I began this afternoon wondering what was in store for the weekend. My wife let me know she was taking me away – away from the stress, away from my work and away from life. She knew I was in need of a mini-vacation and she surprised me by leaving work early, picking me up at home and hitting the road.
I had no idea where we were ending up, but she said I would dig it and near the end of the ride, she made sure I wore my cap over my eyes. The car was parked and I was told to stay put with my cap in place. My door opened, she helped me get out and led me for a few steps before telling me it was okay to look.
I was standing in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t believe I was here in Cooperstown, the place of baseball heroes. I felt bad for a bit because I knew she wanted more of a sign from me that I was happy, but if she was able to get into my head, she would know I was. I just stared at the entrance, the banners hanging out front with images of Barry Larkin and Ron Santos, and the golden bats and ball adorning the ironwork outside of the second story windows.
We left for a moment to check in to our hotel for the night and quickly came back to the little town here known only for baseball. I made sure I was wearing my newly purchased 1986 Mets Warm-Up jacket from Mitchell and Ness and no cap because I knew I was buying my next one here in Cooperstown.
Going through a couple of stores I was able to find a 1969 Cooperstown Collection Mets royal blue cap. Only one left in my size – 7 7/8. Yep, I have a big head. Anyway, I quickly get the brim rounded a bit, put it on backwards and my wife and I make our way to the Cooperstown Diner for dinner.
Now, the night is already awesome. I’m in Cooperstown with my best friend, I bought a sick new Mets cap and I was in the middle of one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life. I took out my phone, cranked up the MLB app and I noticed the game was in the fifth and Johan was pitching a no-hitter. I let my wife know right away and then we both agreed that no other mentions should be made. Of course I had to bring up the fact that we were in Cooperstown for the first time and wouldn’t it be an amazing coincidence that the Mets would also obtain their first no-hitter in franchise history? She again reminded me that no other words should be uttered about the no-hitter. We left and headed back to the hotel after the sixth, rushing in order to listen to Howie call the rest of the game.
The game is on, windows are open, and the fresh cool air was blowing off of Lake Ostego and into our small little room. Howie Rose’s voice filled the air and nervousness finally set in. The eighth inning had just begun and I was trying not to get too excited. You can’t help but wonder how you will react, how you plan on celebrating, how this could be one of the best nights of your life as a Mets fan. Three outs are made and the Mets are up to bat.
I turned on my Twitter app and started to read all of my fellow Mets fans’ tweets. The excitement was more than building, it was exploding! I love the fan loyalty, there really is no better fan base than ours. Point blank, no question, I dare you to challenge me. The feed wouldn’t stop refreshing but it didn’t matter – it was all Johan.
Howie comes back on the air and you never wanted a Mets inning to end so quickly. I was literally just hoping for three outs – I wanted the top of the ninth to start as soon as possible. The only thing I really remember at this moment was the cheering for Johan as he walked up to bat. They were even louder after he finally struck out and went back to the dugout. Andres Torres quickly made the third out and our dreams were to come true three outs later.
I never thought this day would come. I always hoped to be at the game if and when the first Mets no-hitter was thrown, but being in Cooperstown for the first time and listening to the first Mets no-hitter in history just made this an even more memorable night.
I will never be able to thank my wife enough for one of the best weekends of my life. I will never be able to thank Johan Santana enough for giving us fans the first no-hitter in Mets history. I want to end this post by giving you the final three outs as narrated by Howie Rose. He truly is the best in the game and I feel so fortunate to have him as our announcer. Enjoy and Let’s Go Mets!