Monday, October 4, 2010

Lucas Duda


Lucas Duda. That's who.

It was a very bleak day for Lucas Duda as he put on his Mets' uniform for the last time in the 2010 season. It was tough being a September Call-up for a team that was going nowhere and making sure to get there as fast possible. As he laced up his cleats, he thought "I wish there were a group of Jewish guys with nothing to do with their Sunday afternoon in October other than to come and cheer me up and cheer me on.

Wish granted.

On Sunday, a group of 30 or so staff members from a summer camp attended by this blogger was sitting in the left field seats of New York's Citi Field, a cat call's distance away from Mr. Duda. In the midst of a totally meaningless game (the Mets finished in fourth place while their opponents, the Washington Nationals, finished last), these young men brought joy, not only to a rookie outfielder, but to a section, entire stadium and even the next day's Daily News readers.

Amidst the enthralling 2-1, 14 inning Nationals win (in which many unfamiliar fans learned of the existence of a 14th inning stretch), many Duda-related cheers were invented, bringing much joy to not only Duda, who acknowledged their existence a number of times throughout the game, but to the entire section 135 of Citi Field. Some laughed at the creativity, while others even suggested their own cheers. Here's a brief list of some of the cheers performed for the newest Mets' fan favorite:

  • Lucas Duda! Duda Duda-ay. Duda Duda-ay. Duda Duda Duda-ay (to the tune of "Numa Numa")
  • Lucas, I am your father!
  • Zippidy Duda!
  • Duda the Maccabee! (Suggested by another fan)
  • And the ever popular- GIMME A D!...
Still, this paled in comparison to the way in which this rambunctious group of whippersnappers succeeding in starting the wave which went around the entire Citi Field a record 2 1/2 times!*

However, the residual effects of this groups outing at City Field did not become apparent until the following day. In the 14th inning, Mets' manager Jerry Manuel inserted abnormally maligned pitcher, Oliver Perez. In a show of unity with the rest of the Mets' faithful, the group paused in their admiration of Duda for a brief minute to welcome the pitcher with a beautifully arranged harmony of boos.

Immediately following the chorus, the group went back to cheering on their hero. This round included one more new cheer of MVP, which soon changed to MVD! However, in his Daily News article, writer Andy Martino had a different interpretation of the cheer:

Oliver Perez provided a fitting end to a season defined in part by his occupation of a wasted roster spot. The $36 million reliever entered in the 14th inning, and began by striking out a batter.

Exasperated Mets fans had not lost their wit, and started an "MVP" chant. The humor, though, soon turned to boos, as Perez hit a batter and walked the next three, forcing in the deciding run in a 2-1 loss to Washington in 14 innings at Citi Field.**

Yes, there were that few fans at the game.

By the time the game was over, the group had made a name for itself. Even as the guys davened Mincha, passers-by recognized them and made a point to stop and begin cheering for The Dudanator.

All in all, a good time was had by all. Any ideas for a Lucas Duda t-shirt?

*only stopped due to something more interesting than the wave happening on the field- namely in between innings
**For other articles on this chant, click here.

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