The Mets typically are defined by the following: The championships of 1969 and 1986, the letdowns and collapses from 2006 to2008, and maybe the worst of all, the heartbreak of losing the 2000 World Series to the Yankees.
Whether there’s a parade at the Canyon of Heroes at the end of 2015 might not even matter — the season will be remembered as the year that the passion of Mets fans was reignited.
For Amazin’ fans, winning the National League East, ending a nine-year drought, brought a combination of shock and joy.
“I almost cried, because since 2006, everything that the Mets fans have been through, it’s sort of a relief. Finally, finally we did it,” said Ryan Chandler, 21 of Union Beach, N.J.
“It is pure excitement,” said Osvaldo Frias, of Jackson Heights, who has been a Mets fan for 20 years.
“The fandom is like a sleeping giant,” added Danny Abriano, 31, of Dyker Heights, the editor of the Mets blog “Rising Apple.” “The fans always have that passion even when they’re losing, and when we win, it just explodes.”
This year, attendance at Citi Field has boomed after several years characterized by an abundance of empty seats. After 78 home games, attendance rose 17.7%, the third largest increase in the league, according to the Mets media office. Weekend attendance, meanwhile, is up 25.48% for an average of 36,488.
On Friday, the Mets will begin their best-of-five division series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Tickets for the games at Citi Field, beginning on Oct. 12, are a red-hot item. Prices on StubHub start at $145 and reach $10,000. Craigslist, likewise, is filled with pricey ticket offers.
Fans are so desperate to experience the power arms of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and others on the biggest stage, that they’d go to great lengths to score a ticket, some said. “Oh, I’d probably clean their locker room,” joked Michelle Perez of Spanish Harlem.
Mets fever is so strong that even some Yankees fans say they are willing to put aside their rivalry and show some support this October, unless the teams end up playing in a subway series of course.
Jeffrey Wolf, a film editor and Mets fan from the Upper West Side, said he’s seen congratulatory comments from Bronx Bombers supporters, much to his surprise. “A Mets fan would never do that for a Yankees fan,” he noted.
Things looked bleak for the Mets going into the All-Star break, with injuries to key players such as David Wright. Their luck changed in August, however, when they won 20 games.
“Fans thought this was a rebuilding year, but they surprised us,” Abriano said.
The games at Citi Field will be the first postseason action in the ballpark’s seven seasons.
“There was nothing like playoff baseball in Shea Stadium. The stadium shook. It will be different at Citi but you’ll see the same energy,” Abriano said.
Most importantly, no matter what happens, fans can once again wear their Mets gear with pride.
“When they’re struggling and you see Mets fans wear gear, [others] would give them a nod showing that you’re with them and understand what they’re going through. Now it’s celebratory nods,” Abriano said.