Brad Brach Grew up 'Wanting To Be a Met More So Than A Major League Baseball Player'

Reliever Discusses With Evan Roberts About Playing For His Childhood Team

Evan Roberts
August 29, 2019 - 9:40 am
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Brad Brach is living out his childhood dream with the New York Mets.

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Brach hails from Freehold Township in New Jersey, roughly two hours away from where Shea Stadium once stood. Before he signed with the Mets, Brach managed to find an ideal balance of being both a diehard fan and a professional athlete in the same league – often being the opposing side against the Mets. 

“A lot of guys honestly would question that,” Brach said on The Evan Roberts Podcast Wednesday. “They'd be like, 'How in the world do you still keep up with the Mets?' I don’t know. It's one of those things growing up. I grew up wanting to be a Met more so than a major league baseball player. It's just one of those things. I don’t really know why. I just always grew up rooting for the Mets, wanting to be on the Mets."

When the Mets’ magical run in 2015 led them to the World Series in 2015, Brach, who spent the year with the Baltimore Orioles, was paying close attention. You could call it fate that Brach was already in town when it was the Mets turn to host Game 3.

“When I had the chance to get tickets, I just couldn't pass it up. We were in town for my niece's christening and my two brothers and my wife were here and I was able to get four tickets."

The postseason run was something Mets fans weren’t used to. It was the team’s first World Series appearance since 2000, where they fell to the Yankees in five games. Brach never entertained the thought of trading in his Mets fandom for pinstripes.

So how was it for a Mets fan living in New Jersey through a time when the Yankees were so dominant?

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“It was tough, especially during middle school, high school years. The Yankees were so good. It was tough being around all those fans. I think I ended up hating the Yankees more than I like the Mets for a few years there. There's just a ton - especially in Monmouth County - a ton of Yankee fans. I don’t really know. I just somehow fell into being a Met fan. 

Like most Mets fans, Brach endured his fair share of heartbreak watching his beloved team growing up. He vividly recalled Game 1 of the 2000 World Series, where Todd Zeile’s hit fell inches short of a home run and Timo Perez was thrown out at home plate.

Brach spent the beginning of the 2019 season with the Cubs until he was bought out and ultimately inked a deal with the Mets on Aug. 9. It wasn’t too long where he made his Mets debut, facing one batter in the team’s loss to the Nationals. After he was handed the loss against the Braves last Saturday, Brach heard the boos from his fellow Mets faithful.

“I don’t think you're officially a Met until you get booed,” Brach said. “Now I feel like I'm an official Met. I just think growing up in New Jersey and Philadelphia and New York area, you just realize that fans are going to boo. You can't take it personal. I mean there are some people that come here, that's what they want to do. You've just got to accept it. They're going to cheer for you when you do well and they're going to boo for you when you don't do well. It's just part of the game.”

Listen to Brad Brach's interview with Evan Roberts in its entirety in the audio player above.