A Twist of Fate
How a Yankee Fan Gets a Homerun at The "Wright" Moment
by Matthew Orso
Yankee Fans have certain obligations to the baseball community. When the Yankees score a run, fans (like the bleacher creatures) are obligated to cheer their heads off. When the other team hit a home run and you catch it, the Yankee Fan is encouraged to throw it back. However when the Yankee fan is brought into the twisted and abnormal world of the New York Mets at Citi Field, there will always be a weird moment or two. This is exactly what happened I attended the Mets game on October 2nd 2010 where I was at the “Wright” moment at the “Wright” time.
The home of the Mets, Citi Field is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the game. My brother and I went on the lower level for batting practice. All we could see was the open field with the players preparing for the game. Even though both the Nationals and the Mets were not playing for a playoff berth, professional pride was on the line in Queens. The Mets had just announced the release of their Manger Jerry Manuel and General Manager Omar Minaya effective at the end of season. The Nationals were on a run of never finishing a season above the .500 mark. Baseball looked bleak to both cities yet at the same time the players were battling with an ardent will to win.
We had seats in the first row of section 136. The view was absolutely spectacular. It was as if we were on the field itself. When Mets pitcher Raul Valdes struck out the first two batters of the game, you could tell the Mets fans were into the game. The cheers were so loud that the stadium shook. Mets fans seem to be some of the more passionate fans in the game due to their ability to stay faithful even when the season is over. Looking at the Yankees from the late 1980’s there were nowhere near the amount of fans that there were at Citi Field.
Anyway, the Mets quickly took a 2-0 and Valdes was in complete control. He was racking up the strikeouts and everything appeared to be in order. Yet as a fan of the Yankees, the score of the Mets game did not concern me. What did concern me was the prospect of catching my first home run ball. I don’t get to many games, but these seats that we got were the best seats I’ve ever had at a Major league game.
The Nationals and Mets were tied at 2-2 in the 7th inning. There hadn’t been a home run that close to my area all game. I was starting to lose hope when I realized that David Wright had just stepped up to the plate. Wright had 28 home runs and 100 RBIS at that point and I knew that he would be the best shot I had to get a home run. He fouled off a couple of pitches and my hope dwindled. It went down even further when Wright was brushed back by a pitch that almost hit his head. For a split second, I thought he was hit, but he wasn’t. There was still hope and I remember telling my brother, who was texting on his cell phone to be ready.
At the next possible moment I saw David Wright swing and there was a high fly ball hit deep to left field. It went over my head and bounced off the upper deck. The distance was estimated at 430 feet. I thought there was no way that I could obtain the ball when I see out of the corner of my eye; my Uncle whom we took to the game had caught the ball off the carom. Literally two seconds the baseball was in my hands. My Uncle handed it to me and my brother knowing it was our first Mets game.
My brother and I were speechless. Actually we were screaming at the top of our lungs. We couldn’t believe the David Wright home run was really in our hands. For that day only, my Yankee fandom could be questioned. I was literally thinking how great it was to be at Citi Field and to be rooting for the Mets. Obtaining a Major League home run will do some pretty amazing things to you. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a Yankee fan, but my passion for the game of baseball overcame my love for the Yankees. For a split second nothing else in life seemed to matter; it was as if my love for the game was more important than everything else.
The Mets would go on to win the game 7-2, their last win for the 2010 season and Jerry Manuel’s last win as Mets’ manager. My brother and I both agreed that this game would be something we never forget. We were just at the “Wright” place at the “Wright” time.
Epilogue: (I just wanted to say Thank You to my Uncle Alfredo, without whom this article would not be possible!).