It's become a tradition: Every September — after the Mets have long been eliminated from playoff contention — Elliot and I head over to Citi Field to take in a game.
My loyalties still lie with the San Francisco Giants, but I have to admit that I'm warming to the Mets. The stadium is an easy subway ride from Roosevelt Island, the park isn't usually too crowded, and the tickets are cheap (I paid about $14 apiece this time on ScoreBig.com).
It's hard to say Elliot is a budding Mets fan — I spent part of Saturday's game explaining what the word "fan" meant — but he is fiercely loyal to the Home Run Apple: the giant red orb that rises from center field whenever the Mets hit a home run. (There's also a replica of it out front.)
The entire game he asked when the Home Run Apple would appear. I explained that you never know when the apple might come, and that's what makes things interesting. Elliot repeated this to himself, and nodded wistfully.
Sadly, the Home Run Apple stayed firmly ensconced in its outfield warren on this day. The Mets scored no home runs and lost 4-2.
I've spent most of my life in cities with relatively cheap baseball. It wasn't hard to score an inexpensive Giants ticket when they played at Candlestick, and you could always go watch the A's as a fallback. In New York, seeing the Mets is far more affordable than going to a Yankees game.
Yesterday I was hearing about the experience of going to a Red Sox game, where a family of four can easily shell out $600 for a game ($100 each for tickets, then another $200 on food and parking). And of course, there's no unpopular team to fall back on if you live in Beantown. How terrible.
In that respect, the Mets are a real asset — especially for someone like me, who just wants to take his son to a game and doesn't care who's playing.