The faculty or activity of the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.
That is the definition of the word. For the past three years while covering Mets Fantasy Camp I often imagined what playing in an actual camp would be like, I watched from the side lines and heard all the stories, and I thought I really really understood why grown men would pay a nice amount of money to do it. With each successive year, I thought more and more about playing, even" imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable." Last year I was committed to getting into the best shape of my life, talk about imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. That didn't happen, but I came anyway! As much as I thought I understood how much joy the campers got from watching and talking to them each camp over the past 3 years, I wasn't even close! Borrowing some words from Leonard Bernstein' West Side Story,
When your A Met Fantasy Camper, Your a Met Fantasy Camper all the Way.
From your first Pulled Hamstring
To your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a Met Fantasy Camper
Let them do what they can,
You got brothers around,
You’re a family man!
You’re never alone,
You’re never disconnected!
You’re home with your own-
While you can cover a Fantasy Camp, you can't really understand what it is like to be treated like a major league player from the moment you land every second of the day, things that are impossible or improbable are now actually happening. You get picked up by a team bus at the airport, You walk into the clubhouse where your uniform and gear is already for you and your bright shiny uniform hangs waiting for you to slip it on and imagine things, especially things that are impossible or improbable now actually be possible. I have to say that Ponce de León was 200 miles and 502 years off when he thought the fountain of youth was in Saint Augustine, it is actually in Port St.Lucie. For the official start of camp today men in there 30's.40's,50's, 60's and 70's were all kids again, throwing, catching and hitting a baseball. They were watched by the watchful eyes of hundreds of years of baseball knowledge who were going to evaluate them and then draft teams. During the time the draft took place, once again you are treated like a pro, pulled hamstring go in the ice bath, get it stretched out, have it wrapped, shoulder aches, they wrap you, any medical attention you need they are right there, Uniform dirty? No problem put in the laundry bin and by the time you come from the trainers room, it's back neatly hanging in your locker.
The moment of truth arrives, the draft is over, 100 grown men are magically transported to high school, looking on the wall to see if they made the team, in this case which team. The room is full of excitement. You now are part of a team, a team that will compete for a championship ring,one similar to the pros, and you start once again to imagine the improbable,
I was selected to play for the Little Pigs, managed by Duffy Dyer, Joe Pignatano and Doug Flynn, it is pretty amazing to think that 37 years later, I will once again share a Met dugout with Doug Flynn, still one of the nicest men you will ever meet.
The elevation day for me was average, I did ok on the fly balls for sure, at time struggled a bit with my hamstring, I pitched Ok, I have done better, I have done worse, My hitting was solid, my infield was ok as once again my hamstring tighten up, but I was real comfortable at first base, Our first games got rained out today, so we will play 3 games tomorrow, yes you read that right 3 games tomorrow, further proof that if you imagine things, especially things that are impossible or improbable may actually be possible and want it bad enough the Fantasy can become a reality, tomorrow morning starting at 9 am 100 men acting as boys will prove that.
In the words of Billy Joel..Sometimes a Fantasy is all you Need.
By: Mark Rosenman
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Host and Producer
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