Mets vs Pirates, Citi Field, 9/24-25/2012
Welcome to New York City, the Empire State, a mecca, a place that evokes feelings of cultural shock when you enter into its teeth, people walking fast like robots, cars speeding around, a sense of hustle that I have never felt in any other city I have been to. When you finally get the whole view of the city for the first time it takes your breath away, and then you are inside, with skyscrapers towering around you at 360 degrees.
Superheroes are born and raised in this mammoth city, so many stars begin to burn in this city that never sleeps, because here sleep is the cousin of death. To my right was a wall full of superheroes.
Yes you may recognize that classic Nas song, New York State of Mind, he is my favorite MC of all, we share the same birthday which is cool. “I lay puzzled as I backtrack to earlier times, nothings equivalent, to a New York State of Mind.”
More to come on the New York experience, but I had to put the camera down or be swallowed up lost, so after alot of beeping and dodging the pedestrians we finally got the car parked in a small lot in Flushing NY which is completely Asain American, but it was nice that Citi Field was a ten minute walk for us. We unpacked and headed down there to photograph Citi Field.
Right next to Citi Field is a long stretch of auto repair shops, independently owned, all over, a business that must always bring money here, while waiting at the Citi Field home plate gate there was a huge crash in which a car flipped over, anyway, this is what the auto shops looked like.
I began my usual routine when I visit a new park, walking all the way around to take pics of the architecture of the park.
I noticed first the Mets logo atop the bullpen gates, there was a cool cloud right behind it begging for a picture.
We were lucky to have a beautiful day both days, when I say we my brother Bryan accompanied me for the trip.
Around the entire park the architecture is similar, it is based off of old Ebbets field. It is truly a huge park.
As I approached the home plate gate I noticed a series of famous Mets games depicted on the walkway. I thought the most interesting was the Black Cat Game, a black cat crossed the Cubs dugout, the Mets won, eventually winning the division over the Cubbies, always cursed.
And then it was onto the Shea Stadium big apple, rising each time a home run was hit, it stands as a memory to Shea.
Entering Citi field you emerge into the Jackie Robinson rotunda which was filled with amazing pics. Here is the outside, I will detail the inside with the Jackie Robinson tributes later.
We had a good throwing session, and then prepared to enter for bp, as I was waiting I pulled out a good luck sign. As I was punping gas somewhere between PA and NY I found this ticket of the Fighting Irish vs Michigan game. I felt it would be good luck. The last time I was at a new stadium, Turner Field I found a penny heads up and caught a game time homer. Ballhawks are definitely superstitious too.
On the inside it was a easy run to get into LF seating, and what I saw was welcoming, it felt good to have players that know me warming up, in my bright yellow LETS GO BUCS shirt there would be many toss ups for myself, my bro, Erik Jabs who made the trip for tonite, and the NY ballhawks Zack Hample and Greg Barasch.
I began to take some pics of the Citi field features.
Shea bridge, fiftieth anniversay logo, Pepsi Cola.
A second scoreboard, this the bigger one, closer to my left.
Buds and Cholula.
Josh Edgin made eye contact with me and tossed my first Citi Field ball.
I then switched quickly to Pirates gear to watch their warmup and get some toss ups. Joel Hanrahan tossed me up Ball 2. At the same time in this corner that I was in a ball came flying right at me as I just completed the catch. Joel even gave me a heads up, luckily it didnt hit me, and it stayed put where it landed and I grabbed it for Ball 3. Thanks Joel.
At the end of his warmup I caught Justin Wilson heading off the field for a toss up of Ball 4.
The Fort was up to bat next and I knew he has been raking deep balls to Left Center alot. He came that way but I had to run through one section and cut into another row, a decent catch for Ball 5. Andrew Mccutchen hit a blast over everyones head that just missed hitting the upper deck, I got into a tight scrum with Greg Barasch but was able to come up with it for Ball 6.
I gave this to a young kid who didnt have a glove with his dad in the front. Lately Ive noticed giving balls to kids that they often dont say thank you, expecting it, this kid was ecstatic so I took a pic of him.
With El Toro mashing again in bp I ran over to the small center field section. He hit one right next to the big apple, I quickly hopped the fence and picked it up in the corner of the pic below for Ball 7. I wasnt sure if I could do this or not but I did.
