There's a face behind every cheer. While the sea of orange and blue unites as one until the last pitch, everyone has lives outside of the ballpark confines. T7LA has brought together thousands of like minded fans since 2012, but baseball isn't our only purpose in life. Obviously, everyone needs a way to fund their fandom. We do have some retirees in the crew, but at least 9 out of every 10 fans has a day job. What is it? What do you do? How did you become a Mets fan? What are you hobbies? Who are you?
Here’s our chance to get to know each other a little better. We want to showcase the variety of people who cheer with us—accountants, artists, teachers, nurses, lawyers, court officers, students, entrepreneurs, soldiers. Kind of amazing in itself. We can’t wait to learn more about your Mets experiences and your life outside the game.
To submit your story, read THIS. Each week until April we'll pick a different fan to highlight.
Next up is Bianca from Astoria. We met "B" a few years ago through our old calendar girls search, and she has become an integral part of T7LA ever since. Not knocking any of the other ladies who graced our pages from 2011-2014, they did a great job repping the brand and we are forever thankful, but most of them fizzled out or rarely hit games. That was part of the reason we got rid of the "Calendar Girls" format. That isn't "US". US is T7LA and we're happy that B stuck around. She is too. LGM!
NAME: Bianca Saltaformaggio…but everyone usually just calls me B. @Bink_a_boo
RESIDE: Astoria, NY
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING? I'm a Production Coordinator for Larusa Entertainment, a company that specializes in cirque style specialty acts for corporate events, half-time shows, and full length theater productions. I also bartend occasionally at a Modern Mexican joint on the Upper East Side.
ANY INTERESTING HOBBIES? Being a Mets fan is pretty much a full time hobby at times, but I definitely keep busy with other interests. I am obsessed with traveling. Love going to new places, seeing things I’ve never seen, doing things I’ve never done, eating things I’ve never eaten…you get the picture. Some highlights of this year alone was road tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway with a fellow T7LA member before the San Diego outing, going all over the east coast of Australia, Nashville, Sedona, AZ and now getting super excited to visit Iceland in December. Something else a lot of people don’t know about me is that I was a professional dancer for 10 years. Dancing has been a passion of mine since I was 3 years old. After getting a BA in Dance in college, I worked professionally doing regional musical theater. Danced in modern and jazz companies in NYC and traveled with the circus as a dancer and dance captain, nationally and internationally, for 6 years (true story). I’ve also been studying nutrition and have become certified to help others achieve and maintain optimal health through food and exercise. This is something that is really important to me and I find very interesting. Other than that, I enjoy trying out new cocktail bars and restaurants whenever I can. I LOVE to experience new foods and don’t particularly like using the word “foodie” but yea, food is a big part of my life which sometimes collides with my nutrition life. Everything in moderation right?
HOW DID YOU BECOME A METS FAN? WHAT YEAR? I became a Mets fan because that’s what my big brother was. Growing up, you could say I wasn’t the most “sporty” kid. I was the one trying to get out of gym class because again, I was a little ballerina. However, baseball was the only sport I enjoyed watching, mainly because it was the only game I understood all the rules to. I have fond memories of being little, just sitting on the couch with my grandma and brother cheering (mostly yelling) and watching the Mets. It was probably around 2004 when I turned it into a real passion and started following players, stats and watching the games nightly. There was no turning back from then on, I was hooked. I was a Mets fan because of me and not just for my brother. Side note: My parents were actually going to buy a house in Flushing before settling on the house I grew up in on Long Island, so part of me also believes I was always destined to be a Mets fan.
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT T7LA? In 2012, my friend Chris was telling me about a company that sold fun t-shirts based on the Mets and that the owner bought a bunch of tickets to sell as a group outing. I didn’t get the outing part. Why would anyone front that much money without the guarantee of them selling? Wasn’t it just a t-shirt company? Well, the tickets sold out multiple times and I missed out. I was at that RA Dickey game, sitting right across from what was the birth of T7LA, and remember thinking to myself, “Whoa! I need to be sitting with them!” The energy, the cheering, the sense of togetherness was overwhelming. I was always a loud spectator at games and somehow always felt like I was in the quiet sections. T7LA seemed to be people just like me, where I didn’t have to be embarrassed to scream my head off with the fear of pissing someone off near me for being too loud. The following year I made it to a few outings, made it into T7L calendar (more on that later), and the rest is history.
WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST TIME CHEERING WITH T7LA? Subway Series game at Citi Field, Memorial Day weekend in 2013.
