It had been 46 years since Robert Bibaud attended a Mets home game, but on Saturday morning, he put on his Mets cap and jacket and made the 200-mile drive from Boston by himself. He got to Citi Field six hours early, and though he could buy a prime seat, he chose standing room so he finally could feel what it was like to be surrounded by people who wanted this team to win as much as he did.
"I'm hoping it's electric," Bibaud said, clutching his ticket before Game 1 of the NLCS. "I'm almost giddy."
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Bibaud, 53, attended Game 4 of the 1969 World Series between the Mets and Baltimore and moved from New Jersey to Boston three years later. He listened to Mets games on a transistor radio he got for his birthday and remained steadfast even though his little brother defected to the Red Sox.
After decades of being an outlier, Bibaud belonged on Saturday night -- one of thousands of Mets fans from all over the country who made the pilgrimage to Citi Field in hopes of being part of a historic postseason run.
"I live in Oklahoma," said Rick Melancon, who grew up in Westchester. "It's hard to get back, but you get back for these games. This is just crazy good . . . Everything gets electric."
Melancon came for the Division Series and didn't leave. He's been staying with his sister, Debbie Cole. In return for a bed, he got his sister and his four nephews tickets to the game. Melancon plans to follow the Mets to Chicago this week.
Jake Eisenberg and his girlfriend, Jen Spink, took the train from the University of Maryland for Game 1, and though Spink is from Boston, when they got to New York, Eisenberg's mom, Jill, had a go-bag ready. By game time, Spink was outfitted with all the necessary regalia.
"Her parents are OK with it as long as we're not Yankee fans," said Jill, of Port Washington.
She has been a Mets fan as long as she can remember and cut her teeth with the 1986 team. She grinned when she heard that Keith Hernandez was throwing out the first pitch. Jill and her husband, Mark, made it to Game 1 and 2 of the Division Series and gritted their teeth through the Game 5 broadcast.
"It was a two-bourbon night," Mark joked. "I'm texting like eight different people when the game is going on . . . The anxiety is unbelievable, which makes it fun, because you're so invested in it."
Jake Eisenberg wants to make it a career. He's studying sports broadcasting and even predicted that the Mets would go to the playoffs this year . . . back on his high school radio sports show in 2009. He figured that by 2015, the Mets' vaunted pitching would come into its own. He wasn't wrong.
Robin Rosenberg -- blue and orange nails, Mets earrings, Mets pants and Mets everything else -- agrees. She became a fan in 1985, when her boyfriend took her to a game. The relationship didn't last, but the love affair with the Mets had just begun.
"I never looked back," said Rosenberg, of Williston Park. When asked what it felt like to be at the NLCS, she screamed gleefully.
"Words can't describe it," she said, her voice cracked with laryngitis. "I was at the Division Series. It was insane, crazy, exhilarating, unreal. Over the past decade, I've still been coming to 15, 20 games a year, even when the Mets couldn't buy a win, so this would be my reward for being so faithful."