I then saw that dude Herbie Andrade, friendliest coach/player two years in a row coming up. Before the trip I asked him to find me a fiftieth anniversary Mets commemorative ball. He said he would look for one, when I asked him center it sounded like he said yea, but when he threw baseballs to me, my bro, and Erik none of them were commemorative. It was cool even though no commemoratives it was a great day already. Ball 8.
Near then end of bp I had the dirtbag throw me Ball 9.
1 ball away from double digits first time in NY. Thanks Jared
Mets vs Pirates, the last road series which ended up sticking a fork into getting to 500, a 20th straight losing season.
This is where I hope to be next year for the Home run derby for sure, up top in left field.
Into the Jackie Robinson rotunda to take pics after bp. It was beautiful and serves as a reminder of great characteristics to have.
Excellence and Citizenship
Integrity: “A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.”-Jackie Robinson
Trailblazer, Humanitarian, American
Metropolitans logo, I loved this as a kid.
At the very top seat behind home plate.
Manhattan from Flushing, where we would venture the next day and tour the city on foot.
Me at the Shea bridge with a bud, weary from the driving, excitement, and running around for the past two hours.
As a kid I was a huge fan of the Straw Man, and I liked the Doc.
Bryan happened to be sitting in seat 24, Ken Griffey Jr’s number, my all time fav player.
So we didnt get the commemorative baseball, but we got a rally towel with the Mets 50th anniversary on it. And in Pirates gear the woman giving them out, (who was quite nice to the eye) said for us to get one we had to say Lets Go Mets. No problem, we yelled it obnoxiously loud.
It was getting too chilly, and we were both tired. After Ike Davis rose the home run apple for the second time we left for the gates.
Another miserable Pirate loss.
Graffiti on the way home, more to come on graffiti on the next day.
Day 2 would begin early, 6am early, the subway from Queens to Manhattan was close by, we got off to the races. We would need to be back by at least 3pm to the gates.
It was a pretty silent ride.
As we got close to Manhattan I saw a graffiti mural of the Notorious B.IG. from Brooklyn. KID, who is one of the artists who tagged this site was all over NY.
We emerged at this stop.
If youve ever read my blogs, when I go to visit other cities I love taking skyline pictures.
We headed to the Empire State building, past the New York times building.
Every block you pass through has this look to your right and left.
The next landmark we got to see was Madison Square Garden, home of an endless sports history.
A pyramid like building.
And after a left we came upon the Empire State building.
We found our way inside, got 25 dollar tickets to go to the observation deck, and I took a pic of this relief sculpture.
The view at the deck was amazing, so high I could write my name on a cloud, I began taking pics from the route that we took on foot from the subway to the Empire State building.
From there I went in a circle taking pictures from numerous angles.
And lastly the pic of Freedom Tower and Ground Zero, where we would walk to after coming back to ground.
Back on ground, two more cool buildings.
This heart graffiti with what looked like eyes in it was cool, we then walked through a beatiful park as we drew neared to the Freedom Tower and Ground Zero.
Cabs and women, two things that are in overabundance in NY.
More cool and random graffiti.
After much walking and weaving through the mobs of people the Freedom tower came into site.
I came upon a tribute graffiti memorial with praying hands and a rosary, FDNY and NYPD.
A second new tower in process.
First view of Freedom tower.
Another memorial for the FDNY lost on 9/11.
A Firemans memorial.
Two of the new towers together.
Another perspective of the freedom tower alone.
We then came through a small park and saw the footprints of the north and south WTC towers. It was serene, and eerie at the same time.
I saw this and thought how things could be if this were true.
And on the way back a pic of the Empire State from afar.
Justin Tuck, a Giant of a player on a giant advertisement in a Giant city.
Another Giant Advertisement for Borderlands.
We hopped back onto our Subway to Flushing, a lot of walking and we needed to be at the gate soon. It was an awesome day seeing so much, you need to be around for about a week to see it all, that was as much we coulf fit in.
Back to Citi Field
A pic of Greg Barasch, myself, and Zack Hample.
I was unable to get a good run into LF today as the security held me up, but when I got in well after everyone else I had the good eye to find Ball 1.
In Cf an unknown Met player threw me ball 2 near the home run apple.
Along the left field line Jose Tabata hit me up, an unidentifiable player hit me up, and Netherlands native Rick van den Hurk threw me Ball 5.
Ball 6, the final of the day for me was a scrum for an unidentified Pirate player.
Here are the stats for the two day trip.
2 day total-15