Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Once in a Lifetime

A year ago, somewhere out in the webosphere, whether it be Facebook or twitter or to an email chain, I said congratulations to the Giants on winning that Orange and Blue World Series, and said here's to Orange and Blue being only on ONE side of the equation next year.

Though the same blue on the American League side of things is still Royal, the marriage of Orange and Blue is only happening on the National League side in the form of their Metropolitan Baseball Club.

And let's be glad there's no red anywhere to be found.

I just bought a place today. Closed on it and everything. A one-bedroom in East Flatbush. The main reason I was able to do this is because I had a grandpa who worked for Buena Vista Distribution, loved his grandchildren, and got them some Disney stock when they were born. That stuff just opened up some once I turned 30. 

The apartment is a couple blocks from Holy Cross Cemetery, which was another inadvertent move on my part to near a Brooklyn Dodgers landmark, the other couple times in my life just bringing me to near the land of Ebbets Field. This time, however, it's not just a Dodgers connection, but the final resting place of the greatest manager the Mets have ever had, Gil Hodges. I took one more look at the apartment today early before the scheduled closing time, and naturally, knew I had to go see his grave. On a day like today, it only made sense.

My realtor, who is a Mets fan as well, walked over with me to take a look. Having directions from the Brooklyn Trolley Blogger Mike Lecolant ("Go in the main gate on Brooklyn Ave. It's just off to the left....not far from the perimeter gate at all.  Obviously, look for the only headstone with pebbles on top of it") we ventured forward. Right after we walked in, a sanitation worker in a regular car drove through the gate. When he got out of the car, I asked, "Do you know where Gil Hodges' plot is?" "No, I didn't even know he was in here till now. Great jacket, by the way." "Thanks." We headed off and soon found out that it was as easy to find as Mike said; A shiny Orange tombstone with a faded Brooklyn Dodgers hat on top being held down by one of those stones Mike was talking about. It was a bittersweet moment; Gil died much too soon at age 49. 

The sanitation worker came over to take a look, and it turns out his name is Andrew and he's a huge Mets fan, as can be seen by his Instagram. He's friends with Darren Meenan of the 7 Line as well as Keith Blacknick of Mets Police, and he also knows a Mets pin guy, who had recently sold him a few. He offered to give each of us a Mets pin, since he had already purchased them anyway. We graciously accepted, as I yielded a full Mets logo for this Mets logo on a city shield. I had recently read about World Series press pins, and so I felt as if I had just been handed my very own World Series pin. Thanks, Andrew, and as you said, serendipitous indeed.

(I also got a real kick from these Delgado and O'Shea tombstones next to each other.)

I did not leave anything on top of the tombstone, as I later thought I maybe should have done, to pay respects as well as add a little Metsian flare with the Brooklyn hat the only item. I thought later on, I should have left the Mets pin, but in the moment, it didn't feel like the thing to do. Adding an extra Mets badge to my Mets jacket felt right after I had been presented with a gift. I have thought that when I get another chance, I'll go leave a Mets Orange rally towel, and a part of me wishes I already had before game 1. But I've also said my superstition this year is that there are no superstitions. I think the visit alone on the day I closed on my first owned property in Brooklyn on the day the Mets play their first World Series game in the history of my full-on Mets fandom that is also the day 29 years ago they won their 2nd World Series is omen enough. 

I sure hope so, 'cause these last few days have me on such a surreal high that I want it to continue with the Mets truly adding the cherry on top. 

3 is a good number.
Let us make it so.

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