August 13, 2016 was truly an auspicious day–not only did the Mets win, a rare enough event this Summer for the 2015 National League champions, but they also hosted their first ever LGBTQ night, welcoming the droves of people in the New York metro area who are fans of lavender as much as of blue and orange! Thousands of people queued up to buy commemorative T-shirts, enjoy the free snacks from Wise and the mini-Pride stage, featuring the likes of the Big Apple Corps marching band and fan favorite Martha Wash, with the only precipitation that we saw that evening, as she sang her hit "It's Raining Men," among other songs.
It was as hot as blue blazes, when friends from Brooklyn, Queens and northern New Jersey drove, while some of us hopped the 7 train from Hudson Yards to the penultimate stop, the Willets Point station. Tennis fans know that they can use the same train station to get to Flushing Meadows and Arthur Ashe Stadium and, if you are standing on the correct side, you can see the World's Fair Unisphere ...but Mets fans will take a 180, walk across the platform and into the promenade leading to Citi Field, with its gracious entry way. Here's a tip for those who don't go to ball fields often – if you're hungry, go up a level or two. The lines will be MUCH shorter and the selection is every bit as good! And it’s the same with the restrooms.
Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, NJ's longest-term continually active LGBTQ organization, fielded a team to head out to Citifield for the special night, occupying the Coca Cola Corner and rooting the Mets on for the (eventual) win. Up in the stands, the thunderheads rolled over New Jersey, but the hot winds did little to cool us off. Jacob DeGrom had an auspicious showing for most of the game, but the heat seemed to take the starch out of him very suddenly, and it wasn't until the 11th inning that the Mets pulled out the win, after giving a number of the bullpen a chance to save the game. The game was fun, with Mr. and Ms. Met, the ever-popular Kiss-Cam that included "family" couples, and the salute to a United States Veteran, which they make at every home game, this time honoring Army Staff Sergeant Joshua B. Gravett, who served his first combat tour in 2005 in Afghanistan. As he was honored, the crowd chanted "U! S! A!" again and again and it was a proud moment shared by all of our LGBTQ vets, many of whom had served in silence, as Gravett had to during that first tour. Times, thank goodness, have changed.
There is nothing like being at the ballpark with your besties, and especially when it includes a new adventure like riding the 7 train and descending to and ascending from the bowels of the earth in Manhattan. Care to join us next year for the LGBTQ night? Give me a call, we'll go there together! We'll have a hot time when we meet the Mets again!