Six Days Until Opening Day!
Today’s Flashback – 2009 (First Opening Day at Citi Field)
Monday, April 13, 2009 vs San Diego Padres (Game 7 of regular season)
Loss, by score of 6-5, to go 3-4 on the season
41,007 fans were on hand to see the Mets open up their brand new ballpark on Opening Night. Tom Seaver threw out the first pitch to Mike Piazza, the most enormous American flag I’ve ever seen was displayed in the outfield grass, and Padres outfielder Jody Gerut led off the game with a homerun off Mike Pelfrey, becoming the first player to lead off a game with a homer in the first game at a new stadium. David Wright did hit a 3-run bomb to centerfield, but Ryan Church misplayed a flyball and Jose Reyes goofed on the basepaths on the way to a sloppy 6-5 loss.
At transplantedmetsfan.com, I wrote that being at CitiField for the first time “was really cool, yet very very surreal,” although Aramark managed to make me mental with their ineptitude on Opening Night. I had a paper printout instead of an actual ticket stub to prove I was there, but apropos the Mets gave out commemorative ticket stubs to fans who were there.
Six years later CitiField does feel like home, and (along with time) I believe R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana deserve most of the credit for that. R.A. and Johan gave Mets fans indelible memories to associate with Citi Field, so even though David Wright is the captain, and these two pitchers won’t be with the team to start the 2013 campaign, in my opinion CitiField is the house that they built.
photos after the jump