Saturday, October 1, 2011

Put It In The Books

A 3-0 win ends the Mets season.  This was not the most successful season on the field and we all know that.  But so much happened overall and this was perhaps my favorite season of Mets baseball.  This team was frustrating but they were also easy to root for.

I wish I could relive all of my experiences from this season.

The first time I saw these Mets in person was at Spring Training.  That was one of the best days of my life.  Seeing the Mets up close was something else and it was amazing.  Zach Lutz, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Nickeas.  A lot of fans probably haven't heard of them but I got to see my favorites in one place.  It didn't matter whether they were Major League veterans or minor leaguers at big league camp for the first time.  From Chris Young signing autographs for well over half an hour to Chris Capuano and Tim Byrdak talking to fans to Zach Lutz chatting with me, they were easy to like.  And Mike Nickeas was pretty awesome too.

The rest of this post may sound like an ode to Mike Nickeas but I can't help it.  He made this season awesome and unforgettable.  When I went to a game in April with amazing seats right behind home plate I knew I wanted to get his autograph.  I don't think I ended up getting an autograph (not that I really needed another).  Instead he hugged me, I lost the ability to speak and everything else is a blur.

And there was that other April game when Mike Nickeas still remembered me and Xavier Nady waved to me.  What made this game better than any others was because my favorite player was talking to me.  There were a million other fans around and he could've simply said hi, signed some autographs, and left, but he didn't.  At the time I thought it was awesome and I still think it is amazingly cool now.

Then I went into a deep depression because Nickeas was sent to AAA . . .

Just kidding!

I went to a few other games before the official start of summer.  I don't think the Mets won any of them.  I'm pretty sure they lost them in heartbreaking fashion.  But they're the Mets, so that's natural.

Once it was finally summer I got to see some pretty cool baseball.  I went upstate and saw both the Binghamton Mets and the Buffalo Bisons.  Josh Satin and Matt den Dekker were the players I was most excited to see on the B-Mets.  Satin had a hit or two (duh) and den Dekker played well too.  But once again I was impressed by how nice all the players were.  I wish I could've had a longer conversation with den Dekker but he smiled and giggled and I lost it after that.  The Bisons were cool too.  I only really talked to Mike Nickeas (of course) but I did get Jason Botts's autograph and he was really nice when he signed.  I just loved everything about those games.

I went to a couple of other Mets games after that.  I finally had the chance to see Nickeas play in the big leagues (it certainly took long enough).  And at my last game I blew off Terry Collins because I prefer Mike Nickeas.  A fitting way to end the season.

Of course I also watched 99% of the games on TV and followed everything that was going on.  It just feels like so much happened when I was actually at the games this year.  Maybe it's because my favorite player remembered me every time I said hi.  Maybe that made this season so special to me.  Whatever it was, I never want to forget it.  In 2011 my favorite player became a real person and not just statistics in a game.  It was beyond awesome.

I can't wait for an even better 2012 season.
Let's Go Mets!

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