Wilmer

Wilmer is usually the last one “Home”

Twilight Zone and Wilmer

My DVR contains two constants. Twilight Zone episodes and “Five Days in Flushing”. (Link is to a promo). One could reasonably suggest that Five Days in Flushing IS a Twilight Zone episode. For those of us who lived those “Five Days”, the experience seemed otherworldly. Those few days, without question, are embedded in every Mets fans psyche. We saw the impossible turn possible.  Central to the plot of “Five Days in Flushing”, is our protagonist, Wilmer Flores. After Wilmer’s heroics on July 31, 2015, game one against the Nationals, we heard Ron Darling say “this is one of the greatest things I have ever seen happen”.

We love this young man because he showed us why we watch baseball. Specifically, New York Mets baseball. From utter and complete despair 48 hours earlier to joyous redemption and glorious victory. I still love the moment when Daniel Murphy hugged Wilmer after his blast into the Flushing night. The story is Twilight Zone esque.

Wilmer

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen–Wilmer’s walkoff against the Nats on July 31, 2105. Cardboard memory.

Wilmer

Back of 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen

Resume of heroics

He has been in our consciousness since 2011 or so. He was called up in 2013 as a highly touted 21-year-old. We have watched him grow up and mature in a number of ways. Hard to believe he is still only 26. He is likable and seems approachable. When he launched his game-winning home run on Sunday, April 15 against the Brewers, it was extremely cold, bitter, and windy. When interviewed after the home run, he told SNY’s Steve Gelbs that it was so cold, he thought it was time to go home. That was Wilmer’s third walk off home run in his career. He has had other walk off hits as well. This ballplayer is one of the fellows you want up when the game is on the line. He is a bulldog and he is a winner. If this team is destined to play into deep October, as they appear to be, Wilmer will be prominent contributor.

Walkoff Homers

Below are links to Wilmer’s three walk-off homers. He is a special Met and an exceptional man. We are blessed that we get to watch him play for the New York Mets….but you already knew that.

July 31, 2015 against the Washinton Nationals. If you are having a bad day….watch this.

July 22, 2017 against the Oakland Athletics.

April 15, 2018 against the Milwaukee Brewers. His most recent walk-off.

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Dirt Ball Read

Dirt Ball Reads and a Fast Start

What they left behind. What they brought with them.

As the New York Mets packed their belongings and headed north at the conclusion of spring training, they brought with them at .357 winning percentage for their efforts. But you know what? They really didn’t bring that home with them. The fans uneasiness and that winning percentage were all left behind in Port St. Lucie. What they brought with them was excitement, determination, grit, and dirt ball reads. We all knew that it would be a moral victory to come north with the fellow’s health, essentially, intact. Last year we left many players behind and many more would later join them in the Ray Ramirez medical abyss. In late March 2018, the Mets I-95 caravan brought back to New York…..HOPE.

“The Magic is Back”….maybe

In 2018, we have been given the joy of watching ball players hustle on the base paths, pitchers being asked to go that extra batter or two, and we’ve come to acknowledge the phrase “that’s championship baseball”. They have played in miserable weather conditions and came out unscathed and victorious. The New York Mets rookie manager, Mickey Callaway, has brought a culture and managerial style that is exuberantly refreshing with results speaking for themselves.

Dirt Ball Read

The Mets Rookie Manager, Mickey Callaway, has pushed all the right buttons in 2018.

Met fans live on the razors edge of emotions every day and night. A fast, sprinters start was necessary to erase the gore of last season. I concede that it has been a small sample size, however, it is what we have to work with and I’ll take it. It’s simply feels different this year. Dare I fantasize that as injuries occur, and they will, this team will be able to absorb them. Time will tell. This team is exhibiting traits we have not seen in a while. We have been used to them lacking speed and they still do…but…what we are seeing is smart and opportunistic base running. The results to this point have been a purely TEAM effort and we are the beneficiaries.

Dirt Ball Read

A-Gon going deep with a Grand Slam against the Nationals. 4/08/2018

The Mets are not riding one or two hot players. The guys are getting their “dirt ball reads” and elevating it to “championship baseball habits”. We all love a little salt and pepper on our steak. So far so good.

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2018 Opening Day

Play Ball! 2018 MLB Opening Day is upon us!

The 2018 Opening Day is here and none to soon.

Opening Day for the 2018 Major League Baseball season has drawn very close. In a couple of days the boys of summer will resume the game we have missed for so many months. Never, in recent memory, has opening day been so anticipated in terms of diversion. We have been inundated, bombarded, and bludgeoned with socio-political viewpoints, headlines, and rhetoric. It’s time to “play ball!” Fandom can heal a multitude of animosity’s. Let’s get it going!

A couple of items I wanted to share include a link to Major-League Baseball’s list of schedules for every major league team. Baseball fans love schedules. Have at it. Also wanted to share Uni Watch’s 2018 uniform preview. Lots of fascinating information about what to expect in terms of uniforms for the coming season. There are numerous subtle and not so subtle changes to many uniforms for the 2018 season. The Philadelphia Phillies will be sporting the 70’s-80’s powder blues at times this season. I bookmark Uni Watch and refer to it constantly. Uniform junkies will certainly enjoy Uni Watch. It is a tremendous resource.

Interesting Info

For the foodie in all of us…here is a link to 29 recipes for ballpark food at home. Don’t forget to spread newspapers on the floor if you are discarding your peanut shells on the living room floor. (Mrs V. allows peanut eating over the kitchen sink…only…or outside).

MLB.com shares some of the most memorable opening days in baseball history.

Lastly, the 2018 MLB Little League Classic will be held August 19, 2018 at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport Pennsylvania. It will feature the Philadelphia Phillies taking on the New York Mets. (The ballpark is about 3 1/2 miles from where I live).

2018 Opening Day

2018 MLB Little League Baseball Classic

The City of Williamsport will be at the center of the baseball world as the 2018 Little League World Series and the MLB Little League Baseball classic take place in mid August.

As we head into the baseball season, enjoy it as much as you can. You have earned it.

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