Growing up in the Bronx, my grandfather was an avid New York Giants fan, growing up watching Willie Mays and Monte Irvin. When they left for San Francisco, he couldn’t stand to move to the Yankees, eventually settling as a Mets fan when they were founded in 1962. This fandom was passed to my father, and later to my brother and me. Growing up, I remember the heartbreak of being a Mets fan, from the late regular season choke-jobs versus the Marlins (the forever reviled Tom Glavine) to Luis Castillo dropped pop-up versus the Yankees. Let’s not discuss Carlos bat-on-shoulder Beltran. Eventually, my dad stopped watching nightly Mets games, before my Mets interest manifested. As I started reading more about my other favorite sports team in the area, I soon started to read about the Mets. I was first introduced into the idea of prospects when the Mets traded R.A. Dickey and others to the Blue Jays in 2012, returning Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, and others. Reading about these young players potential started my initial hope for the Mets. With Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom’s successes, this hope escalated. It was finally prior to the 2015 season, upon hearing Sandy Alderson announce that the Mets intended to contend that season when I built up enough confidence to tell my dad that the Mets were back and again worthy of his attention and probably heartbreak. Through all of the Mets ups and downs that season, I was able to connect important moments of my life to this near-magical season.
My baseball interest was also promoted by the baseball simulation video game Out of the Park Baseball. Through many hours of this game, I learned the many nuances of baseball general managerial process, players and prospects on other teams, and many future draft players. It is through this game that I first thought about strategic baseball team building ideas, and applying different thoughts into the game.
My heavy baseball interest has lead me to thinking about my life differently. Baseball and underlying advanced statistics has lead me to pursue a double major in Business Analytics and Applied Computational Math and Statistics at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. My career will pursue mathematical models for complex systems, similar to what projectors and sabermetricians do for baseball teams.
You can follow me on Twitter at @CJ_Kainer.
Christian Kainer covers the New York Mets minor league system for Prospects1500. Christian is a native Mets fan living in New Jersey, and going to school the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Christian was introduced to sports by his brother and dad, but fell in love with baseball as he learned how much math is involved in every play. Follow him on twitter at @CJ_Kainer.