Twilight Zone and Tim Tebow? Found in Binghampton NY

You’re traveling through another dimension

Why would you not find Tim Tebow and the Twilight Zone in the same city? If you travel to Binghamton, NY, you will find both. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are a minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets. Tim Tebow, among others, are assigned to this team. Binghampton, NY is the birthplace of Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling. It seems appropriate that the Mets have a Minor League team in the cradle of the Twilight Zone.

Carousel and Bandstand (in the distance) in Recreation Park, Binghampton. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance

Twilight Zone

Rod Serling’s dictaphone.

Carousel in Recreation Park in Binghampton NY. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance”

I’m Talking Tina

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone props

You can spend the morning and afternoon wandering the neighborhood and park where Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone, spent his summers as a youth. There is a museum on Main St. that offers Twilight Zone/Rod Serling exhibits. Binghampton has many TZ attractions worth tracking down. If you wish to continue the Twilight Zone theme in a Metsian way, travel west a couple of miles to NYSEG Stadium. Home of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Mrs. V was very engaged in all aspects of the day. The Twilight Zone/Rod Serling attractions and the ball game seemed to, genuinely, give her enjoyment. (Proof of the existence of the Twilight Zone).

Peter Alonso and Tim Tebow

The player that drew me to the game was Peter Alonso. He is a very promising, highly regarded, first base prospect. They also have a hard throwing right handed pitcher named Gerson Bautista.

Peter Alonso—Binghampton RumblePonies—Just a matter of time before he is in Queens with the Big Club

Gerson Bautista—Seen time already this year with the Mets

Frank Viola—Pitching Coach—Binghampton RumblePonies

Peter Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Both are strong prospects.

But, assuredly, you can’t help but notice Tim Tebow is there as well. Tim Tebow is an athlete I admire. I harbor no thoughts that he will one day be at CitiField. Just glad I had the opportunity to see him play. Tim had a great day with two hits including a opposite field homerun off of a left handed pitcher… (cue the Twilight Zone music). His strength was impressive. Peter Alonso just missed a grand slam with a laser beam that was just foul. He will be in New York in the near future. He can certainly hit and he has a pro demeanor.

“The Road to Queens Runs Through Rumbletown”
Binghampton Rumble Ponies Indoor Training Facility

The Mets minor-league team gave up the lead in the last inning and lost. Their bullpen let them down. In a touch of Twilight Zone cosmic irony….the Mets are very familiar with this method of corporate disappointment. Regardless of the loss, the MVP’s of the day were Tim Tebow and Rod Serling.

Banished to the Twilight Zone of the stadium. “There’s time now….Time enough at last”.

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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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