Extra! Extra! – The joy of extra innings
There’s something wonderful about extra innings. I know some people to happily turn off the TV or leave the stadium before the game’s end, proud they’ve made it through 9 brutal innings. Not me. I crave extra innings. It’s extra baseball. For free. It’s free happiness. What could be better?
In extra innings, the game could end at any moment. One swing, one pitch. In the first 9 innings, you don’t ever really know which hit drove in the winning run. It could’ve been in the first inning when you weren’t paying too much attention.
I was young when I first asked my dad how many innings the longest Mets game had ever lasted. Yes, I asked about the longest METS game. Not about the longest baseball game. Kudos, Dad. (25 innings. 1974. Against the Cardinals. Cards won.)
In the summer of 2008 I took my final trip to Shea Stadium to see the Mets take on the Cardinals. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) totally recovered from 2006 and was eager to watch the Mets exact revenge. The game lasted 14 innings and the Mets ultimately lost, but I felt so lucky that my final trip to Shea could last just a little longer.
I remember my junior year of college, sitting down on the couch to watch the Mets v. Cardinals, again. It was April 17, 2010 and I fully expected something phenomenal to happen that day for the Mets. The year before on the same date, Gary Sheffield hit his 500th HR. This time the Mets won. I didn’t move from the couch for the entire game – all 6 hours and 53 minutes of it. My roommates laughed. I laughed. It was comical.
In summary (which is not how any teacher I’ve ever had encouraged me to end a piece of writing), when the Mets play the Cardinals the games will go on forever. Also, extra innings are a blessing…no disguise needed.
Fun extra story: Two years ago, in late May 2011, I had just graduated from college and was spending a few weeks at my parent’s house before moving to Los Angeles. My then boyfriend was in town visiting. It was late and he desperately wanted to go to bed. I demanded he stay awake and watch the Phillies v Reds with me in what finally ended in 19 innings. I guess I’ve solved the “Why did we break up?” mystery.
Also, last night I had a dream the Mets beat the Marlins in extra innings. Final score? Mets 40, Marlins 6.