By: Belinda Smith

Mets Fans and the Sea of Yellow Compression Sleeves


The first thing that comes to mind is yellow compression sleeves. A sea of yellow compression sleeves, in a full and teeming ballpark, with people losing their minds. It sounded like thunder. Yellow compression sleeves? When the heck did that start? And what the heck is a yellow compression sleeve? And why yellow? And what exactly is a compression sleeve?

The story doesn’t begin and end there. Of course not. The sea of yellow compression sleeves happens somewhere in the middle. After Wilmer proved to us all that there is crying in baseball. And that you can catch a homerun ball with your cap in the Party City Zone. After moments of heart-breaking loss: a twitch from Beltran and a called third strike. A crushing defeat by the Miami Marlins at the hands of Tom Glavine, after blowing a seven game lead with 18 to go. “It’s something that’s going to take a while for us to get over” Glavine was reported as saying.



Which brings me back to all those fluttering yellow compression sleeves.

The Mets fan base, it is argued, is one of the strongest and most loyal in major league baseball. We root for them during the horrific, desperate times and we root for them in those moments of glory, when the stars and planets align and the universe says, in it’s best Matthew McConaughey voice, “All right, all right, all right.” As if it is doing us a favor by bestowing upon us all in Mets Nation, one shining moment, one look from the abyss and into the sunshine. Piazza’s homerun into the dark night in a dark time when the world changed but NYC stood tall and strong. A majestic swing and the arc of a homerun off the bat of a 23 year-old Darryl Strawberry into the night at Busch Stadium in 1985, a year before the stars and planets would align and the universe would shrug once more.

To talk about the Mets is to talk about baseball, which in itself is another conversation. You drive anywhere in this city during the summer when it is warm and blue and perfect and the windows are open and you’ve just forgotten the sound of the snow against your windshield and the crunch of the ice and you will hear a baseball game, the sounds of the game flowing into the breeze. It might be the great and legendary Howie Rose as he reminds us to “put it in the books” or the beloved Bob Murphy before him who told us about a happy recap, but it is all baseball.

And here are my last thoughts about those yellow compression sleeves.

They blind you. They rock you. They stand next to the sea of orange in center field courtesy of the 7 Line Army and they in turn, stand next to a rainbow of orange and blue pinstripes – not those pinstripes, mind you – with names that comfort you like a warm blanket on a cold night: Strawberry. Carter. Hernandez. Piazza. Wright. You smile. We get it. We root, root root for this home team in the rain and snow and we line up for our Syndergaard garden gnomes and Jacob deGrom “Hair We Go” t-shirts and we smile because we know. We get it. We stand for the national anthem at the beginning and for America the Beautiful in the middle and remember all those we have lost and we smile and we sing Piano Man and then we go home. We spill out of the ballpark and to our cars and to the #7 train and when the guy sees my Mets t-shirt and asks me “did we win?” I can smile back and say, “yes, we did.”

About Belinda Smith

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