On Monday I posted Day Twelve of my “New York, New York” picture travelogue and hinted that there might be a couple of stories that went along with that part of the day. Yesterday I posted the first of those stories, so why not give you the second one today?
Story The Second
As I mentioned at the end of the post on Monday, we did something we almost never, ever do. We are huge baseball fans and just as a matter of principle and habit we almost never leave a game before the last out. But on that particular day, it had been a long day touring the Intrepid, seeing the Space Shuttle Enterprise, going on that two and a half hour (and then some) tour around Manhattan (I think that they just don’t want to call it a “three-hour tour” for some odd reason), and then enduring the search in the heat and humidity to find a cab. To boot, we were still jet lagged and the game had started about thirty minutes late. When the Diamondbacks scored a run in the top of the eighth to go up 2-0 and the Mets did nothing in the bottom of the eighth, we ditched the ninth inning.
There was another factor, that being our need to find a cab to get back home. Strangers in a strange land, such as we were, and pretty tired and worn out strangers at that.
I had checked with a couple of the ushers at CitiField, who were very helpful about telling us where to find the waiting area for the cabs after the game. I wanted to make sure that we found it without any issues. Given the circumstances, I needed a bit of “easy”, and that vision didn’t involve any long lines and delays.
Out we went, took that last neat picture of the CitiField sign all lit up in the night, and found the line of cabs right where it was supposed to be. No line, no wait, no muss, no fuss. Off we went, back toward Manhattan.
Our driver was chatty and friendly. We learned that he had become a huge Mets fan since moving to the United States and New York City. He had a great grasp of the game and knew his Mets inside and out. Of course, we were listening to the end of the game on the radio as we drove.
Since we hadn’t taken very long at all to get to the cab stand, the game was just getting to the bottom of the ninth inning as we pulled onto the freeway. The Mets were still down 2-0, facing their last chance.
(If you see what’s coming, don’t spoil it for anyone else, okay?)
The Mets got scrappy, getting one guy on with one out when Kelly Johnson hit a home run to tie the game.
See, THIS is why we never leave a game early!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, extenuating circumstances. Tired, long day, jet lagged, blah, blah, blah. Excuse it any way you want, we were still missing all of the excitement.
Remember how I had the picture of “the Big Apple” in the outfield stands and described how it pops up out of its lair when the Mets hit a home run? Remember how I mentioned that we hadn’t seen it pop up? Notice how I didn’t say that it didn’t pop up during our game?
Okay, the game is tied, going to extra innings – and we’ve become totally bogged down in traffic. I don’t know the area so I don’t know the ins and outs and best routes, trusting the cab driver completely, but at some point just past LaGuardia there was a huge backup due to construction on the freeway. We took the first exit to start winding our way through the fine, fine surface streets of Queens. Where there is, of course, even more construction and the midnight traffic jams from hell.
But the ballgame is on, so we’re chatting about it. They go through the tenth. No score. The eleventh. No score.
We finally find our way out of the traffic and onto the entrance to the Queensboro Bridge. (This is now my third trip over the bridge, along with one trip under it earlier in the day, so I’m an old pro and know where I am now.) Listening to the game, we hear Oscar Hernandez lead off the top of the twelfth with a home run to put the Diamondbacks up 3-2. As we get into Manhattan, the Mets fall in the bottom of the twelfth and the game is over.
It’s now pushing midnight, about 23:45, after a long, long day and we’re being dropped off in fairly heavy traffic, across the street from the apartment where we were staying. Which is when I messed up and caused the third story of the day…