Noah Syndergaard is an intimidating guy. He stands 6-foot-6, fires 100-mile-per-hour fastballs and isn't afraid to command the inside of the plate. But when he first arrived in New York City last May as a rookie and the latest piece of the Mets' vaunted rotation, he says, "I was a little bit in awe of how big things were." Living in Lower Manhattan, in the shadow of One World Trade Center, will do that to a Texas kid.
A year has made a big difference—now, the man they call Thor has come to fully embrace life in the big city. To be fair, it's hard not to love a place where fans don horned helmets and wave giant hammers in your honor. Syndergaard has done snow angels (minus the snow, so just angels?) at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. He's found favorite restaurants, including Tao for sushi and Lombardi's for pizza. Like any good New Yorker, he's become an expert commuter—one who loves hearing "great game" from fans on the 7 train ride home. And, as you may have noticed, he's an ace on Twitter.
Syndergaard has developed a particular appreciation for the City's firefighters—hanging out at firehouses, trying on their helmets and stopping to contemplate the sacrifices they make. "I spent a couple of hours at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum," he says. "I literally could have spent a couple of days. Anyone who comes to NYC has to go there."
When it comes to next season, Syndergaard's goal is simple: "to go back to the [World] Series and win." But what about another title that's on fans' minds: best Mets hair? Can Thor unseat Jacob deGrom? "It's a tie," says Syndergaard. "We have different looks; I think his hair is longer than mine."
Even when it comes to diplomacy, Thor stands tall.
The Mets' home opener is April 8. Get tickets at mets.com.