Prior to moving into their new digs at Citi Field, the New York Mets let St. Johns University and Georgetown get in a game to test out the stadium. Former St. Johns and Mets player John Franco was on hand to throw out the first pitch before a crowd of 22,397 who came out despite the wet and chilly afternoon.
“It was a great turnout,” said Franco, “The crowd is a little bit closer to the field [than at Shea], but I think the players are going to enjoy it and I think the fans are really going to enjoy it.”
St. Johns took an early 3-1 lead, but something Mets fans are all too familiar with, the bullpen was unable to hold on, giving up 4 runs in the 7th to give Georgetown the lead, the final score was 6-4, Georgetown.
The real occupants of Citi Field will arrive on Friday for a two game exhibition against the Boston Red Sox but the early reviews of the stadium sound good.
“Shea was a party place and it was great, but this is like we grew up and now we’re in a new house,” said Dawnrose D’Aloia of Corona, N.Y. “It’s beautiful, how ornate the brickwork is.”
“I happen to be a big Mets fan and it’s a beautiful ballpark,” St. John’s athletic director Chris Monasch said. “They grabbed all the best aspects, I think, of all the new ballparks around the major leagues.”
“I was sad to see Shea go, but it was time,” said Mark Savino of Corona, N.Y. “I followed the construction of it online and came and saw it go up, but seeing it now for the first time like this, it’s very stunning. I wanted to be here, no matter what type of game it was, to be able to say I was here for the first one.”