NEW YORK — Ding. That subway bell usually isn’t a good thing. It often means that there’s a delay or a problem. Ding.
The driver opens up the microphone as the car slows into the station. The 7 Line train quiets.
“Attention, ladies and gentlemen,” he says, the silence lingering for a moment. “Lets. Go. Mets.”
The riders on the train, most of whom are in Mets gear, start cheering. The doors open, they pour out, on their way to Citi Field for Game 4 of the World Series and people are howling in the subway station.
Spirits are high again in Queens, after the Mets showed signs of life in Game 3 and got their first win against the Kansas City Royals. It’s a 2-1 series now, but the hope is alive.
Thirty minutes earlier, the 7 Line train is so packed you can’t move. There are plenty of Mets fans, but it’s one of those instances where you’re afraid to talk it’s so crowded. One stop after another it gets closer to the stadium and the regular citizens exit and go about their lives. Soon, it’s mostly Mets fans.
Then a guy in a Mets T-shirt says, to no one in particular, “You hear what Syndergaard said after the game?” Of course they did. Everybody heard. He was ready to fight every single Royal he took offense to his high-and-tight fastball to Alcides Escobar.
“That’s legendary,” the guy says.
About 10 feet away, another guy chimes in: “Old school. I love it.”
And now, the 7 Line has awoken. This is fairly tame compared to some of the adventures a person can have among Mets fans on that train, but it’s fun nonetheless. The conversations are flying — well, conversation really, it’s one big conversation involving anybody and everybody who wants to join.
There are two teenagers with gloves, who are pretty excited about Mets pitcher Steven Matz’ prospects in Game 4 against Royals starter Chris Young. There’s a guy in a George Brett jersey who has made friends with two guys in Mets jerseys. And there’s a woman and her husband who flew in from Florida that morning. They made friends with a guy who flew in from Puerto Rico.
“They beat the two Dodgers pitchers,” the woman says. “They can beat Chris Young, c’mon.”
If they do, and if the Mets tie the World Series on Saturday night, that ride home on the 7 Line will make this one look like preschool.
The pre-World Series award ceremony for Saturday was the Hank Aaron Award, which honors the best offensive players in the American League and National League. Not much of a surprise here, as Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals were the winners.
Josh Donaldson was on hand for the ceremony, but Harper was not. He did, however, send a “thank you” video. Coincidentally, these are two players who many expected to be playing in the World Series. The Hank Aaron Award is a nice honor, but it probably won’t make up for the disappointment of not being among the last two teams alive this season.
FAN PHOTOS OF THE GAME
Here are a few of the most interesting fans I saw around Citi FIeld in the hours before Game 4, on Halloween night no less:
1. Ohhhhh yeah, brothers.
2. Yoenis Cespedes, 2-for-13 in the series, might actually need help from these Rally Parakeets.
3. We respect rolling with that large of a costume.
ON THE PIZZA TRAIL
This is my first time in New York City, so much like I did in Kansas City with the barbecue entries, I’ll be dropping some pizza love in this. It seems like there’s a neverending list of pizzas places in this city, and I’m only here for a short time, but I’m trying my best to find great NYC pizza.
On Saturday, I headed to Greenwich Village in search of NYC culture — pizza. I stopped at Joe’s Pizza, which was right off the subway and among the famous pizza haunts in the city. Two things stood out: The pizza was piping hot out of the oven, in a wonderful way. It also had a great crunch and crust, which is what I was hoping for most on my NYC pizza adventure. High quality slice here.
As I walked around the neighborhood, I came across Bleecker Street Pizza, which claimed to be one of the best slices in town and had pretty good reviews to back it up, including some Food Network attention. This one wasn’t as thin and crispy as Joe’s, but it was quite good and actually pretty firm considering a generous helping of toppings. I’d say Joe’s is my favorite so far, but I haven’t had a bad slice.
Next up, Brooklyn.
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