During the 2016 baseball season, I managed to break last season’s record of going to 83 games by attending 88 games this season, with 62 of them being played at MCU Park. Along the way, I also went to 5 ballparks I had never been to before.
So, after going through all my scorecards, reading thru the hundreds of innings of baseball I watched this season, I am listing the top 10 memories of the 2016 season.
We have already done most of the list, so we hit the penultimate one, #2: The $4 Road Trip.
When the Eastern League Schedule came out in Fall 2015, I saw that the Binghamton Mets would be home on Wednesday, July 20th 2016 for a 1:05 PM game against the Bowie Baysox (Orioles). This coincided with a NYPL off-day and came two days after my over-night to Hudson Valley.
I checked the bus schedule for MegaBus to Binghamton, which puts riders on CoachUSA. The 8:00 AM bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal arrives in Binghamton an hour before the game and was less than 5 minutes from NYSEG Stadium.
When the MegaBus tickets went on sale in June, I waited until midnight & got the $1 bus ticket each way. With fees, I paid $4 for my bus tickets. As the game got closer, a few other people joined me, including Robert Bloom, Gary Fishbein & Larry Britt.
I was unable to get complimentary tickets from a player, as Jared King, who always left me tickets, had retired. But, as we riding the bus, Pat Sanchez, who went to Binghamton right after the Hudson Valley trip, sent me a message, telling me she got 8 free tickets from us Rainy Lara & Matt Oberste and would leave us 4. Thanks to Pat & Hernan, I did not have to pay for the game.
We arrived in Binghamton, got the game tickets and entered NYSEG Stadium. A few people who greeted us were shocked to hear that we had made the trip from Brooklyn. I purchased a few B-Mets items at the store, caught up with Tucker Nathans, a former Newark Bear who was on Bowie, and even did a video tour of NYSEG stadium for those who had never seen it.
We had seats right to the side of home plate & in the shade. We were lucky as we were blessed with a picture perfect day. For months, I was nervous the trip, plus the Hudson Valley trip, could be ruined because of rain.
As I was awaiting the start of the game, I noticed an old friend of mine Rob Dick, who I used to sit with at Newark Bears games, walking around the stadium. I called him over and he was surprised to see me there. We caught up and he said he was doing a tour of ballparks in the northeast, and was looking for people to join him. After looking at some schedules, we planned trips to Sussex and Tri-City.
As for the game itself, the B-Mets did not let down. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 5th, they put up 7 runs and brought 12 batters to the plate. They would win 8-4 with everyone in the lineup reaching base and all but Met scoring a run in the game.
The game ended at 4:09 PM, which made me relieved we didn’t choose the 4:10 PM return trip. We hung out for a while getting autographs, and still had plenty of time to get back to the bus terminal for the 6:10 PM bus.
A few other things to note:
- The following night, the Cyclones opened a 3-game set with Aberdeen, leading to me seeing 4 straight minor league games between the Orioles & Mets.
- This trip also came during a stretch of games from July 14th to August 2nd, where I had only two days off from attending a baseball game. I also had another stretch of games from August 9th to 19th, where I went to every Cyclones game, plus the NYPL All Star Game.