How I Became a Mets Fan
I haven’t thought about Frank Driscoll for quite a while but I have over the past week. For what it’s worth he died at least 40 years ago and while he was a wonderful man it’s he I blame for decades of frustration. Let me tell you why
I was born and grew up in Rockaway Beach which is a section of Queens and our house was within walking distance of both the bay and the ocean. We lived in a two-story house with the other part occupied by Frank and his wife Irene who were sort of like unofficial grandparents. I would eat breakfast with them every Sunday and I spent a good amount of time there and it was Frank who first introduced me to baseball.
He had been a Dodgers fan but like many was heartbroken when they deserted Brooklyn and there was no way he could root for the Yankees. So when the Mets were born in 1962 he had a new National League team to root for even if they were terrible.
I don’t really remember much but as an 8-year old in 1964 I do recall watching the Mets lose to the Phillies on Father’s Day as Jim Bunning threw a perfect game. Frank, sipping a Rheingold beer or two was impressed and I guess so was I.
My point to all of this was it not for him I probably would have been a Yankees fan. My father never cared much about baseball but my mother rooted for both the Yankees and Mets (still does) but it was Frank who instilled in me the desire to cheer for the team from Queens since that was where we lived.
I was 11 when we moved from New York to Seaside Heights in 1967 and I don’t know if I ever saw him again but as I suffer through another frustrating and disappointing season that will be made worse by the Yankees likely success it is Frank Driscoll who I blame for my misery.
It’s bad enough he introduced me to the Mets. Thank goodness even at my young age I knew Rheingold beer wasn’t any good.