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New York Mets Compete For Fans With The Crosstown Yankees

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: And that's because the Mets have long suffered in the pinstriped shadow of New York City's other baseball team - you know, the one that's won the World Series 27 times, more than any other team by far. Kevin Kim couldn't care less.

KEVIN KIM: No, I'm not a Yankee fan. I don't like those guys. I can't do it.

WANG: Yankees, schmankees (ph). Kim says true New Yorkers bleed blue and orange for the Mets.

KIM: They are the real team. They are the working-man team definitely.

WANG: Queens resident Sherry Rogers agrees.

SHERRY ROGERS: They have Queens people and Staten Island, Brooklyn, most of Manhattan if they're smart.

WANG: Notice she didn't say the Bronx, the home of the Yankee Stadium. For Rony Reyes, it's more about character than about neighborhoods, especially now that more Yankee fans are cheering for the Mets.

RONY REYES: There's a lot of Yankee fans that just jump on the bandwagon. You ask them a question - oh, what's a double play? They won't know, you know what I mean? But when you're a Met fan, you know baseball.

WANG: And you know your history, like 72-year-old Mel Rogers.

MEL ROGERS: I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan. They left in '57. I became a Met fan even though they didn't even exist till '62.

WANG: And that's the year the Mets officially started playing ball after the Dodgers and the former New York Giants packed their bags for California. It created a new generation of hardy baseball fans, some from divided New York families, like Millie Rivas, who says she's from a family of Yankee supporters.

MILLIE RIVAS: I'm the only Mets fan and they're always laughing at me.

WANG: What do they say?

RIVAS: 'Cause we're always losing.

WANG: For Aaron Weil, that's kind of like chicken soup for the Met lover's soul.

AARON WEIL: You get used to losing, so it's a real life team. You know, the Yankees - oh, you know, we won, we won, we won. You know, the Mets - you learn some resilience from the Mets.

WANG: And you learn humility, something that many Met fans argue their crosstown rivals may want to embrace.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Let's go Mets. Let's go Mets.

WANG: Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News, New York.


UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Singing) Guaranteed to have the time of your life because the Mets are really socking the ball, knocking those home runs... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Hansi Lo Wang (he/him) is a national correspondent for NPR reporting on the people, power and money behind the U.S. census.