Editor’s Note: The son of NYC Dads Group member Mark Spellun found a new hero at the Citi Field this past Saturday during our #BigLeagueDads outing, courtesy of Dove Men+Care products. Here’s what dad has to say about it. – KMcK.
I took my almost 3-year-old son to see the New York Mets at Citi Field this past weekend. It brought back a lot of good memories. My father used to take me to Mets games in the ‘70s during the heyday of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. This game was a lot like those: A low scoring affair that the Mets would eventually lose.
This was my son’s second Major League game. My wife and I took him to his first a little more than a year ago and that didn’t go too well. It was a night game at Fenway Park and the loud crowd terrified him. He couldn’t have been more scared if a hockey-masked Wally the Green Monster mascot had chased him around the bases wielding a chainsaw.
Citi Field was much more to his liking. Not only was the end-of-season atmosphere more sedate than the packed house at Fenway, but it had jets. It seemed like every minute or two my son would say to me, “Look daddy, an airplane.” The planes felt close enough to touch.
The Mets did their best to recreate Ebbets Field, the old home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and I really enjoyed reading all of the little bits of baseball history that were printed on the walkway around the park.
But, for my son, the real star of the day was Mr. Met, the human/baseball hybrid mascot of the home team. As soon as he started shooting T-shirts into the stands he had won my son over.
We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to spot where he was in the stadium. I don’t have too many memories of Mr. Met even though he has been around since the beginning of the franchise. My strongest early memories are of those silly golf carts topped with oversized baseball caps that used to bring in the pitchers from the bullpen. I think those were retired as baseball started moving in the fences and pitchers started to train like athletes.
Modern ballparks are designed to invoke a sense of nostalgia. And one day my son may care about who Bill Buckner is or what’s the difference between a two-seam and four-seam fastball, but for the foreseeable future he is all about Mr. Met. He still talks about the alligator mascots he saw at a minor league game over a year ago. It also won’t hurt that a kind Mets elevator attendant heard my son say Mr. Met repeatedly on the ride out and thoughtfully offered him a sticker of the franchise’s mascot. (Thanks, Deanna!)
Most things are pretty disposable to my son at his age, but he held his sticker safely all the way home. We then placed it carefully on an honored spot on the door to his room. I hope the smiling face of Mr. Met and the roar of an airplane engine are now etched in his memory.
I also hope the Mets don’t break his heart by trading Matt Harvey like they did mine when they traded Tom Seaver over 35 years ago.
|The Spellun family enjoying the NY Mets Game|
*Disclosure: Dove Men+Care is an NYC Dads Group sponsor. We work with brands that fit with our mission, and the ideas and opinions presented here are entirely our own. Want a chance to win 2014 baseball Opening Day tickets to attend with your family? Visit #BigLeagueDads to find out how to enter.
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Mark Spellun writes the blog Natural Dad, where a version of this post was also posted. You can follow him on Twitter @TheNaturalDad.