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 we'll pick a fan to highlight.
First up is Rebecca from Jersey. She's been down since day 1 and has joined us over 30 times. Here's a little about her....
Name Rebecca G.
Reside Fair Lawn, NJ
What do you do for a living? I am a former teacher but for the past 20+ years, I work in educational publishing as a writer and editor, creating language arts content to help students in K-12 learn to read, write, and think
Any interesting hobbies? Beyond the Mets, I am a band mom, doing PTA and roadie work with our son’s high school marching band and indoor percussion ensembles for much of the year. I used to travel a lot for work, so I started a Starbucks mug collection of more than 40 city mugs. When I went to Beijing and Dubai on business, I was sure to pick up a mug and get pictures in my T7LA gear!
How did you become a Mets Fan? What year? I became a Met fan in 1978 through my friend Kate—a kind of dark time for the team. She and I were rare Met fans in the sea of Yankees fans in our Baldwin, Long Island schools. This was the year of Bucky Dent’s heroic homerun. Without the power the Yankees had then, the Mets finished that year in last place, 24 games back with a record of 66-96. Still, you could get field level box seats for $5 on the day of a game. I cut school for opening day from eighth grade through high school, missed a few years, and picked the habit up again as an adult. I have introduced Kate to T7LA, and she has traveled from Albany to sit with us at many games.
The late 1970s were a time when women were not sportswriters. In 1976, a reporter named Kathryn Parker wrote a book titled We Won Today. It was a game-by-game account of the season. As junior high school students, Kate and I decided we were going to write the same kind of book. We wrote to the Mets front office and asked for credentials. Jay Horwitz wrote back to us and told us to have our publisher send a letter of intent. I wish I still had that letter!
At the end of 9th grade, I gave a speech at my graduation. My identity as a Met fan was well documented. The principal told the crowd that I was able to speak only because the Mets had a game on the west coast that night.
Even in high school, people knew me as a crazy Met fan. I wrote my 11th grade term paper on baseball, trying to explain the allure of this amazing sport. I determined at the time that you got a fresh start every year and you got to cheer for something bigger than yourself. As part of the research, I wrote a letter to one player on every team asking him to defend his salary. Only one responded: Steve Garvey sent me a postcard that said “Supply and demand.” Wish I knew where that was today, too.
I used to go to only a few games a year. I cheered when things happened. I probably said hello and goodbye to seatmates, but never felt part of a crowd. There were no high-fives all around for hits. There were some moments of Let’s Go, Mets cheers, but they were random, and you’d never know if your cheer would be picked up and carried. We were just sharing the experience of a ballgame. We were having parallel fandom.
Then, I went to the Hofstra convention celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the team. It seemed like something a crazy Met fan would do. I brought my mom when Kate couldn’t join me. At first, I didn’t imagine that the experience would change the way I was a Met fan. It introduced me to bloggers; I learned that the Mets had more bloggers than any other team. So, I could read more, but I still didn’t really talk to too many people. I was a crazy Met fan in my own little bubble.
How did you hear about T7LA? I started breaking through the bubble. I found some people on Facebook. There was this guy doing really passionate things—getting kicked out of the ballpark, making t-shirts about his team, getting interviewed by Boomer and Carton, responding to fans who were warning him to be careful about his business. I found out his name was Darren and he ran a company called The 7 Line. It felt like a little underground idea that I somehow was tapped into, and it was intriguing. And, I was loving RA Dickey.
When was your first time cheering with T7LA? As the T7LA origin myth goes, Darren had this idea for the end of the season—he would have an outing. First, he bought 100 tickets and they sold out; then 100 more and 100 more. I watched this on Facebook and wondered whether I should jump in. Would I be comfortable joining a big group of fans that I did not know? It felt a little risky, but the idea of missing out on something new and fun won out. Finally, when the group got to 400, I bought 2 tickets and Kate and I went.
The first game was a little bit like my regular experience, but not for long. Sit with your friends, nod to the people around you. But, that changed quickly. We chanted Let’s Go Mets as soon as the national anthem ended. We cheered when David Wright broke the game open. I found Becca, a friend I had met at the Hofstra conference. I rushed down the aisle during innings to meet Darren. I got a picture with an early big head. I had fun. Dickey won and flyers announcing “20” rapidly flooded the section. We all held them up in celebration. It made a great picture and and even better moment. Not parallel fandom, unified passion. I met Darren’s dad on the way out. Wow, we said. Wow.
I have been rooting for Darren’s success ever since—the idea that he can make a living from his passion for baseball just makes me happy.
How many outings have you hit in total? 32 games.
What keeps you coming back? I love the Mets, and now I have a bunch of people that I know at the ball park. I have pulled my husband Andy in, too, and he has made his own T7LA friends. It’s not parallel fandom anymore. We are cheering together. We are high-fiving. When I was 14, cheering for the Mets was pretty solitary—now I feel like I have found my people. The other crazy Met fans.
Any away games yet with T7LA? Where? Chicago. Philly, San Francisco, Yankee Stadium, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington. I’d love to go to all of them, but life gets in the way. Twitter suggests I am good at this “adulting” thing, but the feeling of missing out is very strong. All those that cities and games that I have missed looked like so much fun, and I would like to see those stadiums.
Favorite outing memory? This isn’t quite an outing, but it was amazing. The night we celebrated Kevin Burkhardt before he left SNY, I went to that game by myself. I just didn’t want to miss it. I would never have imagined that before. I met a blogger friend and a bunch of T7LA people and I threw myself into a throng of people who crowded around Kevin Burkhardt on one of his last nights at Citifield. There is a photograph that shows the crowd on Shea Bridge. If you look closely, you can see that he is taking a picture with me. I remember saying that I felt “unreasonably excited” over that moment. I loved the Atlanta outing; I loved Chicago and the 1908 cheer. I just enjoy the excitement.
Favorite all time Met player? This is a tough one for me. My eighth-grade self would say Lee Mazzilli, but I also loved John Stearns who may have been doing Darren’s job early. In 1979, he bought everyone on the team a t-shirt that said “We Can Win.” Talk about PMA. Dickey has an incredible life story. I love the guys who wear their passion on their sleeves. I love David Wright’s loyalty and leadership. I love Santana’s grit. I love Wilmer’s emotion and Grandy’s enthusiasm.
Shea or Citi? Citi has been a lot more fun, but I have many memories at Shea.
Have a baseball bucket list? What’s on top of it? I went to Piazza’s HOF induction with T7LA. That’s got to be on it. I want to hit spring training. I want to see the team win another World Series. Everything is in reach.
Like any sports besides baseball? What teams? There is no time for other teams given how much I give to the Mets, and that’s enough for me.
Anything else you wanna add? I always wear my white All-Star Game hat so I can find myself in the pictures. Check out my office video http://bit.ly/2dthcxt ! The Mets ran a “How Met is your office?” contest. I still can’t believe I lost. And, find me on twitter at @Rebecca_LGM