Mets fans hanging with Mr. Met — Photo courtesy of Ray Colon
When visiting New York City on business or pleasure, you have options when it comes to choosing your daily entertainment. New York has two professional baseball teams, both within easy commutable distance from mid-town Manhattan. Consider taking in a Mets game while in the city.
The New York Mets baseball team plays in the National League's East Division. Since joining Major League Baseball in 1962 as an expansion team, the Mets (short for Metropolitans) have competed at both ends of the spectrum (having had many great, and not so great seasons). They've won World Series Championships in 1969 and 1986 and have been to the playoffs as recently as 2006. On the other hand, the record of 40-120 they posted in 1962 is one of the worst all time.
The Mets play their home games at Citi Field, a brand new ball park opened in 2009 in the Queens borough of New York City. The stadium was built adjacent to their former home, Shea Stadium, and includes many of the nuances of their old stomping grounds such as the "Home Run Apple" (which lights up anytime Mets player hits a big fly), and orange foul poles (only MLB stadium to feature this).
Mets home run apple — Photo courtesy of Marianne O'Leary
Regardless of their expansionary history, and that they seem to play second fiddle to one of the most storied sports teams (New York Yankees) the Mets have a made a name for themselves. They've had ten players that have eventually made the Hall of Fame including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Yogi Berra. Their victory against the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series will go down in history for including the miscue of first basemen Bill Buckner.
Because of the success of the neighboring Yankees, the Mets fans have always carried a chip on their shoulders. You won't see bandwagon Mets fans, just diehards. If you can't get excited watching a game surrounded by the camaraderie and enthusiasm of these fanatics, then hopefully their world renowned mascot "Mr. Met" can help you out!
In 2000, the Mets played the Yankees in the World Series, making it the first Subway Series World Series since 1956. Though the Mets would end up losing, the series was fantastic and included the memorable moment where Roger Clemens appeared to throw the shattered bat head of Mets' hero Mike Piazza at Mike while he ran to first base.
More recently, the Mets dealt with a slight hiccup caused by team money running low due to investment with Bernie Madoff. Ownership had become dependent upon the 10-15% "guaranteed" return of the funds, and automatically worked those return numbers into their annual budget. When the fund crashed due to the discovery of its ponzi scheme nature, the team cut payroll and looked to dilute ownership to bring in new investment. A mere $20 million could have made the average fan a 4% owner of the team during an offering in 2011.
Mets' superstar David Wright manning third base — Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
In 2012, the Mets are lead by superstars David Wright, Johan Santana and late blooming knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. They are an incredibly fun team to watch, as their team is plenty youthful and ownership seems willing to do what it takes to win. If you are traveling through the New York area, taking in a Mets game at their beautiful new ballpark is highly recommended.