NY Sports Day

Schwartz: Tale of the Ticket-“Trains, Boats, and Two Ballparks”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Peter Schwartz has been going through his collection of ticket stubs from games and other events.  This is one in a series about some of the games and events that have an interesting story.

When people see a photograph of my wife Sheryl and I along with our sons Bradley and Jared that was taken in Cooperstown this past summer, the usual response is “how did that happen?”

“That” is the fact that Sheryl and the boys are wearing Mets gear while I’m wearing a Yankees hat and t-shirt.  That’s basically a story for another day, but the Cliffs Notes version is that Sheryl and I made an arrangement before our older son Bradley was born so yada, yada, yada…Bradley and Jared are with mom as Mets fans.

I always joke with people that it’s a good thing that Sheryl and I weren’t together when the Yankees and Mets clashed in the 2000 World Series because that might have been a difficult and awkward couple of weeks.  I obviously would have been the happy camper after that series, but she’s had her fun with me too like when I came home from covering the weekend subway series in 2004 after the Mets had finished off a three-game sweep of the Yankees.  When I arrived home to our apartment, I was greeted with a broomstick up against the door with a Mets hat on top and a Yankees hat on the floor.

Very funny.  Now let’s go watch Mike Piazza fly out to end the 2000 Fall Classic.  No, I’m not really that vindictive.  I smiled about it and she deserved to rub it in to me. 

We’ve had a lot of fun moments going to Yankees/Mets games so let’s rewind to a really memorable day and week 17 years ago.

On June 21st, 2003, I was at Shea Stadium with Sheryl (we were dating at the time) and her parents to see the middle game of the Flushing round of the Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees.  Ty Wiggington homered in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring the Mets within a run cutting the Yankees’ lead to 4-3.  That’s when the skies opened and the rain came pouring down at Shea.

After a rain delay, the game was postponed and rescheduled for the following Saturday night as part of a two-stadium day/night doubleheader with the first game in the afternoon at Yankee Stadium and the 2nd game at night in Flushing.  Sheryl and I had tickets for the Yankee Stadium game the following Saturday, so my thought was that it might be too much to do both games in one day.  So, on the way out of Shea, I told her I’ll see if I can sell the tickets for the game in the Bronx.

“Don’t do that,” she screamed at me.  “Let’s go to both games.”

Well, alrighty then!  If she wants to go to both games, then we’ll go to both games!  I had actually already done the two-stadium, one-day thing between the Mets and Yankees in 2000 so I was excited to do it again, this time with Sheryl and for the night game, her parents as well.  As you can tell, I made a smart choice marrying this girl a little over a year later.

Since my future in-laws Gail and Larry were only going with us to the night game at Shea, Sheryl and I needed a plan to get us from Long Island to the Bronx for the day game, then from the Bronx to Flushing to meet her parents at the night game, and then to get home to Long Island from Shea.  My in-laws were going to drive to the night game at Shea, but what we had to figure out was how Sheryl and I would get from Long Island to Yankee Stadium to Shea Stadium and back home in an efficient manner but also not utilizing multiple cars for transportation.

So, we came up with a plan and a story that we’re still sharing with friends and family all these years later.

I had always read and heard about the boat service to Yankee Stadium so I booked two round-trip tickets on the Yankee Clipper from South Street Seaport to and from Yankee Stadium.  After I shared that news with Sheryl, she asked her parents to drive us to the Long Island Rail Road Station so that we could take the train to New York City and then transfer to a subway that would take us to the South Street Seaport.

The weather was great and the boat ride to the Bronx was an amazing experience.  The afternoon was even better for me as the Yankees crushed the Mets 7-1.   After the game, we walked back to the dock to take the boat back to the South Street Seaport.  Sheryl and I then changed to reflect the upcoming switch in venues.  I switched to my Yankees road grey jersey while Sheryl switched into her home white Mets jersey.

We hopped on the subway and switched at Times Square for the 7 line to Shea where we met Sheryl’s parents at the seats.   The momentum from the Yankees’ game one win carried over into game two when Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter led off the top of the first with back to back homers.  As Jeter was rounding the bases and I began to sit down after cheering, I looked over to Sheryl who clearly was not happy.

“Oh…again?,” or something to that effect said Sheryl as the roar of the Yankee fans bellowed through Shea Stadium.

You know what?  I almost felt bad for her!  I know…I’m mean but I had to sweat it out at the end.  The Yankees held on for a 9-8 win to sweep the day-night doubleheader and then we drove home to Long Island with my future in-laws.  On the field, I had the upper hand over Sheryl that day, but all in all it was a fun and historic day for both of us.  It was quite an adventure with all of the travel, but we pulled it off.

By the way, the next day the Yankees finished off a six-game sweep of the 2003 Subway Series.  I thought I would just add that in. 

There aren’t many interleague series that have the juice of the Yankees/Mets Subway Series.  To me, its always electrifying.  Did the 2000 World Series take some of the luster off of the regular season games?  Maybe a little, but I think it’s a great event each year and I hope that we can make it to one of those games as a family sometime soon.

It’s one thing to watch one of those games in person with the emotions of two people running high.  I can’t wait to see what it’s like with two more joining the fun making it three against one in the rooting department. 


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