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Citi Field Was 70 Percent Nerd Last Night

A person dressed as the "Star Wars" character Chewbacca, right, is joined others dressed as characters from the franchise during a promotional appearance at a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals, in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams) Sign 'em up!

Last night, it was Star Wars night at Citi Field. By that, we mean that Darth Vader and Boba Fett and a bunch of Stormtroopers were hanging out at Citi Field. It means that, at one point, R.A. Dickey stood next to Chewbacca, as if anyone could tell the difference.

The Mets lost to the Nationals last night to fall to 71–77, and if you were holding out hope for a wild-card run, know that their magic number for such a run is now one. (We assume you were not in fact waiting for a wild-card run.) So instead of dwelling on the dark side, let's just focus on Star Wars night.

Specifically, let's go look at Jason Fry, who co-edits Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing, one of the best and smartest and most human baseball sites around, and, oh yeah, also happens to have written several Star Wars books. So if you were wondering what kind of person gets to walk around in a Stormtrooper costume during a Mets game, it's precisely someone like Jason Fry. (Note: Jason is also a good friend of ours, though we've never actually seen him in a Stormtrooper costume. Yet!) Thanks to The 501st Legion — a group of Star Wars fans who wear Stormtrooper costumes as a hobby to cheer those in need of aid, from children's hospitals to Citi Field — Fry had the opportunity last night.

Fry's post about what it's like for a diehard Mets fan to navigate his beloved baseball stadium in a Stormtrooper costume is exactly what we wanted it to be. A highlight:

Next time you watch Star Wars and snicker that the stormtroopers can’t hit anything, have some sympathy: When Luke Skywalker complains that he can’t see a thing in this helmet, he ain’t kidding. Your field of vision becomes two offset triangles, and anything below your chest is invisible. The moment this starts to bother you, you’ll notice your lenses fogging up. You can’t breathe all that well, even in a helmet modified by an expert for some airflow. You can’t hear.  You can’t bend and you immediately start to sweat — not a surprise, since you’re wearing a black bodysuit covered with a Christmas tree of white plastic held on by Velcro, straps and snaps.

Encased in armor, I clattered off after the far more experienced troopers, hoping to God I wouldn’t fall over anything. Our first assignment was to accompany the Mets’ Pepsi Party Patrol for Star Wars trivia. The familiar concourse was like some crazed video game, glimpsed through two wedges, with people rising up out of nowhere, and I felt at once very conspicuous and anonymous — lots of people wanted pictures with us, but no one had any idea who I was. I kept squashing my helmet down on my rather pointy nose so I could see slightly better, kept my eyes on the back of the trooper in front of me, and hoped I wasn’t about to plow into an overeager kid who’d raced into the massive blind spot below my chest.

It's a terrific piece, go read it. This is the last exciting thing that's going to happen with the Mets this year. It's sort of amazing, considering this is the Mets, that none of the Stormtroopers were hurt.

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Photo: Henny Ray Abrams/AP2011