Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |
My father passed away from Multiple Sclerosis when I was 18 years old.
The Mets were one of our things, arguably our biggest thing. And that's why no matter how dark things may get with this team, it's more than just a game. At least for me. It's a connection back to my father. It's a reminder of all of the good times, talks, and laughs we had together. And it's a happiness that something my father and I loved and shared. I can still treasure that, despite him not being here.
My father was taking me to Shea Stadium from a very young age. We'd sit there, doing the book, and he'd explain to me what was going on. We'd get our hot dogs, our french fries, and ice cream. On extra special days, he'd even let me paint the Mets logo on my face (usually with my mother's eyeliner -- sorry if you're reading this and just finding out, ma).
I was daddy's little girl, and the ballpark was our place.
Needless to say, you can imagine how happy I was when I was just four years old and my dad got special tickets to sit in the Pepsi Porch. The outfield! I had never sat in those fun seats. But, last minute, I came down with a 106 fever. There was no way my mother would let me go to the game, so my father took my eight-month old brother instead.
I spent the entire game sitting directly in front of my tv behind a folding table, since I wanted to get as close to the television as possible to see if I could see my dad. When the game was over and they came home, my dad had bought me a present -- one of those large foam fingers. I quickly put it on and ran around the house screaming 'Let's Go Mets.'
I was in elementary school in the late 90s and early 2000s -- a child with a bedtime. Well, that bedtime went out the window for playoff games, thanks to my dad. Even though I may have been able to go without seeing Kenny Rogers walk in that run.
In 2015 when the Mets made it to the playoffs, I cried. I cried not because of happiness (well, maybe a mix of that as well), but I cried because my dad wasn't there next to me to witness that run. He wasn't there to see the team he loved shock the baseball world, and make it to the playoffs and then the World Series. It just wasn't fair.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss my dad. But his love of the Mets lives inside of me. I'm still able to enjoy something that we used to enjoy together. And that's a beautiful thing.
Baseball is more than a game. I've written about this before and I'll continue to write about it. It's easy when times get ugly to forget about this.
If you're still able to watch games with your dads, cherish those moments. Please don't take them for granted. I would do anything to be able to watch one more game with my dad.
Happy Father's Day, dad. I hope you've found a nice group of Mets fans up there to watch (and scream at) games with. Here's hoping the Mets win for you.