The Mets Welcome Pines’ Kids
In a year that has seen five snow storms in five weeks, with multiple snow falls occurring after Spring has sprung, it is hard to believe that baseball season has begun. On Saturday, March 31st, Spring was not to be denied. The temperature hit sixty degrees and the there was not a cloud to be seen in the clear blue sky over Citifield in Queens, New York as the New York Mets welcomed thousands of fans to the opening weekend of the 2018 Season.
Pines PTA President Donna Oliveto, Janine D’Elia and Dorothy Graf reached out to the Mets organization and were accepted to have Pines chorus students sing the National Anthem at the March 31st game. Getting the Anthem was the easy part. These dedicated PTA moms were able to handle the logistics of getting 48 elementary students inside Citifield through the crowds in an orderly manner. The Mets’ people were impressed with how respectfully and well-behaved the four dozen excited kids conducted themselves.
48 students from the Pines Elementary School wound their way through a narrow hallway with many twists and turns from an auxiliary locker room out on to the field behind first base. They were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Met. Mets’ third baseman, Todd Frasier came over and signed autographs for the kids. Just before game time, the young singers were led to a platform set up on the grass by the first base line.
Attention was drawn to the jumbotron in centerfield where Hauppauge students were standing behind home plate to be recognized for winning Spirit Awards. The Spirit Award winners were Amanda Barshay, Joseph D’Elia, Ashleigh Leteri, Mia Tencic, and Julia Winiarz. Pines Music Teacher Ms. Tracey DeRose stood with the kids holding the plaque.
The announcement came over the stadium loudspeakers welcoming the students from the Pines Elementary School in Hauppauge. Pines Music Teacher, Ms. Tess Wray-Dolgin signaled the downbeat and the students dressed in concert black and white delivered a perfect rendition of the National Anthem. If you have been to a sporting event you are aware that the crowd will start cheering before the song is complete. That roar from the stands coupled with the slap back from the stadium speakers can be problematic for any singer. The Pines’ kids stayed focused and even increased their own volume as the crowd started cheering. The family, friends, and school officials on hand could not have been more proud of how wonderfully each and every one of the four dozen students represented Hauppauge with poise and grace.
The kids were reunited with their parents and made their way to section 141 in right field to enjoy the game. On the way to their seats, many students were congratulated by fans in the stadium on a job well done.
And what a game it was. The Mets new manager, Mickey Callaway, welcomed the St. Louis Cardinals to their only visit to Citifield this year. Mets Pitcher Jacob deGrom took the mound to face off against Michael Wacha of the Cardinals. Jacob deGrom gave up a run to fall behind in the first inning. The Mets came roaring back in the first inning as Todd Frasier hit a double to drive in two runs. Mets Pitcher deGrom settled in and racked up seven strike outs and only one walk over five and two thirds innings.
The Mets added to their lead when Mets Catcher Travis d’Arnuad hit the first home run at Citifield of 2018 in the fourth inning. The Mets’ big home run threat, Left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes brought the big apple up again with another solo home run for the Mets. Todd Frasier added another RBI with a sacrifice fly and Second Basemen Asdrubal Cabrera added to the insurance with an RBI double in the eighth inning. After taking the lead in the first inning the Mets never looked back and won the game by the score of 6-2. The 8-1 start to the season is the Mets’ best start in team history.