When I was very young, Opening Day meant that the Brooklyn Dodgers were returning to Ebbits Field. Yeah there were other teams in NYC (Giants, Yankees), but to me and my dad & mom, only the Dodgers meant anything - the other 2 were the hated teams that you rooted against. They left and for four years I still followed them so Opening Day meant the Los Angeles Dodgers were returning to the Coliseum. Definitely not the same! But then in 1962 NYC was awarded a new National League team (the Giants had also fled to the west coast when the Dodgers abandoned us) - The New York Mets! In 1962 (and 1963) Opening Day meant that the NY Met were coming (it wasn't returning) to The Polo Grounds - formerly the home of the NY Giants ... enemy territory!
But that was made right in 1964 when Shea Stadium, the Mets new home, opened and its baseball history was about to be written - and was going to be Mets history! (It made a lot of other history as well but that's for another post!) I spent much of my youth there with my mom and dad - then my kids and my wife spent years with me in those wonderful seats! Below you see our seats for the final 11 years of having season tickets - as my daughter and I returned to them on the occasion of Shea Stadium's final baseball game in 2008. After this game Shea Stadium closed forever and was demolished. (Notice the yet to be opened - at the time - CitiField in the background.)
My grandsons' first game with their parents and grandparents took place in 2010 at the new CitiField.
No matter how bad your team was the previous year (and The Mets were pretty bad the second half of last year), on Opening Day they are tied with every other team in the league in first place. Optimism is high no matter what is projected for your team.
So if you will excuse me now, baseball is about to start and a tradition that reaches back in my family to years before I was even born is about to renew itself ... (Click here)