Well, actually, based on her W2 vs. mine, I guess technically, she took me.
But seeing my beloved Cardinals play in person was a prerequisite to our moving to Manhattan, so the moment the Redbirds nested in town, we hopped the 7 Train (how NYC does that sound!) and headed for Queens.
And as for Citi Field, the brand spanking new home of the Mets? Yep. It’s the real deal. A truly tremendous facility, at least as far as these senses are concerned. Stocked to the sky with all the state-of-the-art amenities, it is somehow still intimate enough for even fans of the visitors, to feel at home. Certainly, the concession prices are outrageous, but that’s to be expected. And as my friend Lance – a Met fan from my building – says:
“You think ‘dats bad. Wait’ll you go to the new Yankee Stadium. Fuhgetaboutit!”
And only in Flushing, NY can you see as many yamulkes covering keppies as ballcaps. It’s somehow a seemless symmetry between synagogue and a spicy sausages sandwich, a place where Manischewitz mingles marvelously with Miller Lite. And speaking of game-day garb, at exactly what age should you be required to leave your glove, at home? Only a few rows to our left sat a man in his 30’s, dressed from head-to-toe, in full Met regalia, and wearing his mitt. Bro, you didn’t catch anything in Little League, you’re not catching anything tonight.
Courtesy of StubHub, the New York Stock Exchange of game tickets, we found ourselves a very comfy, pro-Cards section along the left-field line. Blending in amongst the rest of the red, so pleasant was the atmosphere that it wasn’t until about the 3rd inning that I realized the Redbirds only had 2 hits, as New York starter Tim Redding was easily out-dueling Cardinal hurler Todd Wellemeyer. But things soon turned, as Ryan Ludwick’s 6th inning homer to left, had Erin and I high-fiving and fist-bumping our fellow crimson-clad compadres, and the Birds were back in the ballgame. Even a few sprinkle spots failed to dampen the spirits, though Erin did duck out momentarily to head for cover, washing away our shot to make the Kiss-Cam.
But that’s just Ernest bein’ Ernest. She is what she is, does what she does, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna question her. I learned that years ago. When she has thoughts, she share’s ’em. And when she has inquiries, she makes ’em. Like in the 5th inning, when the beer man came by slingin’ Heineken’s and Beck’s, leading to this exchange:
Mrs. Kurtz: “How is Beck’s? I’ve never had one. I generally stay in the Pale Ale family.”
Professor Pour: “I don’t know ma’am, but I can tell you the beer is exceptionally cold tonight”.
And there ya have it.
As for other chilled entities, Brendan Ryan’s frozen rope over the wall to lead-off the 8th left my hands red and sore, and nothin’ ever felt so good. St. Louis had pulled within a run, and 3 batters later Albert Pujols stepped to the dish with a man on, leaving the Cards within a swing of their first lead on the night. But alas, even The Machine breaks down on occasion, as Fat Albert grounded into a lightweight, 1-6-3, inning-ending double play.
The Mets pushed across an insurance run in their half of the 8th, and St. Louis would never threaten again, as K-Rod came in to work a textbook 1-2-3 9th.
And so it goes. 6-4, the final.
But it will take much more than a 2-run loss to ruffle this Cardinal fans feathers. Yes, the Mets were the Kings of Queens in this one. But just being at the ballpark, is a crowning moment all its own.