New York is a baseball town, and my family is a baseball family. My dad’s family is from Brooklyn, and after the heartbreaking move of their beloved Dodgers to L.A., they eventually transitioned to Mets fans. My mom’s side’s baseball history is a little less clear–something about the Giants before they moved to California, with some Yankees fans mixed in–but they too ended up Mets fans. I mean, hard-core, die-hard fans. I vividly remember my grandmother’s blue Mets team jacket with Dykstra embroidered in orange across the back. My nephew’s middle name is Shea, after the Mets old stadium, and as a devoted fourth-generation Mets fan, he does his name justice.
Growing up in New York, you learn very early on about team allegiance. You pick your team, you love your team, and you hate the other team. No matter what. Of course, I had no choice but to love the Mets. And love them I did. I was at the game in ’85 when Doc Gooden pitched a record number of strike outs. I celebrated with them in ’86 when they won the world series. And I stood by them in the hardest of times.
Then I met Joe (not his real name…mostly because I can’t remember if his real name was spelled with a c or a k). He was the nicest guy you could ever meet, and he couldn’t have been more wrong for me. I dated him anyway. For five years. Not the point. The point is: he was a hard-core, die-hard Yankees fan. I was dating the enemy. At first it had no impact. I ignored his taunts, his claims of team superiority, and his confidence in his team’s ability. (All easy enough to dismiss with the classic “You have the highest payroll in baseball!” argument.) But somehow, when I wasn’t even looking, it impacted me. Maybe it was all the games I watched with him, or the Derek Jeter-Bernie Williams-Jorge Posada trifecta, or their most-World-Series-wins-in-baseball status (or maybe–just a teeny little bit–that the Yankees had cooler uniforms). Whatever it was, somehow, before I knew it, I was a Yankees fan.
Coming out to my family was the worst part. My mom was disappointed. My grandmother was livid. My sister was bewildered. Even my nephew was sad. They accepted my new team affiliation, but not happily.
It’s been a long time since I’ve really been able to devote myself to baseball. With kids and a business, it’s just too time consuming. And although I still love the Yankees, there’s a big place in my heart for the Mets. And so, with love in my heart, I created the two cakes below. The first was a groom’s cake for a wedding I did last year. The second was a birthday cake just this past weekend. So, Mets or Yankees? I’ll let you decide.