February 22, 2019

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Suffering Knows No Bounds, Which Is Why Mets Fans Are Everywhere

Suffering Knows No Bounds, Which Is Why Mets Fans Are Everywhere
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“I’m crazy,” she said, laughing, when asked how she became a fan of a baseball team on another continent.

Fandom is a crazy phenomenon. The Mets have a sizable and expressive fan base that wears their team’s maddening history like a badge of honor. And over the past two and a half years of covering the Mets, I noticed a few fans on Twitter from unexpected places. So I started a list and asked them: How did you become a Mets fan, and why?

“I see myself as a die-hard fan who happens to live somewhere else,” Hogeveen wrote in a WhatsApp message. “It does feel unreal at times that I became a fan of a team that’s so far away.”

Traditionally, baseball has its strongest roots in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and East Asia. But thanks in part to technology, it is not hard for people in other parts of the globe to become as fluent in the Mets as those who live in Queens.

“It’s so much easier now,” Lenton said. “You don’t have to live there to be a fan.”

Growing up in Northern Ireland, McCaughan was surrounded by soccer and rugby. But one day, he came across television highlights of the 1985 World Series between St. Louis and Kansas City. From there, sprang an interest in baseball, and then the Mets. And the next season, a famously talented and somewhat rowdy Mets club won the World Series. The deal was clinched.

“Being a teenager at the time and being a bit rebellious, you sort of related to them,” he said.

McCaughan has sported a blue-and-orange Mets cap, which required an explanation to people in Northern Ireland, some of whom do recognize the more-familiar Yankee cap, in navy blue and white. McCaughan also read the few baseball books he could find at the local library and learned rules and strategy by playing video games. He listened to baseball games, and especially those played by the Mets, on Armed Forces Network radio.

“I remember running down to my mum and saying, ‘I can’t believe I’ve got a baseball game here,’” he said. “She probably thought I was nuts.”

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