Some people have crushes on movie stars. Some on Bieber. Others on Rahm Emanuel. My heart has always belonged to Mr. Met. Sadly, it's unrequited.
Maybe it started with the stuffed 1969 souvenir Mr. Met doll that was an integral part of our childhood nursery. Maybe it was all those trips to Shea as a youngster. But whatever the reason, I've always had a deep affection for the Mets' big-headed mascot. For those who don't follow the mascots of Major League Baseball, here is Mr. Met's official biography:
On the first spring morning of '63, with the dew still dampening Coogan's Bluff, Casey Stengel, the old skipper of the young Mets, saw a figure in the distance. Deep in the Polo Grounds' center field stood a fan like no other — a fan clearly born to root for the New York Mets. Casey so took to the big guy, he invited him to join the Amazin's the next year at their new park, Shea Stadium. Mr. Met was home. His baseball head began to swell with the win in '69 — and grew still larger from '73 to '86 to the Subway Series in '00.
When I joined MySpace many a moon ago, I made haste to "friend" Mr. Met. I even wrote him a flirtatious email: "is there a Mrs. Met?" The response was quick, unambiguous, and crushing. "Yes," it said. Of course, there were always rumors that he and "Lady Met," the short-lived early -60s distaff mascot, was his assumed life partner. However, since she was retired some forty years ago, it didn't seem like that impertinent a query. Anyway, I was undeterred. When Facebook started up, I attempted to assert that the two of us were "in a relationship." I'm still waiting to hear about that one, some three years later.
Nevertheless, my stalking continued! I went so far as to have an "I ♥ Mr. Met" shirt made and wore it to every Met game I attended. And when my brother and I heard that Mr. Met was going to be appearing (oh yeah, with a bunch of '86 all-stars) at Rockefeller Center one summer's day, we planned our day around it. (This might be the moment to mention that my brother has a Mr. Met tattooed on his upper arm.) I wore the shirt. And that day, for a few minutes, my dreams came true. I waited behind a line of children to have my picture taken with my baseball-headed idol. And when the seas parted and he saw my shirt, it was like time stopped. He ran towards me, pointing at my shirt in excitement, posing for picture after picture. I would never cross the line with a married mascot, but I must admit that picture bedecked my Facebook profile for an indecently long time.
It must be said: Even before reading Maxim's "Day in the Life of Mr. Met" earlier today, there were hints that he was, well, a dick. I've never thought I was one of those women who was drawn to them, but there's kind of no arguing with the evidence of this video:
I guess it's the swelled head. (That said, I am wearing my shirt.)