HOW MANY OUTINGS HAVE YOU HIT IN TOTAL? Oh man, well after counting all my outing tees + making it to all the post season games minus one last year + all the home games this year from being a T7LA season ticket holder, minus 2 games, the total = 45 outings including both home and away. #math
WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK? The people. Plain and simple. I'd never go to as many games as I do if I didn’t care about the friendships, which later became family members, I’ve made through The 7 Line. These people have impacted my life in a bigger way that extends past a baseball game. It’s rare to be in your 30’s and make new friends that you know will be in your life forever. From the youngest of kids to the oldest of fans, I cherish the relationships I’ve made with them and those I have not even made yet. Also, it’s just a lot of fun…
ANY AWAY GAMES YET WITH T7LA? WHERE? Been to quite a few: Philly, Miami, Baltimore, Colorado, San Diego, Washington DC, a bunch of Bronx Invasion games, and even though it may not be considered an outing, I was able to make it to the Cooperstown/overnight camping at Ommegang Brewery trip. I’m looking most forward to Seattle next year!
FAVORITE OUTING MEMORY? There are really too many because in every outing there is always even the littlest of things that makes it memorable. But, obviously witnessing Colon’s first career home run is up there, especially after we flooded the streets of San Diego walking from McFadden’s to Petco Park. I think watching Piazza’s number being retired was really something else. Retired numbers are few and far between for the Mets, so being able to see that with T7LA was pretty amazing. Something else that sticks out in my mind was game 3 of the NLDS last year. After Utley broke Tejada’s leg in Game 2, the whole Army showed up with signs that said “Win For Ruben.” That moment when Chase Utley comes up to his first at bat and 859 people hold up that sheet of paper with Tejada’s face on it was nothing short of powerful. It’s that sense of pride and unity that makes T7LA truly special. But above all the memories that were made, a girl can never forget her first time being hoisted up on Andrew Indart’s shoulders after a Mets win.
FAVORITE ALL TIME MET PLAYER? David Wright. The guy is just the epitome of a great American athlete off and on the field. Regardless of the injuries in the past few years, his love and loyalty to the Mets and the city of New York is completely admirable.
SHEA OR CITI? Things I liked/miss about Shea: The fact that each level had a different color seat. It was easy to find your friends and know exactly where they were sitting. “Hey man, where you sitting today?” “I’m in the green section.” “Oh that’s cool, I’m in the blue.” Was I the only one that did this? Anyways, also the fact that you could sit in the bleachers for free on Wednesdays with a Pepsi can. Did that quite a bit in college.
But if I had to pick, it’s got to be Citi Field primarily because of the food! We have the best damn food in any stadium. From the Spicy Fuku Chicken Sandwich, to the Pig Guy, to the different flavor risotto balls in the Promenade Club, to the Pressed grilled cheese paninis, you will never be disappointed. But if you haven’t tried the awesomeness that is the 108 Burger at Keith’s Grill yet…GO…like, that should be your first stop Opening Day, trust me! Again, I like food.
HAVE A BASEBALL BUCKET LIST? WHAT'S ON TOP OF IT? Pretty generic answers, but I would obviously like to witness a Mets World Series win since I was two in ’86 and don’t remember it. I'd like to visit all the major league stadiums, which The 7 Line Army has been helping with, and I'd really like to catch a ball. Not a ball that drops on the ground and you have to fight over….a real ball in the air which then lands in my hands. Major bonus if it’s a game winning HR ball or something like that.
LIKE ANY SPORTS BESIDES BASEBALL? WHAT TEAMS? Nothing compares to the love affair I have with baseball, but I do also like the NY Giants and can get really fired up when they play. Football games are always electrically charged and I obviously love that intensity. For a few seasons in a row, my friends and I actually made it out to all different sports bars around the city to watch each of the games. We called it “Spreadsheet Sunday” because we listed all the games, what bars we would watch them at, and their food and drink specials on an Excel document. It was a fun way to let other friends know exactly where we would be on any given Sunday. In person, I go to at least one game a year especially when my friend does his MASSIVE tailgate party.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANNA ADD? I definitely want to touch upon how being one of The 7 Line Calendar Girls led me to become so involved with T7LA. Back in summer of 2013, after shaking off some nerves and finally submitting photos of myself to be chosen for the 2014 calendar, I never would have imagined how much it would have had an impact on my life. It started out as something fun to do, to represent your favorite team and a cool t-shirt company, but led me to meet 11 other awesome women and change the way I went to games forever. Some called the calendar sexist and degrading, and to that I say you are just silly! Here is why: I only had a few girl friends that cared about the Mets the same way I did, so it was pretty incredible and empowering to bond instantly with some of these girls and know that if I wanted to go to a game or outing, they would be there too! I could be shy at times when meeting new people, but these girls pulled me right out of that. Outside of the games, we started doing charity work together, I’ve become roommates with a calendar girl, I’ve vacationed with them, hell, I went to one of their weddings….all because The 7 line existed! Through them, it led me to meet even more girls and guys (of course) that shared our same passion. It was a snowball effect. It seemed like every outing you were making a new friend. THIS is why T7LA has become as big as it has. Yes, the chants are fun. Yes, the energy when sitting with the army is through the roof. But, it’s the community of people that it has brought together that makes this fan base unlike any other in baseball.
T7L Founder / Owner - Follow Darren on Twitter