lucky for watching Wright’s entire career. I cherish the fact I got to share the experience with my father and brother, but also now my sons.
To me, in the end, this is what baseball is all about – the shared experience across generations.
There will be other players and other moments we can all share. Short of a World Series, it’s going to be next to impossible to top David Wright’s career.
In some ways, it’s sad to see that go. In others, there’s joy in having been able to experience it. Mostly, it’s gratitude.
Thank you for everything David Wright. You are loved by Mets fans, and you will never be forgotten.
Tonight was about one thing and one thing only – David Wright.
While we always anticipated he could be shut down at any time without warning, after he homered in his third straight game, no one truly expected May 27, 2016 to be his final game as a Met.
In a pleasant surprise,Mickey Callaway said pregame that Wright was going to pinch hit tonight. To ensure he got in, Callaway assured us Wright was going to be the first pinch hitter of the game.
For a brief moment, it appeared that would be the bottom of the fourth. A noticeably nervous Wright emerged from the dugout and the fans erupted.
While Wright began a routine both familiar from his 13 year career and yet new from this being an all too different experience all together, he dropped the bat.
He picked it up and continued that routine etched in our memories. Alas, with Kevin Plawecki grounding out to end the inning, the process would have to begin anew in the fifth.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 29, 2018
As I saw this, I knew it was time. My oldest was up next to me in eager anticipation of the moment. We had been talking about it all night, and he was telling me how cool each of the highlights of him was.
I went and I got the baby out of his crib. I had each of my boys on my lap to watch a baseball game. It wasn’t the first time it’s ever happened, but it was the first big Mets moment since my youngest was born.
There was no option other than sharing this important moment with my sons. One day when they are older, they can each honestly say they saw David Wright play.
So while my phone was abuzz with texts from my brother and dad, I sat there with my boys on my lap, and we watched Wright eagerly swing at Jose Urena‘s first pitch:
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 29, 2018
Even with all that Jacob deGrom has done, that groundout to third was the top moment of 2018 because for a brief moment David Wright was once again a Met.
Game Notes: In case you were wondering, the Mets lost 8-1.