I took three 12-year old boys to Citifield on Sunday to watch the boys/men of September. The wonderful thing about baseball is that I will never be asked to perform.
The Mets willl never be missing a player and call over the PA system, “Will Mary Beth Coudal please come onto the field and help us out? We’re missing a player.”
It won’t happen. As if it could possibly – not likely – but possibly happen at a Broadway show, a national political rally, or a mega-church Sunday morning service. The times I’ve been in attendance at those events, I do sit and relax and enjoy the show. But there’s always a part of me that wonders, “Oh, maybe I should get up there and help them out. Maybe this team needs me. Maybe I’ll be asked to help out.”
That never happens at a sporting event. Unless we’re talking badmitton. But then no one ever talks badmitton. (And I have heard athletes can be in their 40s and be Olympic champions in archery. But then again, no one ever talks archery. Sadly.) But I digress. I was talking baseball.
Here’s the thing about going to Citifield. The boys just wander around the fabulous new Mets stadium. They hardly watch the game. They look at tee shirts in the shop. They go to the batting cage or dunk tank. They visit Shake Shack. Alone, I read the NYTimes Sunday Style Section, catch a few rays, people watch.
On our way out of the stadium on Sunday, Joey swung his navy sweatshirt over his shoulders. It was still hot and sunny. The Mets had won. Not that it matters. We almost made it to the subway stairwell when Joey realized he was missing his wallet. It must’ve fallen out when he swung his Yankees sweatshirt. I don’t know why Hayden’s buddy, Joey loves to wear Yankees attire to Mets games. But twelve-year olds are like that.
So we went back to the stairwell.
“Yes,” said the older gent in the green polo Staff shirt. “Someone found a wallet. It’s probably on its way to the lost and found now. Go to the Jackie Robinson Pavilion, sit there, and wait.” ‘
Under the huge black and white photo murals of Jackie Robinson you can ponder the courage of the man who broke the race barrier. Joey informs me that every team has retired Robinson’s number to honor him. (You can learn a lot at a game.)
When we ask the pimply kid at the Lost & Found desk about the wallet, he informs us that none have been turned in. But the gent had told us to wait. So we sat in the air conditioned tiny room on cushy black chairs and waited.
Joey wondered if maybe the money and the Metrocard would be taken. “The person will probably just leave me my library card.”
“How much money was in it?”
And guess what? A few minutes later the wallet was turned in, complete with Metrocard, fifteen dollars, and even the New York City public library card.
You gotta love it. Maybe the Mets aren’t in contention for the World Series. Maybe I won’t ever play professional sports. But basic human kindness wins big time. Taking a few 12-year olds to a baseball game on a waning day of summer is bound to teach you that.