The noisy, rallying crowd swelled late Monday afternoon at Nassau County's government headquarters, their solidarity laid bare in a noisy three-word chant. Their demand simple: Nothing short of total victory will do.
A similar scene played out earlier in the day near Queens Borough Hall. Thousands gathered in front of the brick government building on Queens Boulevard, their chant echoing that of their brothers and sisters across the county line in Nassau.
"LETS GO METS!!! LETS GO METS!!!"
For team captain David Wright and the rest of the New York Mets, the quest for a third World Series trophy starts Tuesday night in Kansas City against the Royals.
For devotees of the National League champions, whether in Nassau or Queens, the work of a dedicated fan -- shouts and hoots while flying the orange and blue colors of their Flushing favorites -- started a day earlier.
"I love them. I'm a lunatic," said Cheryl Solomon, 49, of Plainview, just as the 3 p.m. rally began near the borough hall in Kew Gardens.
Like so many others in the crowd of more than a thousand, Solomon showed up Monday in Mets gear. She even lived up to her self-described lunacy with a thick coating of Mets-colored face paint. A pair of shades completed her Mets-fan look on a crisp sun-splashed autumn afternoon.
"This is the first time in 15 years," Solomon said, explaining why she dropped whatever it was she had planned and made her way to Kew Gardens. "You got to celebrate."
About 12 miles away in Mineola, Mets fans stood and chanted the familiar three-word rallying cry. Among the faithful: County Executive Ed Mangano, other community leaders and even a few Mets from World Series champions past, such as pitcher Dwight Gooden from the hard-charging 1986 team and Ed Kranepool, first baseman for the 1969 Miracle Mets.
The dome of the Nassau government building was lit up in Mets blue and orange for the rally.
After two games in Kansas City, the World Series lands at Citi Field for Games 3 and 4 Friday and Saturday night. If the Mets don't dispense with the American League champions in a clean sweep like they did the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series, Game 5 will take place Sunday.
At the Nassau rally, officials honored two military veterans with tickets to Games 3 and 4 at Citi Field. Air Force veteran Leila Zaya, 57, of Garden City and Tom Hickey, 90, of Franklin Square, who served in the Navy in World War II, both promised to root for the home team.
With Ivan Pereira