I’m Edward. And, as you’ll soon learn if you read any further in this blog, I’m a Mets fan. I’m old enough and been at it long enough that my partisan interest has turned to an avocation and eventually to becoming the river on which I sail through my life.
I’ve long since left New York. So long ago, that I hardly recognize it when I return. And even as things come back, some things won’t. The smells are different. The colors are different. The Mets play… somewhere else now. And for a while there, folks were yelling “Woo!” on the fourth beat after “Let’s go, Mets!” What was that about?
Time and distance and experience change your perspective. I still want my team to win. Badly. But, you know, I’ve been around. And everybody wants their team to win badly. And somewhere, even as you read this, somebody’s team is breaking somebody’s heart. Often very good people.
So, you know, as the wise always said, and even the fools start to understand as they get older and championships more elusive (and less fulfilling to those who find them), the destination is the journey itself. And I’ve tried to take joy and meaning and fulfillment from the journey, even as I stumble forward with companions who want to put a bullet between the eyes of Mets management personnel, and a stake through the heart of all who would root for another.
Life is — if you learn nonthing else from this blog — short and brutal, and the reality is that no matter who your team is, 29 other teams (and their fanbases) are bent on defeating them and making you miserable. Defining my happiness within those terms and always dreaming of sticking a boot in everybody else’s face, even as I taste 29 other boots along the way — that just doesn’t seem like the way to pass my limited tours around the sun. Pawning myself in somebody else’s game, that sounds like.
So, yeah, I’m using this blog to celebrate the journey-as-destination, and devoting it to covering those who’ve journeyed with us to the end — their ends, anyhow. Mets personnel famous and obscure, who through their efforts great and small, strove, however briefly, to advance the purpose. Those who gave us wins, those who lent meaning to both the wins and the losses, who brought honor to the cause, or perhaps even who failed to bring much honor at all, but hopefully elevated things anyhow, maybe merely by showing the rest of us the way not go.
We’ll be looking at men and women and mascots who’ve passed from this earth, some decades ago, and sorting through what they left behind — obituaries, monuments, businesses, bridges, foundations, books, families. Some of them even left championships. I don’t know how many championships I’ll see the team win, but ultimately, I know, I’m going where these folks have all gone. And what it’s about is legacy. We’re spinning in circles here. Baseball is all metaphor — a long-running play with a different unscripted ending every night. But the meaning in the play is what we build when the game is over. We’ve got to remember that.
When you’re young, one season is as different from another as night from day. The 1979 Mets and the 1980 Mets were both futile efforts, largely built on the same personnel, but in my memory, were as different as two castles hundreds of miles apart in the same valley. Things blur as you get older. Time gets away from you. Funerals are too frequent. The 2002 Mets and the 2008 team become harder to distinguish. We repeat our cycles and lose track of them. And then you realize it isn’t about glory, because glory in this life is fading and futile, but about getting home together.