Going to a baseball game is always a fun event.
The sights, smells, and sounds of attending a major league park are unparalleled to anything else.
But few will disagree that it is more intense and memorable when you attend a game featuring two teams who aren't that far apart from each other geographically, so the visiting's team fans can attend.
Two teams who hate each other on the field and in the stands.
I was lucky enough to have the first Citi Field meeting between the two clubs included in my fifteen game ticket package this year.
We arrive for first pitch, and notice the Phillies fans are vastly outnumbered, even more than usual. In fact, the only Phillies fans anywhere around our section who were noticeable:
-An old man who looked like Charlie Manuel
-A crazy old man wearing a Mike Schmidt jersey
-Two guys around 21, one wearing a Rollins t-shirt, the other wearing a Victorino
-A twelve year old (looked like he was eight) wearing an Utley jersey
The first Phillies fans me and my friends set our sights on are the two younger guys wearing the Rollins and Victorino shirts.
Words were spoken, chants were yelled, etc. The one in the Victorino shirt found it appropriate to point to the "2008 World Series Champions" patch on his Phillies hat every time a Phillie had gotten out and the crowd was giving him a rough time (cool man, your team won LAST season. That's what's the offseason is for, to brag about it. Not now.)
They didn't even seem to care that Santana was easily getting every single Philadelphia batter out, and making them look silly in the process. They just seemed content with the fact that they won the year before, and that the next twenty or so years of failure won't really matter to them.
They were trying to be intimidating, too. Putting their finger up to their lips every time a Met rally was killed or the Phillies got a hit, as if to tell us to be quiet. And the guy in the Victorino shirt stared me down as I walked back up to my seats from getting food, and I had to walk right by him as he was about four rows in front of us.
I knew he was looking at me, so I looked over and said "What's up dude?" very happily and kept walking.
Now on to the little kid in the Utley jersey. I'm not a violent person by any means, but I have never wanted to smack a little kid so bad in my life. He was standing on his seat, yelling obscenities about the Mets, telling Mets fans to "shut up".
I wouldn't of thought he was twelve either. One of my ticket plan accomplices yelled "Sit down, your eight years old!", and the guy next to him said "No, he's twelve." Funny enough, I didn't hear from him, or even see him after the Mets scored that run in the seventh which turned out to be the game winner. Figures.
Not much to say about the crazy guy who looked like Charlie Manuel. He'd turn "Phillies Suck" chants into "Phillies Rule!!!11!!".
He had a little too much to drink, and was hopping around as if he were 15, not 51. But he wasn't talking to anyone in general, so he was relatively left alone. Besides the wisecracks about him looking like the Philadelphia skipper and questioning his late game managing, nothing too newsworthy.
Onto the old man wearing the Mike Schmidt jersey, which may just be my favorite. We'll refer to him as Mike Schmidt, just for the sake of making the story simple He looked to be by himself, and was talking a lot of crap about the past couple seasons.
He was getting into it with a bunch of fans, but mostly this one fan a couple rows behind him. It came to a climax when the Mets fan behind him stood up and yelled "What are you even talking about man, your wearing jean shorts!," which led to a laugh, and then Mike Schmidt continued his drunken ramble, which gained retorts of even more jean shorts comments.
In fact, I am the proud starter of a "jean shorts" chant which took over several sections for a few seconds, which included the culprit, Mr. Schmidt, dancing on the stairs and pulling on his shorts as if to show them off.
He was hammered. Besides the final out, my favorite part of the night.
And as if the game wasn't exciting enough, the walk to the parking lot can be an adventure in itself, especially with Phillies fans roaming about after a loss.
The usual chants were mixed in on the walk down to street level, and Mike Schmidt made an appearance, and just loved to comment on the Mets choking the past couple of seasons. I gave him some advice: Have another drink, and good luck getting home.
That about sums up the experience. But I have to admit, it's fun.
Win or lose, it's a great experience to go to one of these games. I urge anyone who has not been to a Mets-Phillies game in the past two years to go to one, it is awesome.
Arrogant twenty year olds, bratty ten year olds, and drunken old men. Oh, the culture that is the city of Philadelphia. But it's what makes it fun.
Oh, and did I mention the Mets won? Icing on the already delicious cake.