Well baseball fans, here is the third installment of my adventures at Citi Field. We began at the St. John's vs. Georgetown game, followed by the first exhibition game against the Red Sox, and here we culminate with the Official Opening Day at Citi Field. The Mets opened their stadium against the Padres in front of approximately 41,000 fans. Although the Mets lost the game, and saw Padres take many of the firsts, there was an atmosphere before as well as during the game that just seemed surreal. For those of us that walked through the turnstiles yesterday, memories were made that will last for a lifetime. I hope you enjoy these 30 pictures which take you through some of the firsts at Citi Field, and some of the arcahtecture as well. Enjoy!
The other two slide shows were made up mostly of pictures of the outside of the stadium. This is new, it is the entrance to one of the parking lots at Citi Field.
Casey Stengel, Ron Hodges, Tom Seaver, Bill Robinson and Shea align the upper portion of the wall in left field.
David Wright hanging around the cage during batting practice. Little did he know, he would later make history getting the first Mets hit and homerun.
Well, all of the advertisement slots have been filled around the scoreboard which displayed the Opening Day 2009 logo for much of batting practice.
Yes that is the name that has been given to the scoreboard in center field.
Not a bad view considering I was standing in the front row from pretty far out in right.
Daniel Murphy displays his great swing during batting practice. He did hit one down the line that was pretty close to us, however it bounced off the wall and Pedro Feliciano threw it in, instead of to the fans.
The Mets manager having a conversation by second base during batting practice.
Yes that is in fact Frank Robinson standing about five feet away from me.
Despite many attempts by a bunch of us, we all failed to get an autograph, or a picture with him actually looking at us. Regardless, it was nice to see him at the ballpark, along with Gooden, Mayor Bloomberg, Tom Suozzi, and others.
All government representatives were booed quite loudly.
There they are, the starting lineups for the Mets and Padres.
Gary Sheffield was one of only two Mets, Pedro Feliciano the other, to sign any autographs before the game. He was signing after his interview.
We all know who Harry Kalas was and we were all upset at his loss. There was a moment of silence that lasted a good minute before Howie Rose continued on with the pregame ceremonies.
Look, Omar Minya is still the Mets General Manager, whether anyone likes it or not, and he was down by the Mets dugout giving interviews prior to the start of the game.
Representatives from all the major protectors of freedom were at the game and were welcomed with loud applause.
Both teams after they were announced.
The only absentees were the starting pitchers, catchers, and one pitcher by the name of Johan Santana. Don't worry, he had a good excuse, his wife was giving birth to their first son down in Florida.
The outfield in Citi Field is rather large and this flag was enormous, certainly the largest flag I have ever seen.
The National Anthem was performed by the members of West Side Story. God Bless America was performed by Michael Almonte.
As promised, Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza combined for the first ever pitch at Citi Field. Mr. Seaver was warming up in the bullpen before they made their entrance to a roar of applause.
Unfortunately the camera crew was in out way but you can at least the upper part of Seaver as he delivers the first pitch.
Tom Seaver and David Wright have a handshake as Mike Piazza walks toward them.
Everyone was ready to play ball, the umpire was ready, and Jody Gerut had stepped into the box.
There was one problem, the Mets did not have a center fielder. For some reason, Carlos Beltran had gone down into the clubhouse and ran out late for the game.
David Wright is in ready position and Mike Pelfrey delivers the first ever regular season pitch at Citi Field.
It was a strike as it crossed the plate at 7:11 P.M.
I captured frame by frame Mike Pelfrey's delivery as he gave up a solo home run to Jody Gerut on the third pitch of the game.
With this home run, Gerut had the first hit, home run, RBI, and run scored in Citi Field history.
Gerut rounds second base after hitting his home run.
While the crowd was screaming for the person who caught the home run ball to throw it back, David Eckstein laced a single off Pelfrey getting the first base hit in Citi Field history.
Daniel Murphy grounded out in his at bat in the first inning, he actually broke his bat on his swing. It makes him the first player to break their bat in Citi Field history.
I don't want to use a line like that that is associated with the Yankees, but David Wright did hit a double in his first at bat in the bottom of the first. Giving him the first Mets hit in Citi Field.
There was hope for the Mets when Mike Pelfrey seemed to settle in by striking out the Padres catcher in the top of the second inning. This is the first strikeout by a Mets pitcher in Citi Field history.
Of course Mike tore our hearts out by giving up another home run in the second, putting the Mets in a four run hole early.
So not only did he have to hit a home run off of Pelfrey in the first, but then Gerut makes this catch falling into the wall in center, not fait.
I must admit for this picture though, I'm not that good a photographer, and as a result this picture is of the scoreboard replay of the catch.
Gary Sheffield made his first attempt at Citi Field to hit number 500 when he was brought in to pinch hit for Pelfrey. He grounded into a fielders choice.
I know Wright isn't the captain yet but when he hit this three run home run in the bottom of the fifth, everyone was jumping.
All of the jumping is partly why the picture is a little blurry, I too was going nuts.
Wright, Reyes, and Murphy get back to the dugout after Wright's home run.
You know, we are always taught when we are young to catch a fly ball with two hands.
Well Ryan Church forgot that when he dropped a fly ball in the top of the sixth allowing the eventual winning run to reach third base.
Church looks dejected in this picture, taken right after the play occurred. Now we know that he dropped it because he really doesn't know the outfield yet but it was a ball he should have caught.
J.J. Putz throws his first pitch of the night in the top of the eighth.
By this point, the Mets were really missing the upper deck at Shea which used to contain the fans that would still be loud at this point.
Honestly, I was probably one of a hundred people still trying to get the crowd up, it was dead by this point.
K-Rod delivers his first pitch in the top of the ninth.
I hope you have enjoyed all of the photos from the first three games.
I know they were three of the greatest experiences I have ever had in the world of baseball. I Chose these 34 pictures out of the 310 that I took for this game, and if anyone would like to see them, please email me and I will send some of them to you.
I am also working on converting the video I took of the first pitches, and the last out to DVD so that we can see them on the computer.
Please leave comments on whether you like the pictures or not. I am trying to improve myself every time I take them. As I said, I hope you enjoy them and LETS GO METS!