Mets or Yankees? This is New York. Pick a side. Your answer defines you. It’s tribal. The Mets are everyman. They are scrappy. The Yankees are a corporation. They wear pinstripes. There’s a bit of both in me, and I can’t decide which team is mine.

My father was a rabid Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He knew all the players; he knew their stats; he attended their games. When the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957, he lost all interest in baseball. Unlike many former fans, he did not adopt the Mets when they were established in 1962. I was born into a baseball vacuum. I had no team, and I knew nothing about the game.

When I was 6 years old, my father took me to my first baseball game at Shea Stadium. Maybe he had started to miss the game that had meant so much to him. Maybe it was the free admission with coupons clipped from Borden milk cartons. Either way, he asked me if I wanted to go to a game, and I said yes. It was a night game. The Mets were playing the Houston Astros.

I will never forget the first time I walked into the stadium. The grass was a deep green, and the Mets’ uniforms were a brilliant white. Under the lights, the players seemed to glow. Dad bought me a program and showed me how to keep score. This is a memory I cherish. I wish I could say I became a Mets fan that night, but I didn’t.

In 1969, I watched the Mets win the World Series. I remember cheering wildly at home with my friends; however, I didn’t become a Mets fan that day either.

My older daughter started playing softball when she was very young, and then she became interested in baseball. She is a Yankees fan. Since I felt no allegiance to any team at the time, I started rooting for the Yankees, too. I took her to games at Yankee Stadium. I wore a Yankees sweatshirt.

In 2000, I rooted for the Yankees when they played the Mets in the subway series, and I cheered when the Yankees won — but something just did not feel right.

As I have learned more about the game of baseball, I have found that I prefer small ball — the style of play with bunts, stolen bases and manufactured runs. The Yankees, I think, have an overreliance on the home run. Baseball should not be a home-run derby.

Taking these comparisons one step further, I have been to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. Citi Field’s retro style reminds people of Ebbets Field, where the Brooklyn Dodgers used to play. Yankee Stadium is majestic, and the ghosts of Yankee greats roam the grounds, yet I prefer Citi Field.

When my father turned 90, I bought him a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey. He wore it a few times. When he died in 2021, I asked my mother if I could have the jersey. It hangs in my closet now. I am not ready to put it on.

I am at a crossroads. One half of me wants to honor my father by rooting for the Mets, the rightful heirs of his Brooklyn Dodgers. The other half wants to support my daughter by rooting for her Yankees. Maybe it would be best to cheer for both teams. Is that even allowed? After all, this is New York.

Jerry Romano,

Bellmore

YOUR STORY Letters and essays for My Turn are original works (of up to 600 words) by readers that have never appeared in print or online. Share special memories, traditions, friendships, life-changing decisions, observations of life or unforgettable moments for possible publication. Email act2@newsday.com. Include name, address, phone numbers and photos if available. Edited stories may be republished in any format.

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