Kemp wins trivial pursuit with first Citi Field at bat

As a Mets fan, it is not unlikely that St. John’s outfielder Brian Kemp might one day find himself in a trivia contest with fellow supporters of the Amazins.

They can toss around batting averages, all-time records and playoff results back and forth. But in the end, Kemp will have the end-all trivia question with an answer that is literally right under their nose.
Q: Who had the first at-bat at Citi Field and what was the result?

While his friends will try and remember who led off for the Padres during the Mets’ home opener at Citi Field in 2009, Kemp can simply point at himself and inform the group that, in the stadium’s first-ever at-bat, he flied out to leftfield on a 1-2 pitch.

With all the history that was being made on Sunday, there was a game to play with big repercussions in the Big East conference.

So Kemp, who led off the top of the first because Georgetown was the home team in the series, decided to let the flashbulbs rain down on the first pitch without a swing.

“I couldn’t really hear myself think, but that’s good when it comes to baseball,” Kemp said after the game. “I was taking the first pitch. I decided that [Saturday] night.”

After making the first out, the game was under way for Kemp and the Red Storm. It wasn’t until after the final out when they could reflect on what they just took part in.

“I’ll definitely remember this until the day I die,” Kemp said. “When we walked in for the first time, it was like we were little kids again.”

In the spirit of Major League competition, the Mets fans on the team vied for the first St. John’s hit in their favorite team’s new ballpark. However, the Mets’ archrival beat them to a punch yet again.

First baseman Tim Morris from Villanova, Pa., an admitted Phillies fan, picked up the Storm’s first hit, a single in the top of the second.

Mets fans have suffered horrifying collapses over the past two seasons, largely in part to blown leads from the bullpen. St. John’s suffered a similar fate in the 6-4 loss to the Hoyas.

One of St. John’s relievers on Sunday, naturally, was a Mets fan. But Ryan Cole claims he didn’t hear the ghosts of Shea when he took the mound.

“I’m a big Mets fan,” Cole said. “I’ve pitched in situations before and granted the aura of being in Citi Field, but I don’t think it played a role. The pitcher’s mound is still 60 feet away [from the plate]. It’s still baseball; it doesn’t change anything.”