The joy of postseason!

The joy of fall baseball is back. My team is not a part of it as the Mets were sidelined with injuries and had a very disappointing season which still affects me as I have been a loyal Mets fan as a kid and I still remember 1969 enjoying the moment with my mom who loved the Mets. We also remember 1986 which was truly incredible! I always enjoy watching postseason baseball even if my team is not playing. My wife is happy as she’s a New York Yankee fan and they got off to a great start beating Minnesota in their first game.

The excitement of a close baseball game during the playoffs is what makes fall baseball so exciting and enjoyable to watch. I look forward to watching the games and I get caught up in it especially if I am supporting a team. Since my wife is a big Yankee fan I will root for them to make it to the fall classic. As to winning it all I still have to think about that! After all I am a Mets fan! I enjoy watching the games with my wife and son during the earlier broadcasts. Matty is a Yankee fan like his mom and I ask him why he likes the Yankees and he says “Daddy, I like the Yankees because they know how to win!” I get a kick out of this because he is right. He is very insightful for a 10 year old as most Asperger’s kids are.

I must say I do enjoy learning and reading of the great Yankee tradition and the heroes of the many different decades of the Yankees. It is amazing reading about Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Micky Mantle, Roger Marris, Whitey Ford, Don Larsen, Yogi Berra, Billy Martin, Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera and all the other great Yankees. I try to teach Matty about the great Yankee teams and the old time ball players who really made the game special. Today’s ball players are so much different and their contracts are unreal. I prefer the baseball of yesteryear as opposed to today because the guys who played in the earlier times were truly amazing and were not pampered. I heard stories where pitchers would usually go the distance quite regularly back in the early days and even pitch into extra innings. Today you’re lucky if you get 6 innings from a pitcher as today the players are pampered more than ever and are paid astronomical salaries. It’s just a totally different game today and with the performance enhancement in the game a lot more disappointing as the purity of the game is questioned more than ever.

Despite all the negatives I still love the game and spending time with my family getting caught up in the excitement as it is a lot of fun especially if your team makes it in the playoffs. Baseball has always been a sport I enjoyed playing and watching and I enjoy taking my son to an occasional baseball game and getting a close up view of the game with him and bonding with him. He got to see Shea stadium and Citifield. In fact we went to the very last game of the season and the very last game played at Shea a year ago when the Mets blew the game and had they won would have forced a one game playoff with Milwaukee. This year the Mets played in their new home but just were a broken team and very hard to watch. It was painful!

I remember some exciting moments from the Mets when they were in the playoffs and though I remember 1969 it seemed like the Mets coasted in the world series against the Orioles and it was quite exciting and probably one of the big sports upsets. The 1986 playoffs against the Astros were very exciting especially seeing match ups against Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott and the 16 inning marathon of game 6 and Jessie Orosco tossing his mitt in the air upon winning and advancing to the World series against the Boston Red Sox. What an incredible World series that was. It was one for the record books. I was and always have been a loyal Mets fan but I really thought the Mets would lose game 6 when they had 2 outs and were down by 2 runs. It was one of the most exciting comebacks I had ever seen and when Mookie Wilson kept fouling those pitches off I was sitting at the edge of my seat with my mom. It was an incredible at bat and then when he hit the dribbler and it got by Buckner I can’t tell you how exciting that moment was seeing Ray Knight come around third base and score the winning run and to think it all started with a single by Gary Carter with 2 outs. It was the most amazing thing I saw aside from the guy who parachuted into the stadium. My sister and her boyfriend were lucky enough to be at the game as they purchased tickets there on a whim and got to see one of the greatest games in Met’s history!

It is nice to know that lessons can be learned from baseball and tradition can be passed down from father to son or mother to son or father to daughter or mother to daughter. Baseball is a family game and it brings out the kid in all of us and the joy of your team’s winning it all stays with you throughout your lifetime and that is why the Fall classic is so special. The joy of watching the games with my wife and son make baseball one of my favorites!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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