Since COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings have been widely lifted, (at least for the time being), baseball season is in full swing and ballparks nationwide are operating at 100% capacity. Mets fans are not just returning to Citi Field, they are also hitting the road to support their team at away games.
Though traveling to see your favorite team is nothing new for baseball diehards, The 7 Line, a supporter group and Mets-centric clothing brand created in 2009, hosts a unique experience for fans traveling to support the team. The 7 Line, which acquired an official MLB license to produce merchandise in 2014 and has a kiosk at Citi Field, creates a unique ticket package that includes a t-shirt and a “special event” patch for each road game they attend as a group.
“We travel around and hit different ballparks, last year it wasn’t a thing, but now we’re back to full-strength trying to give our guys that home field advantage when they’re on the road,” said Darren Meenan, the owner and creator of The 7 Line. “We had about 1400 fans in Pittsburgh and we’re going to Philly in a couple of weeks with almost 900, and to Boston with 1400 people in September.”
On The 7 Line’s most recent road trip, to see a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates from July 8-11, a total of 1409 fans converged on the “Steel City.”
“Our Taproom is located a little over a mile from PNC Park. I’m originally from Queens and a lifelong Mets fan,” said Adam Bey, owner of Pittsburgh’s 412 Brewery. “It was great having members of The 7 Line Army stop in before the games on Friday and Saturday, seeing a flood of Mets gear at PNC, and the loud cheers for the Mets, even if they did drop two of three games to the Pirates.”
The 7 Line began hosting group outings at Citi Field in 2012 and organizing road trips in 2013. Since then, they have visited almost every National League ballpark to support their beloved Amazin’s, bringing droves of Queens-based Mets fans with them. Meehan says “The 7 Line Army will check the final NL stadium off of their bucket list on August 21st when they visit Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where he’s already expecting a group in excess of 1,000.
Woodside resident, Angel Livreri, said her family loved traveling to Pittsburgh to watch the game with The 7 Line.
“My wife and I have been to Philly to see the Mets at away games but this was our first trip with The 7 Line,” Livreri said. “It’s a great excuse to get out to see a different area and stadium as a family and The 7 Line brings such excitement to the game, there’s really not much else like it.”
Livreri, an NYPD Sergeant, and her wife, Elia Cortes-Livreri, brought along their 4-year-old daughter, Leni Livreri.
“Leni absolutely loved it and we had an amazing time as a family. We’re thinking of going to see the Mets play in Boston with The 7 Line,” Livreri said. “It’s a great experience to bring kids with you. She had so many people stop and talk to her and they were genuinely happy to see her cheering on the Mets.”
Anthony Giordano, a Howard Beach native, and his wife Patrizia, were with The 7 Line Army for their Spring Training Outing in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in 2017. They decided to leave their kids home.
“There was lots of heavy drinking. They serve these rum buckets at the stadium (in Port St. Lucie,) and if I remember correctly there were over 350 of those buckets tied to the outfield fence after all was said and done,” Giordano said. “It was the first time The 7 Line went to Spring Training. I hear that the line of empty buckets of rum has gotten even longer now.”
Other Mets fans are finding their own path to road games.
Kathleen LaVeglia of Middle Village said she and her boyfriend attended the series in Pittsburgh without knowing The 7 Line Army would be in town. LaVeglia saw all three of the games of the series, using the between time to check out the city.
“We got to see a lot of Pittsburgh, had sandwiches at Primanti Brothers, took the Duquesne Incline to Mount Washington, and went to Southern Tier Brewery after the games,” LaVeglia said. “It’s cool that the Roberto Clemente Bridge into PNC Park and the streets around the stadium are closed to vehicular traffic. There was face painting and balloon twisting for kids, outdoor bars, and live music. I wish we had that at Citi.”