I know Father's Day doesn't get quite the same hype as Mother's Day, but lets face it: without my dad, I wouldn't be a Mets fan.
I remember going to my first game at Shea like it was yesterday. I was 8 years old and the Mets were playing the Phillies. My dad took me to the game along with my brothers so that I wasn't left out. We sat in the Mezzanine and I tell you, that was when I fell in love with this game. And this team. I even had a new favorite player: Edgardo Alfonzo (mainly because they dragged out the O's when saying his name). The only thing I didn't like was that we had to leave in the middle of the 7th inning to line-up for the Dyna-Mets Dash. And the Mets won 8-5. I don't know how I remember that, but I do.
Subsequently, going to games at Shea became a regular thing. After a stint on the Field Level and the great Carvel ice-cream disaster, we always sat in the Upper Deck in the last row behind home plate. The Upper Deck, no matter how hot it got during the summer, always had a nice breeze and my brothers could run wild. How much of these games my dad actually got to watch, I don't know. I was the only one that actually watched the game. I would keep the scorecard. At 8 years old.
We moved to Florida when I was 10, but the love for the Metropolitans didn't wear off. In my dad's restaurant, we had a special satellite dish so that we could get all the games on MSG. We finally went to our first spring training game in 2006, and my dad came with me to meet Omar Minaya. Together, we also met Bud Harrelson and Al Weis from the '69 Mets. Mr. Weis let me hold the ring! We met Gary Carter on a hot summer day when he was still managing the St. Lucie Mets. He was also coaching 3rd base and he waved at us!
Today, I am still in Florida and my dad is in New York. But he watches the games and I faithfully listen to Howie Rose thanks to MLB At-Bat 2010. I'm still the first kid he calls to talk about the Mets, whether they're doing really good or whether my quest to get the word "suckage" in the Mets Lexicon continues. Not bad for only taking me not to feel left out, huh?
Happy Father's Day Dad! I love you!