|Prince at Opening Day at Citi Field|
As for me, I've seen every Met home opener since 1982 which includes the one in Tokyo, Japan back in 2000. As for the King, his streak dates back into the late '70's. In addition, he has a streak of over 220+ straight games at Citi Field since it opened in 2009. In matter of fact, he has missed only one game there in that time. In addition, he plans to see all 81 again this year he said.
Since I had to work a half a day, I barely got to the game on time. The MTA did their best to cost me some precious time on my way there on the 7 train. Luckily everything worked out for me.
Upon arrival, I got to say hello to my favorite security guard and big fan of royalty, Sam Citron. I hadn't seen him since the end of September but I know he's been following my whereabouts here on my blog. It was an absolute pleasure to see him again. Seeing his friendly and familiar face put me in the comfort zone before I headed inside to see the game.
Once I got in the building, I went up to my familiar surroundings in section 516 row 3 where the King and I have had our full season tickets since the ballpark opened. Our seating area is affectionately known as the "royal box" thanks to my pal Michael Longo who gave it that name.
In addition, we got to see many familiar faces where we sit. Despite low expectations, other people who sit by us still decided to renew their season tickets like we did. With that being said, there's always something to look forward to every game. We can't control what happens on the field but at least we know we'll be seeing some good people in the stands on a daily and nightly basis all spring and summer long.
Amongst them were our friends Ralph and Vincent Ascanio, who are back for another season of Mets baseball as the team celebrates their 50th Anniversary of playing here in New York.
In addition, I got to meet some new people. First of all, our buddy Eddie Pelle who I met thanks to my blog in December 2010 was on hand with his friend and co-worker Fredy Sanchez who he introduced to the King and I to. It was great to have them join us in the "royal box" for this Opening Day. We enjoyed their company immensely throughout the game.
Furthermore, I got to meet and greet another person I met online recently. Her name is Lori Martini. She's a lifelong Met fan who lives in Brooklyn. She happens to be a screenwriter and songwriter. She wrote the song, "Believe" that the Mets' Justin Turner came up to when he batted last summer. She recently wrote a short film called "Caught" as well. I look forward to seeing her more often at Citi Field this season.
As for the game we saw, Johan Santana who missed all of last season, started and he pitched five shutout innings. After struggling with his control in the fifth inning, manager Terry Collins decided to take him out in a scoreless game against division rival, the Atlanta Braves. The Mets proceeded to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when David Wright delivered a run scoring single. That proved to be the difference in the game as the new look Met bullpen shut down the Braves the rest of the afternoon. The Mets won the game, 1-0.
After the game, our friend Bryan Gilligan who also renewed his Met season ticket was present and accounted for as well, took the King, Vincent Ascanio and I down to Trenton, NJ to see the Trenton Thunder, the Double A affiliate of the Yankees play the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Toronto Blue Jays' farm team on Opening night in the Eastern League.
As for that game we saw, the Thunder took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning but that lead disappeared as the Fisher Cats scored a pair of runs in the third and fourth innings to take the lead for good. They went on to win the game, 5-3.
It was a perfect way to start the new baseball season with a doubleheader. Thankfully mother nature cooperated with us.
Stay tuned as I will be writing some more special posts regarding my memorable weekend where I entertained some other very special people I just met for the very first time. It will show why the royal way is the way to go if and when you want to attend a live sporting event regardless of the sport.
Thank you for reading and following along.