I’ve lived in New York my whole life. Born and raised in South Brooklyn, my father and my uncle made sure I grew up a Mets fan. Growing up a Mets fan in the late 90s was just as exciting as it is right now. Mike Piazza had just arrived and quickly became my favorite player.
Meanwhile, my mother, a die hard Yankee fan, got to see her team collect 4 straight World Series victories. One of those against the Mets in 2000. A year in which my house was very divided but also a ton of fun.
I heard someone tell me once, baseball is always better when the New York teams are in a race for the pennant. I agree, and I can’t remember the last time the race was this exciting for both the Mets and the Yankees. Both teams collected their 6th straight win last night. The Mets hold that sweet second wild card spot just a half a game above the Cardinals and the Yankees have clawed their way back from an all but lost season to find themselves just a game out of the wild card spot behind Detroit and Baltimore.
I have a lot of respect for this Yankee team. Much like I respected the team of the late 90s. They dumped all of their elderly overly paid players and started bringing up some of their young guns. No one could have predicted just how ready Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Tyler Austin would be to help carry this team to the playoffs. I respect it far more than when the yankees would go out and just try and buy the most expensive talented player on the market and try and take credit for the players wild success with their team.
And then of course you have my Mets. My lovable underdogs. They came into this season not so much the underdogs of the NL East but some how managed to return to that status as the injuries continued to pile up. You cannot knock them down. They were down 4-0 in Atlanta last night, a game I figured “well, we had to lose again some time.” But Curtis Granderson got them back in their with a two run blast in the 6th, making it his 4th straight game that he’s homered in. And then of course there was the wild 8th inning rally. Kelly Johnson continues to be the Mets savior off the bench. It was the kind of rally that makes Mets fans everywhere start screaming “Ya Gotta Believe!”
I probably fit the stereotype of a jaded New Yorker. Nothing in this city really shocks me anymore. But September baseball, Mets and Yankees, every year something always manages to take me by surprise. Here’s a wild thought: imagine if some how, this turned into another Subway Series World Series? Forget the Cubs and the Rangers and all your other 80 win teams out there. The Mets and Yankees are hot right now. New York doesn’t quit.