Thursday 11th September – Friday 12th September
New York City to Philadelphia, USA
New York Mets baseball, Queens
11th September is my birthday. And it’s a day of remembrance in New York City.
The day started with some cards (including this one from my nephew and niece – thanks Holly and Ethan!) and some calls home.
Then on to Queens (about 45 minutes on the subway from central Manhattan). We started with a visit to the Queens Museum, on the site of the World’s Fairs in 1939 and 1964, including a scale model of New York City.
We then headed to Citifield for our next baseball game – the New York Mets against the Washington Nationals.
It must be hard being a Mets fan in New York. To many people, the Yankees are New York. The Mets are younger (started in 1962) and despite being from such a major city and a couple of World Series wins they have struggled in recent years.
But we love them anyway. Their current home, Citifield, is fantastic – a fun, modern ballpark. And this was where we saw our first ever baseball game, back on our honeymoon in 2009. The Mets will get back to winning ways soon, and when they do we will be cheering them on!
We were also excited to see the Nats, including young Bryce Harper, widely considered to be a talented player with a very bright future in the game.
The game started with an emotional ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of 9/11. Both teams lined the field and representatives of the emergency services and other key public services brought flags onto the field. The national anthem was sung (beautifully) by a representative of the New York Fire Department. And the ceremonial first pitch (a feature of every game) was thrown by the father of a man who had been in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. He saved many lives running up and down the stairs of the building to help people, but didn’t survive himself.
The game itself was entertaining, if a bit one-sided. It started badly for the Mets – with the Nationals taking a two-run lead in the first inning. The Nationals soon found themselves six runs ahead. The Mets tried to rally, scoring a home run in the 5th (at which point a big apple – see what they did there? – rose up from the far end of the stadium, complete with Mets logo). But despite scoring one more run in the 7th, they left the bases loaded in the 7th and 8th, finally losing 6-2.
(Meanwhile, across town the Yankees came back from 4-0 down to win 5-4. Like I say, it must be tough being a Mets fan…)
Philadelphia Phillies baseball, Philadelphia
The train journey from New York to Philadelphia takes about an hour and twenty minutes.
We were planning a quiet afternoon until we looked at the Philadelphia Phillies website and noticed one of our favourite pitchers – Cole Hamels – was playing that evening against the Miami Marlins (the main pitchers play on rotation, so only appear once every few days). So we decided to rest another day and go to our second game in two days!
And we are so glad we did! This game was really close. At the end of nine innings it was one all, so it went into a tenth inning (there’s no such thing as a draw in baseball. Their approach is: “we’re all staying until we’ve got a winner”!) The game was won by a walk off home run by the Phillies in the tenth, to wild celebration from the home fans.
Later in the game we also were lucky enough to see another of our favourite pitchers, Jonathan Papelbon.
This was more than enough for a great night out. Even better, I got to enjoy my first Philadelphia Cheesesteak (slices of beef, melted cheese and fried onions in a roll – delicious if not nutritious!) and one of the most entertaining team mascots we’ve seen!
Photo of the day
View from our hotel room, 9/11. The beams of light represent where the World Trade Centre towers once stood.