Daphne Beasley, all of 10 months old, took in her first big-league baseball game Thursday as the Mets hosted the Brewers at Citi Field — a milestone in any sports fan’s life.
Someone else in her group had waited a wee bit longer, though. Young Daphne was joined by Rudal “Rudy” Ahlen, her great-great-grandmother, also at her first major-league game.
Consider the couple of dozen others in attendance from among her eight children, 15 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, and that is five generations in one baseball afternoon.
The occasion was an early birthday celebration for Ahlen, who turns 102 on July 29 and who after nearly a half-century as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan has been a Mets fan since Day One in 1962.
“This is a big thing for me. I just still can’t believe all this is happening,” she said after getting to meet David Wright, Jacob deGrom and Lucas Duda and before being escorted to the first row behind home plate in the Wilpon family’s seats.
“Nothing like this ever happened when I was younger. Why did it have to happen now when I’m older? Now I’m 102 next month, so I figured this is my birthday present . . . It’ll do. I’m satisfied.”
Upon reaching her seat before the game, she surveyed the scene on a bright spring day and said, “It’s more than I thought would happen.”
The Mets invited Ahlen after reading a Newsday story about her watching Opening Day at the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack, where she lives and shouts at the screen when they lose.
That has been more often this season than expected.
“Oh, I’m disappointed, of course, that they’re not doing too well this year,” she said. “I sit and yell at the television . . . I can’t help it.”
Ahlen restricts herself to day games but has a friend down the hall who fills her in on night games. She is deeply knowledgeable not only about the Mets but the sport itself. At 65, she played in a coed senior league.
Why hadn’t she attended a game in all those decades in Brooklyn and later in several towns on Long Island?
“Because I couldn’t afford it,” she said. “And I was raising eight children . . . I didn’t have the time or money, so I couldn’t go. I was satisfied with the radio, until television came.”
Adopting the Mets came naturally for a lifelong Dodgers fan who was left team-less from 1958 to 1961 after the Dodgers left for Los Angeles. Did she consider becoming a Yankees fan at any point? Family members laughed at that question.
“No, never thought about being a Yankees fan — never,” Ahlen said.
Like a true Mets fan, she had the same message for Duda and deGrom: “Don’t get hurt.”
By far the highlight was meeting Wright, whose return to health she prays for every night. He signed a bat for her and told her she would have to return today if the Mets won.
“From what I heard, we need a new mascot,” he said, referencing the controversy that has engulfed Mr. Met.
“Oh, God, I thought it was great,” she said of talking to Wright. “I’ve been watching him since he started . . . Then when he got sick I felt so sorry for him. I told him I’m saying prayers for him. I said, ‘You’ve got to get better and you’ve got to get back on the baseball field.’ He said he’d try.”
After the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Brewers, during which Ahlen was given two foul balls, she said she was glad to have had the experience but likely will restrict herself to yelling at the television henceforth.
“It was overwhelming,” she said. “Between the players and the excitement, it was too much for me. I guess I’m really old. I can’t take all this stuff.”