There’s a special moment in the life of every baseball fan when he walks up the tunnel and sees the field for the first time.
St. John’s baseball fans had the opportunity to live that moment Sunday as many of them witnessed the first-ever game played at Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets.
“It was exciting,” junior Craig Gilcrease said. “I’m probably never going to be able to see a stadium open ever again.”
While many fans of the Amazins purchased tickets for the historic event for the sole purpose of a great photo opportunity, Johnnies fans donned the red and white and sat through rain and frigid winds in support of their Red Storm baseball team.
“A lot of people were there in their Mets gear, and you can tell there were people there to see the stadium, but there were many more people inside cheering St. John’s on,” freshman Tiffany Marmol said.
One fan, Alexander Garrett, 17, shared a bonding experience with both his family and fellow Mets fans, cheering on a school he said he might attend.
“I got accepted to St. John’s, and they invited me to the game,” Garrett said. “I went with my father and we had a great time. We met so many people in our experiences at Shea and it was good to see many of them yesterday.”
Though St. John’s sold all of its student tickets, plenty of baseball-obsessed students were in attendance. Junior Nick Terrio was seen on the video scoreboard in between innings screaming for his beloved Red Storm with the help of the crowd around him.
“That was awesome,” Terrio said. “I try to get to as many [baseball] games as I can and it’s good that so many fans came.”
Terrio also liked how the stadium’s architects modified the park to correct the shortcomings of the recently departed Shea Stadium, whose ruins could be seen just outside Citi Field.
“Everything is angled so you get a better view of the field from the upper deck,” Terrio said. “Sitting in the upper deck at Shea isn’t as good as it is at Citi field.”
The excitement from St. John’s fans was so great that many of them didn’t even care that the Red Storm lost the game. In fact, Sunday’s game was not just an opportunity for Red Storm fans to see baseball, but to get a sneak peak at where the Mets will be spending half their season in the coming years before season ticketholders get the chance.
One fan wanted a thorough tour of the stadium.
“I had to test the bathrooms out,” freshman Nick Wyant said. “Very modern bathrooms. I liked that.”