I've been to Citi Field once (my dad claims he took me to Shea Stadium when I was four, but I have no recollection of that whatsoever). Not because of laziness or a busy work schedule or claustrophobia. It's because I have the unfortunate situation of being a Mets fan in Florida, more than 1,000 miles and a plane ride away from Flushing. So maybe I'm a little jealous, but I don't think local Mets fans realize just how lucky they are.
There's a lot to be grateful for in Flushing. There are the obvious things: the history of the team and the rivalries embedded in the dirt, the reputation as a team with generally "good guys," and the perpetual availability of pretty good seats at Citi Field (although that could be considered a completely different issue). But there are also things that people forget that I'm constantly reminded of as I sit on my couch watching a shoddy live stream of the game on my laptop.
I hear a lot of complaints about the 7 line, but, to me, it's a magic carpet ride. I have to drive 40 minutes to Tropicana Field to watch the Tampa Bay Rays play, pay $20 for parking, and then spend half an hour just trying to get out of the parking lot. You can walk a few blocks to your closest subway station, hop on the train and sit back while someone drives you to and from your haven.
Every Friday home game, you can get a free Mets shirt with your ticket. Do you know how hard it is to even find a Mets shirt in Florida? Trust me, it's practically impossible. The only giveaways I've ever gotten at a baseball game were a bandana and a cowbell (which I left at the stadium and never regretted). Given the price of tickets, you could fill a wardrobe with Mets gear cheaper than you could buy a few new shirts for work.
I know they're little things, the promotions and the public transportation, but those little things add up to an experience that I've only been lucky enough to have once. So I'm going to do something for all of you and use this new series, "A Mets Fan in the Sunshine State," to remind you just how special those little things really are.
Know anything you think Mets fans take for granted? Let me know in a comment or on Twitter and you could see your suggestion in an upcoming series post.